The Bundesliga Friday night match saw Heidenheim take a point off of Borussia Dortmund for the second time this season with a goalless draw at the Voith Arena. There were an abundance of chances for either side although Tim Kleindienst did miss a sitter and Donyell Malen had a goal ruled out for the narrowest of offsides.
The win ends BVB’s perfect start to the New Year and proved to be the Ostalbstädter’s fourth draw on the trot. Here are five takeaways from the Friday night action……
1- Dortmund are still missing something going forward
BVB may have won their three opening games after the Winterpause, but there has been a feeling that they were stuttering somewhat and the perfect record perhaps showed them in a better light than they actually were. Here against Heidenheim, they again showed that they are far from a flowing unit going forward with the impression that they are lacking a structure or a coherent plan in attack.
Niclas Füllkrug prefers to play in a front two and Edin Terzic has played a 4-4-2 with Youssoufa Moukoko playing in support of the former Werder Bremen striker. Tonight there was little threat from either and the service to him was poor. The continued absence of Julian Brandt robs Dortmund of their most creative player and he was sorely missed. Playing a 4-2-3-1 formation is what Dortmund are used to, but their build-up play just didn’t seem to flow tonight and it is an issue that has been noted in other matches this year.
2- Tim Kleindienst might have won the ‘miss of the season’ award already
The season is far from over, but there will probably not be a bigger miss this season than the one spurned by Tim Kleindienst in the 14th minute (if there is, it is going to be a proper howler).
A poor back pass from Salih Özcan towards Niklas Süle didn’t account for the lurking Kleindienst and the Heidenheim striker had the goal at his mercy. With Alexander Meyer racing to get back into position, the forward misjudged the time and space he had to hit the target and bent his shot agonisingly wide.
3- Stability is the key word for Heidenheim
The point was Heidenheim’s second against their larger and more illustrious opponents and means they have now gone seven Bundesliga matches without defeat (two wins and four draws).
The key word for Frank Schmidt’s side seems to be stability, with the club not making any additions to the squad in the transfer window. The trainer stated that he preferred to reward performances and saw no reason not to trust the players who had seen the club into the top half of the table in the Hinrunde. On tonight’s evidence the Heidenheim coach has got it spot on.
4- Ian Maatsen continues to impress
There was lots about Dortmund’s performance that wasn’t perfect and didn’t flow as a top four side would hope, but the display of Ian Maatsen was once again one of the plusses for Edin Terzic. The loan signing from Chelsea was a constant figure going down the flank from left back and he moved possession on well.
He then showed that he can push forward into a more advanced left wing role when Ramy Bensebaini was introduced as a second half substitute. The Algerian may be back, but Maatsen has proved that he can be far more than a back-up this season.
5- Borussia Dortmund don’t do 0-0’s……until tonight
Before tonight’s stalemate the Schwarzgelben had not been involved in a goalless draw for the last 146 Bundesliga matches. The last time they played out a 0-0 draw was back in October 2019 when they were held in the Revierderby by Schalke.
Only once this season have they failed to score (v Bayern Munich), which adds even more respect to Heidenheim’s defensive performance.