A chastening defeat in the Klassiker last weekend was followed on Wednesday by elimination from the DFB Pokal at the hands of RB Leipzig. Two defeats that will hurt BVB, but equally two disappointing performances which are danger of seeing their promising season begin to unravel.
Having succumbed to Bayern at the Allianz Arena last Saturday, a positive reaction was expected from Borussia Dortmund at the Red Bull Arena last night, but instead a let-down performance brought condemnation from coach Edin Terzic, sporting director Sebastian Kehl and CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.
Leipzig, who themselves were dire last weekend in their 3-0 home loss to Mainz, were so much the better team that the Schwarzgelben should consider themselves ‘lucky’ to have only been beaten 2-0. The hosts pressed aggressively and Dortmund simply had no answer with former coach Marco Rose getting the better of BVB for the second time this season.
“You can’t play like that in a quarter-final of the DFB Cup if you want to win the cup” Terzic moaned after the final whistle.
“We’re extremely disappointed, really angry and pissed off, it was just a shitty evening. We may not be quite as good as you made us out to be” he added. “Now it’s about letting it sink in, processing it, and shaking it off. Putting a line through it will be difficult. We were eliminated from a competition that we wanted to win. We missed a chance for the title.”
Sporting director Kehl also didn’t hold back in his criticism of the performance. “It was the worst thing I’ve seen from us in a long time. It’s inexplicable how we played in the first half.”
The two defeats could however end up hurting Dortmund far more than just three lost league points and a Cup loss to the current holders. BVB have been the form team since the Rückrunde restart and made up ten points on Rekordmeister Bayern. The fear amongst the Dortmund faithful will now be that their run is coming to an end and their old demons are returning at just the wrong part of the season.
A first title since 2012 is within touching distance which would make a loss of form now even harder to bear. CEO Watzke has thrown down the gauntlet to the players urging them to prove themselves in the upcoming matches. “The question is why is the team recklessly tearing down what they have worked hard to build for eight months?
“We have a lot of players in the team who want to be leaders and who actually can. They’ve already shown that this season. Whether you’re a leading player shows on the pitch. And only there.”
Next up for Borussia Dortmund is Union Berlin at the Signal Iduna Park on Saturday- a side themselves battling for the points to help secure a top-four finish. The Bayern loss was a reality check, the Leipzig defeat a huge disappointment- can BVB really afford a third let-down in the space of seven days?