In our new feature ‘Tactical Takeaways’, I’ll be discussing 3 tactical themes that evidently influenced the outcome of Dortmund’s last game and what they could’ve done in order to improve their performance.
Dortmund find it hard to access central areas
Hannover defended in a 3-4-3 shape and utilized a deep midfield press. From the get-go, Dortmund aggressively exploited the gaps in Hannover’s shape and would’ve taken the lead had Batshuayi not hit the post. After their explosive start, they played with their usual conservative mentality. They circulated the ball in safe areas and weren’t as threatening as we hoped they would be against an average side like Hannover. Part of this was Dortmund’s risk-averse nature in possession, however, Hannover congested central areas and looked to squeeze the hosts out on the touchline. In the end, Dortmund couldn’t score from open play because of their predictable passing patterns that struggled to penetrate the visitors’ defence of the all-important central axis.
Dortmund were forced to look for alternative build-up options out wide because of Hannover’s strong central presence.
Is Batshuayi affecting the team’s confidence?
Batshuayi may have scored the winner but he needs to start netting clear-cut chances. The Belgian frontman missed a crucial chance in the beginning of the match but made up for it with a cool finish from an Andre Schurrle corner. Unfortunately, the following opportunities he had to increase Dortmund’s lead weren’t taken. The consequence of Batshuayi’s lack of incision, was evident towards the end of the game when the hosts played without a whole load of surety. The young striker should’ve put his chances away and put the game to bed earlier in the game. Only then would Dortmund perform without the fear of mistakes which could’ve led to actual (crucial)mistakes.
In true Stoeger spirit
For the first time since his appointment, Peter Stoeger’s charges kept back-to-back clean sheets. The goals have been going in at such an alarming rate that Robert Burki must’ve felt fantastic for not having to pick the ball out of the net for the first time in a long time. The clean sheet was down to a combination of long periods on the ball(attack is the best form of defence), and Hannover’s inability to break forward effectively as often as possible. Peter Stoeger, however, should make sure that Dortmund’s counter-press gets worked on in order to win the ball higher up the pitch. Personally, I feel susceptible to a heart attack every time the opposition counter-attack against Dortmund because of their disorganised moments in transition. Besides that, it was a true, workmanlike performance by the boys in ‘Black and Yellow’.
Dortmund’s excellent defensive shape. Overloading Hannover in crucial areas. Trademark Stoeger.