The season is 34 games long and there is still a lot to play for, but should Bayern Munich end up winning an 11th consecutive Bundesliga crown, Borussia Dortmund are going to have to do some serious soul-searching as to how they themselves missed out.
Looking back at pivotal moments will surely bring them to the last thirty seconds at the Mercedes Benz Arena yesterday, when the Schwarzgelben were sensationally denied victory by VfB Stuttgart. With Bayern being held at home by Hoffenheim, BVB had the chance to go level on points with the Rekordmeister with victory over the Swabians.
2-0 up at half-time, Dortmund seemed to be doing their bit until they seemingly shot themselves in the foot allowing 10-man Stuttgart to pull the game back to 2-2. Cometh the hour, cometh the man as they say, and substitute Giovanni Reyna looked to have rescued the away side with a 92nd minute goal.
30 season defining seconds?
As the six minutes of additional time ticked past referee Harm Osmers allowed the hosts to initiate one final attack. All BVB had to do was kill the game and shut VfB out one more time.
Allowed to play the ball out from the back Waldemar Anton fed Joshua Vagnoman on the right wing. The first criticism here fall on Marco Reus, who simply ambled rather than putting any real pressure on Anton, who took the ball into the Dortmund half.
At first glance Dortmund had the situation covered despite Vagnoman getting his cross in from the right. Soumaila Coulibaly, who had come on for the sick Mats Hummels saw Silas and took a few looks as to where the Stuttgart man was. Then he seemed to be distracted by Tiago Tomas and allowed Silas to hang back a little. When the ball arrived the Dortmund centre back still had the chance to clear, but a desperate swipe at the ball just saw it land at the feet of Silas, who buried it past Gregor Köbel.
Heart-break for Dortmund, but ecstasy for relegation-threatened Stuttgart.
No hiding place
Borussia Dortmund trainer Edin Terzic could not hide his feelings of shock, disappointment and anger when forced to speak after the final whistle. “There’s too much anger, too much disappointment.
“This is the place in which I normally want to defend my team, protect us as a group and maintain a positive energy. But I’m finding it very difficult, because it’s just so unnecessary, so stupid.
“Everything we’ve invested since July, our pre-season preparations, how we dealt with problems in the first half of the season: illness, injuries, dropping down to sixth. And all the hard work and the fury with which we came back in January, putting us in the position we’re in now. And then we just throw it away.
“It’s difficult for me to know where to start today, but I can promise you: despite the disappointment, there is still so much which is worth fighting for. It’s still only two points. It’s just one goal that one team has to concede, and one goal which we have to score to turn the situation around.
“We have to finally start learning from these needless setbacks. No-one will do it for us. It’s my responsibility to put my chest out and look forward. But it hurts.”
Dortmund’s big chance to peg Bayern back was thrown away at the Mercedes Benz Arena, but on the plus side, Bayern showed they are also capable of dropping points and there are still six games left to play so the situation is not totally lost. It’s just a massive, missed opportunity, the true consequences of which will only be fully known come the end of the season.