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Match Observations: We’re Back Baby! BVB Beat 1860 Munich 3-0 in the DFB-Pokal

Donyell Malen leads Borussia Dortmund to their first win of the season

TSV 1860 München v Borussia Dortmund - DFB Cup: First Round Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images

I just want to dedicate this first “observation” to just show my appreciation for Borussia Dortmund and this community. I would not volunteer to be a writer for any community, and it’s because of Fear The Wall in particular that I decided to take part in both nourishing and growing this community into something even better - for lurkers, commenters and writers alike!

To be able to follow this team year after year. To be a part of this fanbase year after year. It’s really amazing, and I would not swap it for anything! And with competitive games back on the schedule for our beloved team, I could not be more excited for this new season! We’ve been through a major reconstruction in basically the whole sporting department (staff and players), and media talk, statistics and opinions aside, I’m just happy that football is officially back.

Oh, and also - if you don’t recognize my name, my username was Anive on both FTW and Discord up until now. Now - onto the game-related stuff!

The Donyell Malen Resurgence

I don’t know about you guys, but I almost forgot that we paid 30 million euros for a certain Dutch player last season. Malen had a first season to forget for the Black and Yellows, but today he barely set a foot wrong.

In the 8th minute he drifted into the box from the left and beat Marco Hiller at his near post. He also played an integral part in the second goal after linking up with Guerreiro and Reus on the right side and grabbing a hockey assist on a great team goal netted by our very own Jude Bellingham. He also played the final ball before Adeyemi secured a 3-0 lead with a mediocre finish that Marco Hiller honestly should have saved.

His second half wasn’t as active, but he seemed very comfortable until he was subbed off for JBG in the 65th minute. If our Dutchman can continue this run of form for a good part of the season, we’re in for something really exciting!

Who Needs a Striker?

Well to be fair - we do need a number 9 to fill in for Haller. Or do we? Today it seemed as if every player on the field was capable of scoring a goal. The team as a whole registered 24 goal attempts, and although we played a 3rd division side, the team looked dangerous on many occasions and found multiple ways to unlock the opposition’s defense.

Basically every offensive player in the starting XI had one or more chances to grab a goal, and both Meunier and Dahoud registered some fine attempts from distance. Malen, Adeyemi and Reus have all produced double digits in terms of goals before, and if they can find the rhythm with some additional goals from our midfield and defense, Kehl will certainly have to think about whether spending money on a temporary replacement for Sebastien Haller is really worth it.

Is This What it Feels Like to Have a Decent Defense?

Niklas Süle appeared to be subbed off with a small knock at halftime, and hopefully it’s just more of a precaution than anything else. He slotted into the central defense with “Schlotti” for the starting lineup, and I must say, I was pretty pleased with what I saw, and the chemistry between the two German internationals seemed intact.

There was some miscommunication here and there - especially with Kobel - but it is to be expected for players who are playing their very first competitive match for their new team. Süle looked comfortable on the ball as we’ve seen from his time at Bayern, and Nico Schlotterbeck produced some great recoveries and AWESOME sliding tackles… I mean, when did you last see someone make multiple clean sliding tackles like that?

With that said - let’s see how they fare against a Bundesliga opposition. I don’t like to take too much from this game, as we played a clearly inferior side, but you can clearly see the potential in both our new centerbacks, as they kept 1860 Munich from having even one decent chance for 90 minutes.