After consecutive positive, dominating performances, Borussia Dortmund stumbled to a 2-2 draw on the road against Eintracht Frankfurt. Dortmund didn’t look like the better team for most of today, and in fact before each goal Frankfurt looked like the team that was battling for a Bundesliga title. With Bayern and Leipzig both winning yesterday, this draw puts Dortmund third in the table.
Dortmund pulled ahead in the 11th minute off the boot of Axel Witsel. Achraf Hakimi received a long pass down the right side off a counter-attack and he crossed it back to Sancho for a shot right at the Frankfurt keeper Kevin Trapp. Trapp punched the ball away to deny Marco Reus a header at the back corner, and the ball fell to Thorgan Hazard, and the winger found Witsel charging through the middle and the afroed midfielder slotted it home.
After that goal, however, Frankfurt found their footing and took the game to Dortmund. They (Dortmund) didn’t look like a team that just drew Barcelona on Tuesday or the same team that demolished Leverkusen last Saturday. AC Milan loanee André Silva punished Dortmund for looking flat with the equalizing goal in the 43rd minute. Frankfurt attacked down the far side of the pitch, and a few lucky deflections saw the ball fall to Djibril Sow, and the Swiss midfielder crossed the ball to an unmarked Silva and he buried it top left for the goal. It was an incredibly poor performance from the defense, capped off by both centerbacks failing to properly mark Silva and there was nothing Roman Bürki could’ve done to stop that rocket at close range.
Dortmund continued to look not great throughout the rest of the match, although they started to come back to life down the stretch of the second half. After Paco Alcácer was fouled at near the top of the box, Raphaël Guerreiro powerful a free kick on goal that was parried away by Trapp. Witsel was close by and flicked a ball towards the far post for Jadon Sancho to finish off for the goal in the 66th minute. Witsel made this play with his quick reaction and knowing exactly where Sancho was going to be at the far post.
With the clock winding down and Lucien Favre making subs to try and keep the lead, Dortmund reverted back to how they looked in the first half before Frankfurt equalized. They were sloppy, timid, and it bit them in the ass when Thomas Delaney cleared a cross into Dortmund’s net for an own goal in the 88th minute. Frankfurt maintained possession in the dying moments of the second half as Dortmund couldn’t clear the ball away, and eventually a pass made its way to Timmy Chandler. He sent in an uncontested, floated cross to the far post that was sent back across the goal to Daichi Kamada, who took a shot (I think) on goal that Delaney stabbed at in an attempted clearance and the ball went into the net. It’s up for debate whether Bürki would’ve stopped the shot had Delaney not gotten a foot to it, but it was the perfect ending to an overall uneven day for BVB.
- Witsel the unquestionable MOTM. He was immense at both sides of the pitch, and he’s already equaled his assist tally from last season.
- Reus needs a rest. He didn’t look as influential today (several of his shots had no oomph behind them and he didn’t contribute to the offense for much of the first half) and he needs to take a seat and rest or else he could injure himself. I’d like to see Julian Brandt or Mario Götze take his spot for at least a game.
- Speaking of Götze, he finally made his season debut as he substituted for Alcácer in the second half. Why he hasn’t seen much time this year escapes me, but he looked lively today and hopefully he sees the field more going forward.
- Delaney… just… sigh. He turned back into a pumpkin today after looking stellar against Leverkusen and Barcelona. Signing a better defensive central midfielder in January might have to happen because Delaney and Weigl have both looked questionable to bad this season.
We’re on to Bremen.