Bundesliga: Many goals conceded, many doubts: BVB’s defense remains a problem

Bundesliga: Many goals conceded, many doubts: BVB’s defense remains a problem

Many goals conceded, many doubts: BVB’s defense remains a problem

Dortmund's Sebastien Haller and Augsburg's Felix Uduokhai try to get the ball.  Photo: Bernd Thissen/dpa

Dortmund’s Sebastien Haller and Augsburg’s Felix Uduokhai try to get the ball. photo

© Bernd Thissen/dpa

Whether it’s well-known newcomers or warning words from the trainer: the defensive remains BVB’s great weakness – and could ultimately cost the Champions League qualification.

The gap to the top has narrowed, but doubts about the team’s ability to perform remain. The 4: 3 (2: 2) against FC Augsburg was only of limited use as an encouragement for Borussia Dortmund to catch up towards the Champions League places. The sixth in the table lost a lead three times after major defensive errors and only saved himself thanks to a shot by Giovanni Reyna (78th) on Sunday.

National player Nico Schlotterbeck commented on the wild game with apt words: “It was quality at the front and less quality at the back. I don’t know whether I should be happy about the three points or annoyed about the three goals conceded.”

Defensive is the biggest construction site

Although the focus of the winter preparation was on improving the defensive work, the BVB repeated slapstick mistakes against Augsburg. Schlotterbeck’s appearance was indicative of the large gap between offensive power and defensive weakness.

His mistake, which led to 1:1 through Arne Maier (40th), he made up for with a header to make it 2:1 just two minutes later. That the guests both after the goal of Schlotterbeck as well as the 3: 2 by Jamie Bynoe-Gittens (75th) almost in return by Ermedin Demirovic (45th + 2) and David Colina (77th) managed to equalize, caused annoyance among the Dortmund fans in the stands and shaking his head.

For all his joy at Sébastian Haller’s celebrated comeback after four chemotherapy treatments and two cancer surgeries, the coach worked Edin Terzic thoughtful. “We can’t assume that we’ll win every game if we concede three goals. It wasn’t a good balance between what we had to invest to score a goal versus what the opponent had to invest,” criticized Terzic.

Despite well-known reinforcements such as Schlotterbeck, Niklas Süle, Salih Özcan and Julian Ryerson, the BVB defense remains the biggest construction site. A goal difference of +5 after 16 games is unworthy of a top team.

Rumors about possible transfers

After all, the gap to second place is only two points. But in the difficult away games on Wednesday in Mainz and on Sunday in Leverkusen, new disaster threatens without more stability. Especially since BVB has to do without the yellow-banned Jew Bellingham, at least in Mainz. Terzic set the direction: “We want to take the positive things with us to gain self-confidence. We will continue to address the negative things in order to turn them off.”

In addition to the discussion about the weakness of the defense, speculation about transfers at BVB remains an ongoing topic. Any hopes that things would calm down after the deal with talented striker Youssoufa Moukoko turned out to be wishful thinking. The latest rumors about an interest from league competitor RB Leipzig in captain Marco Reus, who was free in the summer, are causing renewed noise.

However, fans are now reacting sensitively to months of transfer poker and lavish salary demands from professionals. When stadium announcer Norbert Dickel announced Moukoko’s contract extension until 2026, whistles mingled with the restrained applause from the stands.


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