Rock bottom Darmstadt shock fourth-place Borussia Dortmund to earn only their third win of the season.
Borussia Dortmund’s defensive frailties were identified once again as Darmstadt earned a merited and valuable three points in their fight against relegation.
The hosts nearly went ahead in the opening 10 minutes but Rosenthal struck a close-range effort onto the outside of the near post.
Darmstadt took the lead on 21 minutes via Terrence Boyd, who scored his first goal for the club. The American is a former member of the Borussia Dortmund B team and his former side gifted him with a free strike on goal to give the hosts the lead.
Dortmund’s rare glimpse of magic resulted in an equaliser on the brink of half-time. A supreme moment of craftsmanship and intricacy helped guide Guerrero into a promising position to slash his finish into the top corner.
Colak scored the decisive goal with 23 minutes remaining with a composed finish past Burki. Sidney Sam was a creative source during the match and assisted Colak to gift him with a simplistic finish.
Borussia Dortmund remain in fourth place for the time being, although this defeat opens up the opportunity for Hoffenheim and FC Koln to climb above them tomorrow. Darmstadt remain routed at the bottom of the table and are still seven points from safety, due to Hamburg’s surprising 3-0 win at RB Leipzig.
Dortmund’s gaping defence proving problematic
Borussia Dortmund boast the attacking talents of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marco Reus and Ousmanne Dembele. They also previously boasted an incredibly strong defensive partnership between Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic.
Unfortunately, the defence is proving extremely problematic and is leading to Dortmund’s current downfall. Only Bayern Munich have scored more goals this season but Dortmund have conceded the joint-most amount of goals compared to any team inside the top six.
Marc Bartra endured a torrid time against Real Madrid in their 2-2 draw in the group stages of the Champions League. This was the beginning of the issue, which has dropped Dortmund so many points this season.
This time round, Ginter and Sokratis formed the central defensive partnership against Darmstadt. This surely seems to either question the quality of players in the back line or the tactical ideas pursued by manager Thomas Tuchel.
They played an offside trap in the first 10 minutes, which led to Darmstadt’s first goal scoring opportunity. Sam was allowed to roam freely in the midfield and play a through ball in behind the static Dortmund defence. They were caught ball watching instead of marking their men and the visitors were fortunate due to Rosenthal’s incompetence in front of goal.
This wasn’t to last much longer when Terrence Boyd punished them for their defensive mistakes. Weigl lost out in a duo with Sam with a very weak challenge and Sam played a pivotal pass to Heller. He squared the ball to Boyd, who was left unchallenged and unmarked to send a deflected effort past Burki. The American was gifted the freedom of the penalty area, despite Borussia Dortmund having seven players inside the box.
The problems continued and were even clearer on Darmstadt’s second and decisive goal on 67 minutes. Dembele was shrugged off the ball by Altintop, who advanced and found Sam on the edge of the penalty area. Two players in yellow were attracted to Sam, awarding Colak with space in behind, which subsequently led to their winning goal.
Mats Hummels has left a gaping hole in Dortmund’s back line and they are also craving another leader. Sokratis, Ginter and Bartra are all unable to fill this role, which suggests they need to invest in a domineering and composed centre-back.