Fans flee during humiliation: Angry BVB disappears into the possible after the debacle

Fans flee during humiliation
Angry BVB disappears into the possible after debacle

By Stephan Uersfeld

BVB goes to Munich with high hopes and goes under. This time keeper Gregor Kobel conjures up a goal of the century and lets his team break up. Hardly anyone takes notice of this duel on the edge of the slapstick. Everything revolves around FCB. But who is laughing in the end?

The first fans had had enough after 45 minutes. Ominous triads: “Yabadabadoo!”, cancan, light show. “Star of the South”, “BVB, Sons of a Bitch” and “Super Bayern”. Always these ultimate humiliations. Again no shot in the heart of Bayern, like Nuri Şahin back in February 2011. Instead, mocked and gambled everything away within just ten minutes. Because the world-class keeper Gregor Kobel would not even have kept the box of a district league C club clean that day. Because he couldn’t hit the ball with his foot because he didn’t have the courage to pick it up with his hand a little further back. Stadium announcer Stephan Lehmann laughed with all his heart. He, who already had so much to celebrate, had never seen that before.

In fact, everything was the same as always. The obligatory bankruptcies in the classic only differ in the type of downfall. So this time goalkeeping blunders, loss of control, a whole bunch of alibi runs, more useless possession and a staggering level of passivity. Between the 13th and 23rd minutes, FC Bayern had straightened the balance of power in German football and dispelled all doubts about the coming champions. They put three goals in the net for Borussia. Had BVB put itself in the network. Because this time the Dortmunders had decided in the form of Kobel for the stupidest possible way of a first goal. Nine league defeats in a row. It’ll soon be in double digits.

With the 2: 4 (0: 3) there are now 37 goals that BVB conceded during this monumental bankruptcy series in Munich. The first goal on Saturday, initiated by a long shot by Dayot Upamecano on April 1, 2023, was by far the most absurd. “We didn’t imagine going behind like that,” commented coach Edin Terzić. Nobody had imagined that. It was a goal like a programming error in a football simulation.

Emre Can with tough analysis

But no one was angry with the Swiss. The players threw themselves in front of him after the game and protected him. Because they will still need him. “Greg has saved our ass so many times this season, so we can’t be mad at him,” Emre Can said after the game. The international was devastated. Borussia finally wanted to win. Just once. In Munich. But it shouldn’t be. Kobel stepped next to the ball and BVB broke up.

What was good for so long was gone: the self-confidence, the self-image, controlling the opponent and the compactness. The stars of Borussia did their thing. Sometimes Jude Bellingham ran, sometimes Can tried something and the rest of the offensive was hanging in the air somewhere. They no longer fought duels, they no longer moved. They gave away the balls during construction. And Bayern scored because Julian Brandt slept after a corner at the far post. And because Julian Ryerson only saw a motionless mass of BVB players before Munich made it 3-0 and brought the ball to the opponent.

“That must not happen,” said Can: “Especially not here in Munich.” Bayern, meanwhile, mostly made themselves comfortable with Thomas Müller in the gaping gaps in the gaps and in the stands Bayern supporters taunted Dortmund. They sang the songs from the Dortmund championship that they would have loved to sing on the other side. But as always when BVB is a guest in Munich, the only thing left for the Black and Yellows high up in the Allianz Arena was chants of defiance.

BVB breaks up, FC Bayern argues

But something was different on this evening, which was so fatal for BVB. The table lead was given away, allowing Bayern to pull away again. So all gone. But it wasn’t the Dortmund team that fell apart after the game, it was the winners. Although they were able to regain sovereignty over their sporting future, off the pitch the nitpicking continued. Oliver Kahn had to take on the world again. Lothar Matthäus and the management of the fired coach Julian Nagelsmann raised new credibility issues and Borussia licked blood.

“It was a bitter day. It hurts,” said sporting director Sebastian Kehl, yet he was combative: “We are very disappointed, but the championship wasn’t decided today.” That was different. BVB was not on the ground. He was angry at his own stupidity, at the loss of control and trust. Because Borussia started the game with the confidence of 28 points from ten games. They pressed the nervous Bayern high, ran to goalkeeper Yann Sommer and created a good chance. Everything seemed easy. But even in this phase, which was later praised as “a good ten minutes”, everything was planned that allowed Borussia to run into the annual misfortune in Munich.

Because even before the first, ultimately fatal goal, the actions lacked sharpness. When they had freed themselves on the left, Raphael Guerreiro did not put the ball in the path of Marco Reus, who started into the penalty area, but in the back. And then the goal. It followed the pattern of Bayern, who repeatedly sent Leroy Sané into a duel against the completely overwhelmed Julian Ryerson in order to gain control. Upamecano was also looking for the international, but things turned out differently. Borussia lived dangerously from the start without them seeming to suspect it. When it fell apart, it was too late.

Dortmund only within the scope of the possibilities

But something was different. Nobody was interested in those who came to Munich just to lose again. Everyone looked at Thomas Tuchel, the savior of Bavaria, and everyone stared spellbound at the Munich kindergarten dispute. BVB was just a pitiful accessory. He just hadn’t managed to do the impossible again.

A similar thing had happened to them in the away game at Chelsea. Only this season of learning is not the topic of Borussia, in which nobody seriously believed anyway. However, their fickleness is predictable in 2023. She only appears in the biggest games so far. In the Champions League, in the derby and in Munich. BVB 2023 makes the possible possible, the impossible remains unattainable. So in the end the door to the greatest impossibility opens – the door to mastery.

Borussia are still represented in two competitions, have to compete in the cup with the stumbling Leipzigers on Wednesday and then expect Union Berlin. These are games that BVB can and of course have to win in 2023. Very different from this game in Munich, which is traditionally lost and in which Borussia keeps coming up with new ways. The once clattering giant need not fear this humiliation in the Allianz Arena. They stay on track after the Disaster achievement.

Just as Bayern only had to lie in wait for Borussia’s mistakes, the double winner from 2012 remains somewhere in the wide field and is waiting for what cannot be ruled out in Munich, even under the savior Tuchel: the boredom of the series winner who is outside of the pitch gets into turbulence again and again and not in the top games on the pitch, but otherwise keeps losing focus. The Bundesliga still has its title race. Even if the Dortmund fans, who fled at half-time, didn’t want to believe it.

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