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Disappointing Dortmund slump to another derby draw

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Can we still blame the injuries?

Borussia Dortmund v FC Schalke 04 - Bundesliga Photo by Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images

As far as Revierderbies go, today’s affair was pretty boring. Hands down it was not the most exciting match either team has played this season. This is only the 10th time the derby has ended in a 0-0 draw. The only thing counting up on the score sheet were fouls and yellow cards. Lots and lots of yellow cards. For God’s sake, Shinji Kagawa was shown a yellow in the 7th minute. Let’s not pretend that Kagawa is the most physical player who commonly gets yellows. From the start, the ref was looking for the game to get out of hand and quickly carded lighter fouls to prevent a wrestling match. Even so, this match didn’t quite have the physical bite you would expect from the mother of all derbies.

From Dortmund’s perspective this was a game of two halves. From the onset it was clear that BVB would try to possess the ball and break down the Royal Blue’s defense while Sch*lke would sit back and attack on the counter. Despite having 58% possession at the half though, the Black and Yellows had 0 shots. Not shots on target, just shots.

Most of that 58% possession was just rolling the ball back and forth between the back line and being unable to break down the opposing midfield and defense. Further, BVB were often very careless with the ball nearly giving the ball away in the back multiple times. When Sch*lke did gain possession they pushed forward quickly and intensely. At least one writer had heart in mouth every time we lost the ball.

Gotze and Kagawa combined poorly in midfield and there was just no creativity in the team on a night when our opponent sat deeply and compactly. It was very obvious how much we missed a certain Mourinho benchwarmer in the Ruhr Derby.

The second half though was a completely different story. Whatever motivational tactics Tuchel used in the locker room worked. Less than 10 minutes after the start of the 2nd half Pulisic flicked on a Piszczek cross that Dembele volleyed onto the woodwork. The 2nd half also saw Gotze and Aubameyang combine on a slick 1, 2 to create a 1 on 1 with the keeper that Mario couldn’t turn in. Just a minute later in the 79th, Pulisic was a foot to far ahead to turn into a wide gaping open net.

Ultimately a draw was a bit harsh for Dortmund. While both teams dominated one half, BVB had the significantly better chances in the 2nd. According to the expected goals metric we should have a goal if not more.

On the bright side though, we got Gurreiro and Schurrle back and Marco Reus is almost back to playing fitness. Here’s to hoping we can finally turn it around midweek against Sporting!