Friday 30 March 2012.
We had the opportunity to witness a great game of football last Friday, the kind that makes us love this sport. An alternating game that took swung different ways, which could have been won by either team and finished with a share of the points and goals. Eight goals in total, four per side, and so many chances to win or lose a game full of events. So if you want, let's try to clear our heads and debate what happened.
Borussia Dortmund have had an impressive streak at home and was at the top of the table, which is still the case, and were five points clear of Bayern Munich. But they had to win to stay ahead with a massive game to be played on Wednesday the 11th April. However, despite their dominance in almost every facet of the game during the first half, the clash ended with a result that might be a surprise. And not just because of the number of goals scored by the two teams, but also because of the fact that these eight goals were shared equally and the match ended in a 4-all draw.
It was obvious for all of us to see that Borussia Dortmund could have scored two or three goals in the first half and Stuttgart, who barely reached the opposition goalmouth, only had one chance that Schieber put over the bar and a controversial incident that could have resulted in a penalty and the sending off of the goalkeeper or a yellow card for striker Ibisevic of Stuttgart. The dominance and chances in the first half were for the home team, who were much better than their opponents, as we sai, in almost everything.
The match started with a lot of direct play and pressing by Borussia, with a corner and a shot from outside the area by Kagawa, all for the home team.
Then there came massive pressure, with more shots on goal and scoring chances in the opening minutes, with many players attacking if they regained the ball and they were able to counterattack with variety in their attacking game.
Lewandowski usually flicks on long balls with his head for his team mates in the second-line to win the second balls. The centre backs can play passes to the striker or second striker who plays back to the midfielders supporting or Subotic can accurately use a long switch of play. When they lose the ball, they press with many players and regain the ball quickly.
The wide players go inside to make room for the full backs to overlap. This is how they got the first goal, as we can see in the animation. A Schmelzer cross, received by Gündogan, and headed lay-off by Kehl that Kagawa finished after he had started the play with a good switch of play.
A shot against the post, a ball kicked off the line and other dangerous shots were not enough for Borussia Dortmund to get the coveted second goal.
The second half began in the same vein as the first had ended. A Dortmund chance with a shot against the post by the full back, Piszczek.
A little later, Kuba, also arriving at the back post, scored the second and at 2-0 on the scoreboard and everything going in their favour, it seemed that the match could not get away from Borussia.
On the other hand, Stuttgart had to attack and the home team mounted some dangerous counterattacks but without any success.
Kvist issued a warning of the visitors' intentions with a shot against the post after 62 minutes and, then after a chance for Kuba and Dortmund, came the first Stuttgart goal. A long ball, a lay-off in the area and a good shot making it 2-1 after 70 minutes.
Six minutes later, another long ball and the two centre backs jumping for the same ball that the striker won, and the second ball won by Schieber who made it 2-2.
Two minutes later, in the 78th minute, lost possession in midfield and Schieber runs in to space behind the full back and it was 2-3 on the scoreboard.Dortmund increased the pressure to try to equalise and a regain of a ball, again in midfield also allowed Hummels to score with a shot from outside the box and tie the game in the 81st minute.
The game was swinging both ways and the home team continued pressing, but nerves were appearing in Borussia's defence, who nevertheless managed to make it 4-3 through Perisic, who had come off the bench to excellently finish from a corner.
From then until the end of the match, Borussia had reasonable control. They took a couple of short corners in the final minutes to waste time, however, they could not prevent the equalizer. A misunderstanding between Hummels and Schmelzer allowed Gentner to tie the match and this leaves an exciting top of the table Bundesliga clash with the upcoming game against Bayern Munich on April 11. Great for football.