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Captain Emre Can conceded the first goal


Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Total failure with announcement:

Borussia Dortmund went into the second half with a 2-1 lead against TSG Hoffenheim.

A top team would have managed the lead calmly and played with concentration on the third goal.

However, BVB is not a top team.

After the break, inaccuracies crept in again, passes were played too short or even into the back.

You could watch as Hoffenheim gained confidence.

And the game.

The result:

TSG won 3:2 (1:2) in the Westfalenstadion and celebrated their first success since mid-December.

This means Hoffenheim climbs to seventh place, while BVB remains in fourth place for the time being.

Dortmund's emotional situation:

BVB was unbeaten in 2024 - but even before the third home defeat of the season, there was no peace in this club, in this team.

The playful deficiencies were too great for that.

Before the game, coach Edin Terzić criticized his veterans Mats Hummels and Emre Can.

For Hummels, it's not just about describing problems like in the Champions League game against Eindhoven (1-1), he also has to work on solutions.

And Terzić demanded that Can take more action as captain and lead the way.

Now a gastrointestinal virus in Hummels' house meant that he had to sit on the bench and Can therefore help out as a central defender.

No, he can't:

This change also ensured that Julian Brandt moved into the central midfield as Can's representative alongside Marcel Sabitzer.

That's where Borussia's biggest problem has been in recent weeks.

But before Brandt could show with good running routes and direct passing that he should play in this position more often, BVB was already behind.

Right in the middle of the creation: Emre Can.

The 30-year-old international wanted to build up the game, but his pass to Schlotterbeck fell far too short.

Ilhas Bebou intervened, ran a few meters and gave substitute goalkeeper Alexander Meyer no chance with a well-placed shot from a tight angle (2nd minute).

It is such lack of concentration that drives every Bundesliga coach to despair.

Painting with numbers:

When Jadon Sancho was loaned out during the winter break, there were rumors at BVB that Donyell Malen could leave the club instead.

The Dutchman once cost 30 million euros, but Malen had not been able to convince him over a longer period of time.

That has changed, the winger has been one of the best players for weeks.

And so it was no surprise that Malen ran in with force after a corner from Brandt and a header from Marco Reus and scored from close range to make it 1-1 (21st).

It is Malen's tenth goal of the season, his best since he was in Dortmund.

Muscle play:

Niclas Füllkrug has been celebrating his goals with flexed biceps for weeks.

It's a greeting to teammate Nico Schlotterbeck, who celebrates his rare goals with the same gesture.

Now it was the defender's turn again, Schlotterbeck powerfully headed in a Reus free kick from the right side.

People cheered with double biceps.

Baier's double strike:

"In the second half we bring Hoffenheim into the game," said Brandt after the final whistle.

Although it affects the entire team, Muscle Man Füllkrug was specifically involved twice.

After the striker lost the ball, BVB ran into a counterattack, which Maximilian Beier took advantage of with a deflected shot from the edge of the penalty area (61').

Only three minutes later Füllkrug was unable to secure a pass in midfield, the next ball loss fell to Anton Stach, who entered the penalty area freely and found Beier, who was also free, in the middle (64').

Four minutes, two goals conceded, BVB's frustration was enormous.

“It was completely our own fault today,” said Terzić.

Dortmund and the penalties:

After the draw in Eindhoven, club advisor Matthias Sammer complained about various bad decisions against BVB in international games.

A tackle from Hummels against PSV was assessed as a foul, and Hummels then spoke of a zero percent penalty.

The discussions are likely to continue, this time BVB wanted their own penalty when Florian Grillitsch took a shot on the arm from Sabitzer (82').

Dazn expert Sami Khedira argued for a penalty, but referee Marco Fritz stuck to his original decision after a brief exchange with video assistant Pascal Müller.


There are now crucial weeks ahead for BVB and it is doubtful that this team will be able to defend their secure Champions League place.

Brandt was asked why these misfires keep happening.

“We all want to play football,” said the 27-year-old.

»None of us like long wood.

But it's a stylistic device that you can use from time to time, even at Borussia Dortmund. The next match day we're going to Union Berlin.