December 14, 2017

Five Things We’ve Learned from Tuesday’s Borussia Dortmund-Tottenham Match

1) Zagadou Impressed

With Sokratis out injured and Toprak just returning from one,  Dan-Axel Zagadou started alongside Marc Bartra.  The 18-year-old French defender didn’t disappoint and handled the hard task of dealing with one of the best strikers in the world. Harry Kane eventually got his goal to equalize for the Londoners. However, he was kept out for entirety of the first half and needed a mishap from the generous BVB backline  to put his name on the scoresheet. Zagadou tried to block the shot but to no avail. Zagadou limped out following a knock in the second half which hopefully is nothing serious for a player on top of his game at the moment, as he passed at a 96% success rate, had a shot, three clearances and two interceptions.

2) Bürki is back

Roman Bürki has been criticised for the errors he made early in the season but the Swiss keeper showed why he is Dortmund’s number 1 on Tuesday night. Despite conceding 2 goals he made some unbelievable saves to deny Tottenham, shortly after Dortmund took the lead in the 31st minute.

First it was a brilliant save from Christian Eriksen’s shot in the 39th minute and a minute later he made a flying stop to keep out Eric Dier’s header. Bürki turned into Superman as he stretched long through the air to make one of the saves of the season.

Unfortunately for Bürki. his night turned sour as he was stretchered off the pitch following a hit on the face by Fernando Llorente when he collected the ball from the Spaniards feet. Another headache for Peter Bosz.

3) A scoring Aubameyang good for BVB

One of the reasons for Dortmund’s winless run has been Pierre-Emerik Aubameyang’s inability to find the back of the net. The striker went five matches without a goal and missed Friday’s game against Stuttgart due to disciplinary measures.

His dry spell looked to continue as he wasted a one on one vs Hugo Lloris in the 18th minute but the Gabonese finally got his goal after a wonderful back heel from Andriy Yarmolenko put him clear of Spurs’s defense. A goal is a huge confidence boost for a forward and we might be able to see the Auba of old in the next games.

4) Bosz is running out of time

Several media outlets are reporting that Peter Bosz will be shown the exit door if his team failsl to beat Schalke in the Revierderby Saturday.

To his credit the Dutch manager made some tactical alterations in the first half that enabled his team to take the lead and dominate proceedings. The midfield remained compact and prevented Julian Weigl from being exposed unlike in previous games. With Yarmolenko and Ralphael Guerreiro tucking inside to support Shinji Kagawa and Mario Götze they made it impossible for Spurs to play through them.

But the good display was short-lived and the Black and Yellows had no answer when Spurs started coming out of their own half in search of a goal. Bosz’s decision to put on Gonzalo Castro for Kagawa in the second half was questionable and his reluctance to make substitutions after Spurs took the lead puzzling. The clock is ticking for Bosz and it doesn’t look like he will be able to stop it.

5) Defensive Issues again and again and again

Pochettino’s side didn’t have to work hard to overturn the deficit. And why should they when Dortmund’s defense is one step away from making mistakes. Spurs’s first goal came after Jeremy Toljan’s pass was intercepted by Danny Rose. Perhaps it is too harsh to blame the young German who had little option but to try that pass but Dortmund could’ve easily avoided being in that dire situation. The second goal was a result of Marc Bartra leaving his position to recover a ball and failing miserably in doing so as he was pushed away by Delle Alli.

Two errors ultimately eclipsed Dortmund’s hard work of the first half. This has become a worrying trend for BVB. Things just seem to be going from bad to worse.

In their last nine games BVB have  five losses, three draws and a single win — the DFB Pokal five goal win over 1.FC Magdeburg. Next up are Schalke 04 and it is do or die for Peter Bosz and his men.

Finally, Son Heung-Min scored his 8th goal in 10 games against BVB. The South Korean scored when the sides met earlier in the season and also has 5 goals in 6 games against the Black and Yellows during his Bundesliga days with Hamburg and Leverkusen. The other goal came during a Europa league last 16 return leg at White Hart Lane which BVB won 2-1.

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Brook lives in Ethiopia, and started following the Bundesliga from a very young age. His favourite players then were Thomas Rosicky - the reason he became a Dortmund fan! - and Marcelinho of Hertha Berlin. He likes to watch, read, write and talk about football with special interest in discussing emerging young talents. Follow @brookge

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