Borussia Dortmund kicked off their 2023/24 Bundesliga campaign against FC Köln on Saturday with an uninspiring 1-0 win at Signal Iduna Park.
The Yellow Wall was glowing in anticipation for the start of the new season before the game as they sang out the rendition to ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ for the first time this campaign, but most fans will have left the home stadium with a sigh of relief thanks to Donyell Malen’s rather fortuitous winner in the 88th minute.
Borussia Dortmund came into this match after a fairly encouraging pre-season and a 6-1 win against Schott Mainz last weekend in the DFB-Pokal match. They were expected to control the match against a Köln side that is going into the new season without Jonas Hector for the first time in over a decade, after his retirement.
Instead, BVB found themselves second best in most aspects for the duration of the match, playing at an excruciatingly slow tempo. Let’s take a look at some of the key takeaways and thoughts from this match.