Kaiserslautern 2 – 5 Borussia Dortmund – Barrios Blitz Buries Red Devils

Everything went according to plan for Dortmund on their visit to Kaiserslautern on Saturday. BVB broke its 11 year Betzenberg winless streak and equaled Bayern’s Bundesliga record for total points in a season with a 5-2 win.  Despite the high goal tally (and several other strikes that hit the woodwork), FC Kaiserslautern played a respectable match and fulfilled their main goal of entertaining the sold out Betze crowd in their last Bundesliga home game for who knows how long

Lineups and Formations

FCK captain Christian Tiffert was back in the lineup replacing Oliver Kirch.  German-American youngster Andrew Wooten was once again positioned up front along with Constantine Fourtounis.  Formation wise, they lined up in identical fashion to last week’s win in Berlin.

Jurgen Klopp unveiled a new look squad with six lineup changes including Australian Mitch Langerak in goal, Chris Löwe, Patrick Owomoleya and Felipe Santana in the back, and Mario Götze back from injury.

First Half:  FCK Take the Lead

To the match … FCK came out confident. The Red Devils have conceded the first goal 21 times this season (while only recording a league low 3 shutouts) so of course the objective was to stay in the game as long as possible. And ‘stay in the game’ they did, starting as the more aggressive, organized side. FCK even took an early lead in the 15th minute thanks to Felipe Santana’s own goal. The center back was late stepping in to cut off a solo run and shot from Constantine Fourtounis and saw the deflection land in Langerak’s goal.

A mere two minutes passed before Paraguayan international Lucas Barrios started his goal flurry with the first of three on the day. Barrios steered a backward header into the goal thanks to a precision cross from Patrick Owomoleya. In the 26th minute, Barrios doubled his pleasure when he netted a low cross from Perisic.  Götze celebrated his first BVB start since last December with a goal in the 32nd minute to make it 3:1. At this point in the match, the FCK faithful must have had flashbacks to their March encounter vs. Schalke when after a 1:0 lead they lost 4:1. But, with the FCK fans in a great mood in large part due to the 85+ degree temps, the home team felt inspired to re-focus on the defensive end and look for counter attack opportunities. They ended the half with a few more solid goal attacks orchestrated by Sahan as well as Pierre De Witt, who was clearly FCK’s best player on Saturday.

Second Half: Dortmund Take No Prisoners

De Wit helped FCK reduce the deficit to a single goal when, four minutes into the restart, he headed a person pass from Fourtounis over Dortmund’s keeper. Unfortunately, less than 1o minutes later, Tobias Sippel lost control of the ball in his own penalty area and Barrios completed his hat-trick. Again, with such a huge blunder to account for, the ‘old’ (as in two weeks ago) 1.FCK would have suffered from the mental mistakes and probably forced additional errors. Not so on this day. Despite BVB’s 5th goal with 15 minutes left, thanks to a curling strike by Croatian Perisic, Lautern keep it respectable and did not warrant any (or receive any) jeers and boos from the hometown fans. In fact, in a touching moment of football solidarity, the entire crowd, including 11,000 travelling Dortmund fans, sang a deafening rendition of the infamous football anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.

Final Verdict

Dortmund left Kaiserslautern victorious and will wrap up their back-to-back championship season at home against Sport-Club Freiburg. Win, lose or draw, Dortmund will host a party like no other for its local heroes. A week later, Dortmund faces Bayern in the DFB Pokal final in ‘Clash of the German Titans- Part 3’. FCK on the other hand, will have a tough go of it when they travel to Hannover, who are still battling for a Europa League qualification slot.

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