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Match Recap: Of Pacos and Pigeons

What an utterly stupid match.

Hellas Verona FC v SS Lazio - Serie A
Pitch invader!
Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images

Author’s Note: The following was written before Paco’s stoppage-time minute winner and subsequent brace.

Remember that time when you were a kid, and you were so excited to go to the zoo that you were anticipating it all week while you were stuck in school, but then you actually got to the zoo, and all the animals were asleep or hidden in a bush? Coming off of a very dull international break, that’s exactly how today’s match between BVB and Wolfsburg felt.

With the actual play on the pitch providing a glaring lack of banter material for Twitter and the match thread, an unexpected source stepped up and delivered. Rather, it flew in and delivered.

The Pigeon demonstrated its tactical flexibility throughout the match. It spent most of the first half hugging the touchline at right-back, doing a good job prevent Wolfsburg from having too much space and denying them cutting runs along the flank. After about 30 minutes, recognizing the need for change, the Pigeon shifted into the center half of the backline, keeping Wolfsburg from establishing any aerial presence in the 18-yard box. By the time the second half had started, the Pigeon was fatigued and was subbed off, instead moving near the touchline, chirping orders to BVB players.

In the midst of all this drama there was, believe it or not, a soccer game going on between VFL Wolfsburg and Borussia Dortmund. It was a game that featured passes, tackles, and on the rarest of occasions, actual shot attempts! BVB, at various points, scuffed free kicks, scuffed shots from point-blank range, scuffed passes, subbed Hakimi on, subbed Hakimi off, and played three different players at left back, despite only one of them being an actual left back (and despite having a left back on the bench). I hope I’ve successfully conveyed the absurdity of this game.

Anyway, with the game winding down and Bayern looking like they’re going to drop two points to Freiburg, this looks like another wasted opportunity for BVB. And frankly, a waste of a rather nice morning on the Eastern seaboard.

Author’s Note: The following was written after Paco’s stoppage-time winner and subsequent brace.


It took ninety-one minutes, but something of note actually happened! On BVB’s third attempt at a direct free kick from 28 yards slightly to the keeper’s right side, Paco Alcacer snuck one through the wall and beat Koen Casteels to put Dortmund up by 1! A goal, an actual goal! It was right at Casteels, but he couldn’t keep it out, because of course he couldn’t, why would this game end with a keeper making an easy save!

Paco would go on to score again moments later on a blistering counterattack sparked by Jadon Sancho. That’s right, after looking like a sleeping gazelle at the zoo for 90 minutes, BVB pulled two goals out of nowhere and escaped with what looks like, at least on paper, a convincing 2-0 victory.

Man of the Match:

Anything else I forgot to cover?




Oh, yeah, we’re top of the table again. I have many things I’d like to say about this, but I don’t think anything would summarize my feelings better than this: