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Borussia Dortmund after defeat against 1 FC Köln – Caught in extremes

Actually, Borussia Dortmund seemed to be on the right track, the defeat against Cologne came from nowhere. BVB’s problem is also with the established players – and their inability to draw.

At Borussia Dortmund they are once again puzzling. How could it come to a defeat against a potentially so much worse team? 1:2 against Cologne was one of those games under Lucien Favre that went in the wrong direction and in which Dortmund simply found no remedy. That was the way it had been on the second matchday in Augsburg, also on the seventh matchday against Bayern Munich. The difference: the bankruptcy against Augsburg was feared, the one against Bayern had been feared and expected.

The defeat against Cologne came out of nowhere after the strong performances of last week.

It’s not what a club like BVB strives for, but on Saturday they would have been at least halfway satisfied with a draw. But they can no longer draw in Dortmund, they are trapped in the extremes. Since the 3:3 draw against RB Leipzig on 17 December 2019, there have been 27 matches: win or lose. Early Saturday evening, neither sports director Michael Zorc, nor captain Marco Reus nor the experienced Mats Hummels helped solve the riddle. Instead, Felix Passlack was sent in front of the microphones.

The disguised playmaker was missingThe 22-year-old could hardly say that he was part of the problem. He was only indirectly, because Passlack played because Raphael Guerreiro was missing due to injury. The Portuguese has developed into a disguised playmaker on the outside in recent months. That is rare in football, perhaps that is why it has been so efficient in past games, pushing the Borussia players into the middle against Cologne. They lost the ball in the centre, dribbling, faith and sometimes even desire. Julian Brandt even lost himself in himself. The “super talent”, as Favre called him, is a constant mystery. He tried easy and difficult, risky and simple things He failed at almost everything

Why doesn’t the 24-year-old national player manage to play at least several weeks in a row at the top end of his game? Favre’s answer to that question was remarkable: “He’s looking for his right position in the system.” Reus is not yet convincing eitherGoldt’s 67 minutes of play without a goal or a goalscoring opportunity, 14 misses and only 27 per cent of his duels were won by Brandt. “He wasn’t top, but he wasn’t bad either,” Favre said somewhat surprisingly. The statistics at Reus were much better, especially his passes led to two big chances for Erling Haaland.

But also the captain was under the impression that he could do much better, and maybe the expectations of Brand, Reus and Co. have been set a bit too high. If Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland don’t perform at their best, BVB will be in big trouble even against a candidate for relegation.

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