Borussia Dortmund once again continued to struggle and dropped points, as they were held to a 2-2 draw against Hoffenheim. Dortmund took the lead, before falling behind, only for Erling Braut Haaland to snatch a late equaliser. Disappointment like this has become commonplace for Dortmund this season, this match provided a neat example for many of the reasons why.
Marco Rose, who will take the job at the end of the season, will have some task on his hands to prevent further Dortmund struggle.
Borussia Dortmund Continue to Drop Points
Dortmund Fall Foul of Goalkeeping Struggle
The life of a goalkeeper can be a rough one. The current form of Marwin Hitz typifies this. Currently, Dortmund’s first-choice keeper Roman Burki is on the treatment table. The result is that Dortmund are having to field a significantly weaker option and are, therefore, facing a struggle to maintain form.
The game against Hoffenheim was a masterclass in highlighting all the ways that a goalkeeper could struggle. The pinnacle of this came in Ihlas Bebou‘s goal. All game, Hitz had looked somewhat unconvincing when it came to commanding the box. Hitz was reluctant to come out to claim a cross and when he did venture out, did so in nervy fashion. So when he tried to punch a cross in the 51st minute it came as little surprise that he did so in the direction of a Hoffenheim player.
This is not to say that Burki is perfect, simply that the current option falls even shorter. The knock-on effect of a poor goalkeeper can become catastrophic. As well as instances such as this where direct errors are made, the long-term fear is that it bleeds into a distrust between goalkeeper and defence. A couple of fumbled crosses can very well spiral into a defender attempting to take matters into their own hands. Unless Hitz finds some form, this problem will not go away any time soon.
An Overreliance on Sancho and Haaland
Every team has its talisman. Dortmund, in fact, have two. Inherently there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. To say ‘Imagine Team X without Y’s goals’ is often a pointless exercise given that it is often an intentional tactic to optimise the output of a particular player. The problem Dortmund have is more that their other players are not contributing at all.
If you have two players capable of the top-level end product, you would expect the other outfield players to have impressive support numbers. A healthy dose of assists namely, maybe the odd goal. This is not happening for Borussia Dortmund.
Outside of Sancho and Haaland, no other Dortmund player has touched five goals in the Bundesliga. The two main culprits in this instance are Marco Reus and Julian Brandt. Brandt has only notched two goals and an assist, and Reus is goalless since December.
The result of this is a glaring vulnerability for Borussia Dortmund. If one of their dynamic duo is to suffer a lean patch or injury they would be hit particularly hard. It’s about time that other players start pulling their weight, otherwise Dortmund may find this poor form continuing.
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