After two poor performances to start Borussia Dortmund’s Bundesliga campaign, and the final touches on what may have been the worst transfer window many of us have witnessed as fans, the team needed to give everyone at the club something to cheer about last night. Although the first half was promising, BVB ultimately failed to do that, instead managing to give away a two-goal lead and give newly promoted Heidenheim their first point in the Bundesliga.
Two early goals from Julian Brandt and Emre Can set things off in the right direction, but Dortmund were wasteful with chances and failed to make the most of a pretty strong spell in the first half. Heidenheim, to their credit, came out strong in the second half, and Eren Dinkçi volleyed home Heidenheim’s first on the hour mark. Heidenheim piled on the pressure from that point, and it seemed obvious to all watching that a second was coming. The 2. Bundesliga champions scored their second after a calamitous piece of play from Sebastien Haller leading to a Heidenheim penalty, which was converted by Tim Kleindienst. Everything about the incident leading to the penalty was a mess, including the officiating, but I believe it was the right call in the end. I’m not entirely sure what was going on though, so you can try and make sense of it yourself from the highlights.
Dortmund are still technically undefeated, but the performances to start the season, against three of the weaker teams in the league, are extremely concerning. Coupled with a disastrous summer transfer window, it’s hard not to conclude that BVB have taken a significant step back. Unless there’s a significant turnaround, Terzic’s days are numbered.
Here are our ratings from BVB’s 2-2 draw with Heidenheim on Friday:
I’m afraid that Kobel will leave us if this continues. Though if it does continue, he should definitely leave — he deserves better.
Kobel made four saves and there was little he could do about the two goals.
I actually quite liked Bensebaini, and I think it suited him to be an offensive presence as well. Had a few good cutbacks and wasn’t too shabby in buildup either. His passing needs a bit of work, but this was overall a good performance from him.
‘Big Fridge’ made several quality tackles to help ensure this game didn't become a complete embarrassment.
Very poor pass on the Heidenheim goal, and otherwise was not great. Wolf has not had a good start to the season, and I really don’t think he’s up to the task of being Dortmund’s starting right back.
An absolute stinker for the first goal, and sadly, this was the trend for Wolf yesterday. Despite the fact that Heidenheim let him have the ball with acres of space to run into, he didn’t assert himself in the offense whatsoever. He also gave the ball away cheaply, multiple times, during extra time. Erratic is the first word that springs to mind. Sorry Marius, but you didn’t unleash any part of your surname yesterday.
We can’t fault our captain for yesterday’s loss. Friday’s Emre reminded me much more of the player we saw in Die Hindrunde last season. Good for him — and for us.
Emre Can was finally looking decent again, after his poor performances in the previous two matches.
I thought yesterday’s performance was a lot better from Sabitzer, who has struggled in the first two games of the season. He was a lot more incisive in possession.
8 is too much, and I thought he was better than Brandt, so 7.5 it is. This is the Sabitzer I expected, getting into both boxes for shots at goal and clearances. One of our few ball progressors on Friday as well. Long may it continue.
While I thought Brandt was one of the better players on the pitch, he was much quieter once pushed out wide. I’m not sure why we keep doing this.
One of our only players showing real creativity, but as soon as Nmecha came in and Brandt was forced on to the wing, he lost the space where he typically thrives.
He can sprint, sure, but he didn't offer much of anything else.
Malen could (should) have done better with some of his chances, though I appreciate that he kept getting into space for those chances. If Malen had been a little more ruthless with his finishing, Dortmund might have come away with the win. But getting the shots is half the battle, and while the end result wasn’t good enough, I think Malen has been one of the few bright sparks in this team, so far this season.
Of the front three, Malen was by far the most dangerous. He tried and tried, and in the end, he missed a couple of very big chances and gave the ball away 100 times during the 12 minutes of extra time.
Donny has reverted to last season’s Hindrude form, by only shooting directly at the keeper.
... It was not Haller’s night. He really struggled. He has struggled all season so far, really, but none more so than against Heidenheim.
I don’t think the Füllkrug transfer was really necessary, but he will put pressure on Haller to improve.
If a one were ever to be an obtainable score, I think Haller did a pretty good job at getting himself one (no pun intended). He got dispossessed in buildup on more than one occasion, he robbed Malen of a big chance, and he committed the dumbest penalty kick I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I really like Seb, but this was... Atrocious.
Haller, at times, actively made the team worse. He blocked an opportunity for Malen, and the penalty, strange as it may be, was inexcusable. Debate VAR all you want, he put his hand on a player’s neck in our own box. That’s just reckless. It’s not good when your team’s starting striker doesn't register a single shot.
Nmecha didn’t offer a whole lot when he came on, and his substitution forced Brandt out wide. I guess that’s not technically his fault, but here we are. He had a decent effort that hit the bar, but otherwise I don’t think Nmecha had enough of an impact on the game to justify nullifying Brandt.
Nmecha was bad, but it’s even worse when he automatically spawns Wide Brandt just by being subbed in. His shot in the last minute was a very difficult one, so I’ll forgive him for that. Almost kept it down though.
You get what you pay for... wait, what?
Well, I don’t really know how to score this one... Dortmund were pretty solid in the first half, but Heidenheim got back into it really well in the second half (and credit to them, to be fair). But on balance? It just wasn’t anywhere near good enough.
If BVB don’t improve soon, Terzic will be out of a job. That would be a little harsh if he wasn’t responsible for the woeful transfer window as well, but all reports indicate that he was, so has shortened his own leash.
Man... I’m usually pretty optimistic about basically anything, but you just can’t let a team that has never played in the Bundesliga take points off you at home. Especially as a top team like Borussia Dortmund, having gone two goals in front. BVB set themselves up perfectly for victory by scoring early, and they went and fucked it. Eerily similar to the transfer window we’ve just had. Sorry for being angry guys. I’ll be better next time.
There were very promising signs in this game, especially in the opening minutes, and BVB were rewarded with two goals. I think this Sabitzer-Can-Brandt midfield shows a lot of potential, but that's also where the positives of this match end. Heidenheim looked to be the stronger team in the second half of this game — they WERE the stronger team in the second half.
What’s the strategy right now? I think we might need a change of system? Dropping a two-goal lead at home to a team that has never won a Bundesliga game in their history is inexcusable. On paper, this should have been one of the easiest games of the season but so much went wrong and Dortmund earn the single point they deserve.
On a scale of 1-10, how worried are you over Dortmund’s start to the season? And what do they need to do to turn it around?