I still can’t believe it went in.
For the first 40 minutes of today’s match at the Westfalenstadion, Borussia Dortmund looked absolutely dead in the water. It was clear that last weekend’s beatdown at the hands of Bayern Munich had absolutely destroyed the squad’s confidence. They were slow, lacking creativity, and Stuttgart were controlling the match.
Then, in a simple attacking move, Lukasz Piszczek played Christian Pulisic along the right wing, and the young American hooked a cross into the box. It looped over the heads of every attacker and defender, over the head of Stuttgart Keeper Ron-Robert Zieler, and bar-down into the goal it went.
Even though the goal was 100% luck, it changed the face of the game. The squad that had looked awful during the first 40 minutes began to play with more confidence. Only three minutes into the second half, BVB struck again, this time in legitimate fashion. Mahmoud Dahoud and Michy Batshuayi connected beautifully to release Nuri Sahin along the goal line at the edge of the 18-yard box. Batshuayi continued his run, and Sahin picked him out in the middle of the box. Batsman didn’t miss, and BVB were up by two.
Stuttgart looked stunned. Even though they had played so well during the first half, they had nothing to show for it. Minutes later, BVB would put the final nail in the coffin, with a strike from Max Philipp. Mahmoud Dahoud launched a cross that found Pulisic far post. Christian headed the ball into the feet of Max Philipp, who got a shot off. Zieler stopped the first one, but Philipp banged home the rebound to put the game away.
It’s tough to describe the effect that Pulisic’s cross/goal had on the squad. They were so timid beforehand, but after they were up a goal, it was like a lightswitch had been flipped. Let’s hope that this win helps rebuild some confidence in the squad, who badly need it.
One More Note
Look at this shot from Fox Sports One:
Look at all those empty seats at the WFS. When I went last September, every one of those seats was filled. If there’s any indication that the fans are unhappy about BVB’s recent lack of form, this is it.
What were your thoughts on the match? Leave your comments below.