Fortuna Düsseldorf – VfL Bochum review

Bochum wins the derby and is finally back on track

Fortuna Düsseldorf lost again four days after the defeat in Darmstadt, but the 7 points advantage over the 3rd place is still comfortable. Funkel did several changes compared to the last match, as he needed fresh legs and new players were available after suspension. Gießelmann played on the left of the defense, while Bodzek displaced Neuhaus. The biggest surprise was to see Raman in the squad, even in the stating XI, after having some medical problems during the week. The Belgian didn’t have his best day, was very poor in the first half, unfocused, he lost most of the balls, but he had some good actions at the beginning of the second half.

Robin Dutt made only one change, he benched Celozzi and sent Fabian in the starting lineup. Gyamerah moved from central defense to the right back position.

Both teams acted in the 4-2-3-1 system, with VfL changing to 4-4-2 against the ball. Sam and Kruse dropped in line with Tesche and Losilla, while Stöger formed together with Hinterseer the first pressing wave. Bochum started very aggressive, with a lot of movement up front. Sam and Kruse constantly appeared in the central zone, benefiting of the poor defensive work from Fortuna’s wingers, Haraguchi and Raman. Hinterseer was very active, mobile, dropping often to receive the ball. Losilla’s forward runs offered fluidity to the guests’ attacks, creating numerical advantage and keeping possession in the opposite half. It was Bohum to have the first chance to score; Hinterseer sent a poor cross from the right, which became a shot on target.

Fortuna struggled in the opening minutes, couldn’t keep possession and couldn’t develop any attacks. Sobottka had problems in the passing game, losing balls which were supposed to connect the defense with the midfield. The hosts tried some actions on the right side with Raman, but he didn’t seem focused either, easily losing possession.

Fortuna managed to balance the game after 20-25 minutes, thanks to the movement of veteran Oliver Fink, who was always trying to find space to be a passing option. He also tried to increase the pace in the last third, offering a quick pass on the left to Haraguchi, while Zimmer finished the Japanese’s cross with a dangerous shot close to the target. Düsseldorf’ right back benefited from poor defensive work by Sam, who didn’t follow him. Most offensive actions took place on the left side, with Fink often appearing in that area. Fortuna managed to keep more possession in the opposite half, thanks to Sobottka’s forward runs. It was no surprise that Fortuna found space and tried more on the left, as VfL was much focused not to offer Raman, on the right, time on the ball and immediately put him under pressure.

During this time, Bochum lost the order a little bit, had problems keeping possession. The guests tried to create offensive superiority with Losilla’s and Tesche’s forward runs, plus Kruse’s roaming from right to center, but they lacked passing precision and a clear mind in the last third. They finally managed to stay longer in the opposite half in the final minutes of the first half, without creating danger.

After the first half it was clear that both coaches first of all tried to block the opposition, not let them create chances, at the same time not assumming many risks forward.

This changed immediately after the break. With the first attack, VfL recorded the first chance, with nice movement on the left flank from Hinterseer and Stöger, which disrupted Fortuna’s defense. In the end, VfL’s striker found a clear path to shoot, but the ball passed wide. This was actually a wakeup call for the hosts. Fortuna suddenly increased the pace and the pressure in the opposite half, with Neuhaus, who replaced Sobottka after the break, setting new impulses up front. The youngster was safe in the passing game, but lacked composure when finishing the attacks. Finally, Raman showed up in the match, with several successful actions, overwhelming Bochum’s Danilo. Fortuna was finally dangerous on the right flank and created four good scoring chances in a short period of time, from positional attacks and set pieces, hitting the woodwork twice.

VfL survived after Fortuna’s solid period and balanced the game after Tesche’s substitution. Eisfeld stepped in, with Bochum playing in a 4-1-4-1 system. Robin Dutt tried to combat Düsseldorf’s pressure with a better ball playing midfielder and to take advantage of the space left behind with Neuhaus’s forward runs. This was rewarded only four minutes later, as Eisfeld appeared between the hosts’ lines and scored with a dream long range shot.

Fortuna desperately tried to go back to attacking mode, with fast passes, but was hit on the break, after Fink misplaced a quick pass. Hinterseer dropped unmarked between the lines, in Stöger’s role and sent Kruse 1v1 with Wolf with a perfect forward pass. 75 minutes had passed and the guests were leading with two goals to nil.

Funkel risked more with another striker, Nielsen, for the ‘six’ Bodzek, in a 4-4-2 system. Fortuna mainly tried with long balls and was rewarded with a penalty kick after one of these passes, converted by Hennings. Although Fortuna created several good chances in the last 15 minutes, all of them came after long passes or set pieces. No positional attack was able to bring danger to Bochum’s defense and was lucky with Sam’s miserable late miss on counter attack. This final struggle was probably the consequence of the better overall running performance from the guests – 118.31 km vs 113.77 km. Fortuna lost, not totally deserved judging by the number of scoring opportunities, but is still fortunate with third placed Kiel’s poor results.

Key scenes

9th min: Bormuth tries to clear the danger but sends the ball to Kruse on Bochum’s right wing. Kruse searches Stöger, but Sobottka intervenes. He cannot control the ball and Losilla, better positioned regains possession. Kruse moves to the center, Gießelmann follows him, so Hinterseer is unmarked on the right wing. Bormuth defends too far, Hinterseer receives the pass from Losilla and sends a first touch cross. The cross actually becomes a dangerous shot on target, but Wolf is at the post and deflects the ball over the crossbar.

30th min: Ayhan advances in the opposite half with the ball at his foot. Tesche and Kruse both attack him, but not decisive, so the defender can send a through pass to Fink, unmarked. The speed of the attack increases, after two touches Fink passes left into space to Haraguchi. He is allowed to advance in the opposite box, as Gyamerah defends too far and allows him too much time on the ball. The Japanese crosses from the byline at the far post, where Zimmer is criminally free, as VfL’s defenders focused on Fink and Hennings, but his diagonal shot goes wide.

46th min: The first attack of the second half, Sam easily dribbles past Zimmer and passes to Danilo, free from Raman’s marking. Stöger is also on the left flank, as well as Hinterseer, who receives the pass from Danilo. Fortuna’s central defenders are out of their original positions, as they followed Stöger and Hinterseer, with Gießelmann and Kruse at the edge of the box, in a central position. Hinterseer passes with the first touch to the Aussie and quickly runs to the center to offer a passing option. Danilo makes a fake run half right clearing the path for shot, Fortuna’s defense doesn’t have time to regroup, but Hinterseer fires centimeters wide.

51st min: Stöger sends a poor pass left to Hinterseer, so Zimmer intercepts. Fink is free on the right flank, receives and immediately passes forward to Raman, who is unstoppable. He easily dribbles past Danilo, then Hoogland and passes to Hennings, placed on the 6-yards line. Fabian brilliantly blocks the first touch shot with his positioning, but is then fooled, as well as Hoogland, by Hennings fake moves. The attacker chooses to shoot with his weaker right foot from an acute angle, but the ball hits the post and goes wide. Riemann was also at the post, in case he had to intervene.

55th min: Danilo losses concentration for a moment, which is enough for agile Raman to steal the ball and run towards the box. Danilo is back and fouls the Belgian at ~30m far from the goal, central position. Haraguchi crosses the ball, Ayhan wins the aerial duel with Losilla, but his header hits the cross bar. Stöger clears for a corner kick, as Hennings was preparing the rebound.


56th min: Fortuna shows again its strength from set pieces at the following corner kick. Haraguchi crosses at the far post. Gießelmann is not bothered by anyone and heads in front of the goal, where Ayhan is completely free at 6 yards, but heads in Riemann’s direction from ideal position. VfL’s defense is completely absent-mided.


57th min: Haraguchi is still on the right flank after taking the corner kick and passes forward to Fink. Sam and Danilo try to defend against him, but are too far and don’t attack Fortuna’s captain. Sam even stops considering VfL will receive a throw in, the whistle remains silent, and the pass goes to Zimmer who can advance without marking. He enters the box, Losilla finally decides to attack him, is too late, but Zimmer’s shot at the near post goes centimeters wide.

70th min: Hoogland is allowed to advance with the ball in the opposite half, without being attacked. After a quick exchange with Stöger, he passes to Eisfeld, free in an advanced half right position. He moved from Haraguchi’s zone, but the Japanese didn’t follow him. Eisfeld has enough time to prepare a hammer shot at the far post, Wolf is beaten – 0-1.

75th min: Fortuna searches the equalizer; Fink tries to increase the speed, but misplaces the forward pass. Danilo thanks him and quickly passes to Stöger, who is lightning fast, as two opponents attack him. He sends a brilliant pass to Hinterseer, dropped unguarded in the free space between Fortuna’s lines. He turns and perfectly synchronizes his pass between the hosts’ central defenders with Kruse’s forward run. Bormuth is slower and has no chance, Ayhan is too far, so Kruse finds himself alone in front of Wolf. He tunnels the keeper and increases the guests’ lead – 0-2.

78th min: Gießelmann sends a long pass towards the opposite penalty area. Bormuth kept an offensive position after a free kick, is free and head passes back to Usami, in front of the box. Losilla is too far, the Japanese has time and space to shoot, but Riemann has a top reaction and holds the ball.

80th min:  Ayhan advances with the ball in the opposite half, Hinterseer doesn’t defend against him and allows the long pass into the box. Hennings passes at the edge of the box to Haraguchi, who stands free. He runs towards the goal and Danilo is too careless and commits foul. Penalty kick for Fortuna and Hennings safely converts it to reduce the deficit – 1-2. Very poor defending in front of the box from Bochum.

83rd min: Free kick for Fortuna, from the left. Usami sends the ball into the box, Hoogland cannot clear and actually sends a great assist for Nielsen, standing free at the far post. From acute angle, the Norwegian shoots on Riemann’s direction and the keeper saves. Sam failed to defend against Dusseldorf’s forward.


84th min: Stöger sends one of his magic passes between the opposition’s lines, through Fink and Neuhaus. The receiver is Eisfeld, free in an advanced half right position, similar to the one from which he scored. Bormuth offers too much time, but the long range shot goes wide.

89th min: Throw in for VfL – Gyamerah takes it to Hinterseer. The striker easily fools Fink and advances in the opposite half. VfL is 2v2 on this counter attack, with Sam a great passing option. The ball goes to him, Zimmer is way too far, but the shot from ideal position is completely missed, as the ball goes high and wide.

92nd min: Gießelmann sends another long pass from his own half. Nielsen drops with Hoogland and wins the aerial duel. Danilo and Losilla also tried to block the ball, but failed. The head pass goes in the freed space, synchronized with Hennings’ run. The first touch with the chest is perfect for a right foot volley, but the ball flies over. Fabian stayed close to him all the time, but didn’t anticipate what was about to happen so he was always a step too late and couldn’t intervene.

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