Thomas Tuchel decided to rotate some players after the arduous recent weeks and the exhausting weeks that lie before us and that might have cost the team three points. To be fair if you play in three competitions every team will have to rotate at some point and some injuries have forced Tuchel's hand even more but he still had his fair share of weird decisions that contributed to today's loss. But let us start at the beginning.
Sokratis had to sit this one out because of an injury and since Sven Bender is still not ready to play, Tuchel had to start Matthias Ginter at the center of the defense, as it turns out it was a fateful decision. Raphael Guerreiro was also back in the line-up which meant Marcel Schmelzer lined up as the third center-back in the 3-4-3 system. The teen-sensations Ousmane Dembélé and Christian Pulisic started the game on the bench while Shinji Kagawa and André Schürrle started in their places.
While Guerreiro and Kagawa warranted their starts with (mostly) good performances, Ginter and Schürrle were the worst players on the pitch and Dortmund was not able to overcome their shortcomings.
Matthias Ginter was the tragic hero today, being involved in both Hertha goals. On the first one he gave away the ball to Vedad Ibisievic who took advantage and went straight into the box. Ginter was able to catch up, just to let Ibisevic pass him with a simple dribbling and set-up Kalou for the easy tap-in. Dortmund didn't do anything for the rest of the first half, with Hertha defending and being a constant threat on the counter-attack.
The second half jump-started Dortmund's comeback attempt. The black and yellows finally played up to their potential fueled by good performances from Castro and Kagawa and it didn't take them long to equalize. A beautiful combination between Guerreiro, Kagawa and Aubameyang set the Gabon international up in the box who took advantage and was able to level the score.
However, it didn't take long for Berlin to get the lead back. In the 71st minute Ginter fouled Weiser just outside the box which gave Hertha a very dangerous free-kick which they promptly converted when Plattenhardt scored with a hard strike into Bürki's corner. Our Swiss goalkeeper also didn't look especially good on that one.
After that, BVB struggled to get back on track and was not able to create clear-cut goal scoring opportunities. This blame for this loss is on multiple people, Ginter showed exactly why Zorc went after Ömer Toprak, Bürki could've saved the second goal, Weigl had a shocker, Schürrle was not present and Tuchel subbed too late and took the wrong people off. This was just a bad day all-around and it is of little comfort that basically our entire competition for the Champions League spots, except for Berlin of course, lost today.