One moment of brilliance salvaged an otherwise pitiful performance from the boys in Schwartzgelb. 1. FC Köln did not really deserve all three points either as aside from Jonas Hector and former Hamburger Artjoms Rudnevs, the Billy Goats did little to merit a win.
Reus, Ramos, and Dembélé managed to all play well for about five seconds together at the very end and managed to snatch a point.
Wow, were to begin. It was a general disaster. The goal conceded was pretty much a team effort with more than enough blame to go around. #SadPieces continue to be an issue for Dortmund that physical sides like Köln and Ingolstadt exploit. Pretty much all the players on the pitch had a bad day chock-full of silly mistakes and stupid decisions. The hangover from the revelry in Madrid on Wednesday was evident.
Tuchel’s choices for eleven seemed decent enough with the exception of Durm. A back three with wing backs was a solid choice, but the lack of understanding in set piece defending was manifestly clear on the Ziegenböcke opener. Tuchel sent out Rode again when positivity was needed, though Castro’s rib discomfort may have spurred that change. I think he sent on Ramos a bit too late.
Roman could have been burned many times tonight. He played like a slow 36-year-old who had just had a massive and taxing performance three days before. He could not necessarily be blamed for conceding the goal, but some have to question whether 2011 Roman would have saved it.
Played adequately at right center-back before being forced off in the 27th minute due to a groin issue.
Papa did not have the best day but did enough to keep the match close. He uncharacteristically lost a couple of challenges, one of which that led to a goal scoring chance. He was forced off after a particularly vicious foul by Höger.
A mixed night. Dominant in the air, but between he, Bartra, and Durm, lost Rudnevs on the goal. Did fairly well late in the second half on the attack of all things.
The ‘World Champion’ of 2014 has had perhaps one good outing in the last two years (Europa League away at Tottenham), and his rust showed again. A complete lead foot, the ball clanged off him like Gyasi Zardes on an average night. Practically disappeared in the second half, with Dembélé essentially ignoring him.
When Köln pressed him, he struggled, when they didn’t, he did well. Story of his season. Was forced to play some frantic defense in the second half while Dortmund chased the game.
Less said the better. Castro had been the worst player on the pitch against Madrid, but contributed defensively and with a high work-rate. This afternoon, not only were we treated to the accustomed infuriatingly frustrating ‘inaccuracies’ in his distribution leading to turnovers, he seemed to be running on fumes the whole match. Köln gave him acres of space and time to run into. Normally, even on his worst days, he would make use of those openings with pace but today, he just casually galloped into them while they closed. Had to come off at the 53rd minute with a rib injury.
Schmelzer was upstaged by the other best German left-back, Jonas Hector today. Schmele had an off-day, his careless touch and follow-up foul creating the chance that die Ziegen capitalized on in the 29th minute.
If last week was the youngster’s first true, professional, polished showing; today was unfortunately, a regression towards the mean. While he did not show the selfish, go-it-alone side as frequently as earlier in the year, his decision-making and execution was woefully inadequate. None of his crosses were close to the mark, and most of his dribbles came to naught. His immaturity and clownish antics on the pitch is not becoming the jersey. Play-acting to draw bookings and taunting are beneath the badge… as well as a petulant kick-out at the half for which he was lucky to escape with only a caution. He did break Höger’s ankles early on in the first half though.
Marco tried his best to rally the troops, putting in an unselfish performance and leading the counter-pressing, but, he seemed to have caught Gonzalo Castro Inaccuracy Syndrome as his passes were endlessly, frustratingly off the mark all game. Came through though at the end when it counted, burying his only real chance of the game in the 90th minute to snatch the point.
As usual when teams suffer poor performances, Auba didn’t have a great match either. Suffered a bit from inaccuracy in the pass and seemed out of sync with Dembélé as well.
Forced on to the game in the 28th minute to replace the injured Piszczek. Köln scored one minute later. His fault? Not really, but perhaps the unplanned change threw the defensive strategy into chaos for a bit. Played better than he had his previous two outings, but that is not saying much. Still has a long way to go to find the form in which he started the year.
Came on for Castro in the 53rd minute. Seemed to want to play forward more, but his cautious nature got the better of him more often than not. At least he didn’t cause turnovers by passing but still looked like he belongs on a Louis Van Gaal side with his lateral and back passes. On one occasion it seemed he moved the ball dribbling marvelously well through opposition… back towards his own defense.
Super sub came on to replace Sokratis in the 75th minute when things were dire. Provided a physical threat in the air that had been lacking. Provided the assist on a perfect cut back to Reus for the equalizer.