The DFB Pokal is exactly what a team like Borussia Dortmund needs when they’re going through a rough spell. A game against a lower league side gives the team a chance to get a much needed win, build confidence, and get back in the groove. Of course, these opportunities can fast turn into a nightmare if the lower league opponent comes out with intent, and the favorites fail to get a hold on the game. The DFB giveth and the DFB taketh away. Fortunately, BVB took the opportunity for a confidence boost and ran with it. It wasn’t an incredible performance, but a 2-0 victory and some valuable minutes for the likes of Dan-Axel Zagadou, Thomas Delaney, Marwin Hitz, and young debutant Steffen Tigges, is nothing to be sniffed at.
While Borussia struggled to create too many clear cut opportunities, they were pretty comfortable throughout the game, and Braunschweig didn’t produce many chances that really troubled Marwin Hitz. A first half goal for BVB’s (joint) second top goalscorer, Mats Hummels, gave the 2. Bundesliga side a hill to climb, and though they put in a good effort, they never really looked like they were going to get the equalizer. It took BVB until the 92nd minute to finish the game off though, when Jadon Sancho rounded the keeper for Borussia’s 2nd of the night and his 4th of the season. Sancho’s goal rounded off a solid performance. He has been plugging away in recent weeks, but a combination of bad luck and some struggles with form have held him back so far this season.
BVB didn’t go as far as rotating the entire starting 11, but they made quite a few changes. Guerreiro, Reyna, Hummels, and Sancho were the only players that stayed in the starting lineup from the weekend’s game against Union Berlin. Perhaps the most exciting part of the whole game was the debut for Borussia Dortmund II striker, Steffen Tigges. The 22-year old has had a good season for the reserves so far, scoring 12 and assisting 7 in 18 games, and a start for the first team was a big opportunity. I thought he did pretty well, and may have played his way into the first team rotation. I can’t see him getting many starts, certainly, but he looked capable enough of coming off the bench and being an alternative to Haaland and Moukoko.
So it wasn’t the kind of comprehensive victory fans were probably hoping for, but a win is a win, and there were one or two decent performances as well. Let us know who you thought was man of the match today, and whether someone else deserved to be nominated.
Who was your MOTM today?
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