Match Recap: BVB collapse in the second half – lose 0:3 to Spurs

Injuries, inexperience and a horrible second half doom Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. A good first half was undone by an early mistake in the second half that has left BVB with virtually no chance to advance to the next round.

A tense first half

Tottenham Hotspur started out strong, pressing extremely high and forcing mistakes in the first 10 minutes of the game. Luckily for Dortmund the Premier League team was not able to create any real goal scoring opportunities during that time and BVB slowly started to gain control over the game.

The Spurs tried to neutralize Dortmund’s pacy wingers, Sancho and Pulisic with a 3-man backline aided by two additional fullbacks

BVB seemed more comfortable in possession after the opening minutes and were able to launch a few dangerous counter attacks mostly through Jadon Sancho. Nevertheless the black and yellows also struggled to create any clear cut chances. The most notable opportunity came just before half-time after a corner when Dan-Axel Zagadou forced Hugo Lloris to make a brilliant save to keep it 0:0.

Mistakes on defense doom BVB

The match was completely turned on its head early in the second half. Achraf Hakimi made a terrible mistake trying to dribble on defense and lost the ball. Spurs had no problem taking advantage, Verthongen was completely alone on the left flank and crossed the ball into the box where Son converted to give them the lead.

BVB seemed shell-shocked after conceding the goal and completely ignored their matchplan. Tottenham sat back and launched dangerous counters of their own with a comfortable lead.

Surprisingly Lucien Favre opted to not make any offensive changes to help the team get back into the game. Naturally with Reus and Alcacer missing, the two biggest threats were not available to him but Guerreiro, Bruun Larsen or Philipp should have been subbed in at this point.

In the last five minutes of the match BVB completely collapsed. A 0:1 defeat would have given the team at least a chance to turn it around in the second leg but they were not able to stay focused on defense.

In the 83rd minutes Götze lost the ball in midfield, the Spurs got it to Aurier on the wing who crossed it in, caught Hakimi out of position and once again A Spurs player just had to tap it in. This time around it was Verthongen who doubled the lead.

To make matters worse, Llorente made it 3:0 after a corner in the 86th minute. Dortmund conceded three goals on crosses similarly to the Hoffenheim game highlighting their weakness at fullback and currently at centerback.

Dortmund is almost certainly eliminated from the Champions League with this result and the team will have to focus on winning the Bundesliga from now on.

Other thoughts:

  • BVB really needed a striker in this game. Götze tried his best but Dortmund needed a different presence up front to really hurt Tottenham. Reus and Alcacer would obviously have helped.
  • Favre needs to make earlier subs. Neither Sancho nor Pulisic had any real impact and just looked tired in the second half. Guerreiro, Bruun Larsen or Philipp could have energized the team but two subs in the 88th minute were clearly to late
  • BVB need to work on their problems defending crosses. Today and against Hoffenheim several defenders were completely out of position on multiple occasions