Borussia Dortmund’s old heads prevail
Marco Reus and Mats Hummels both turned back the clocks on Saturday, as they put in masterful displays to carry the team from the back and the front.
The cameras so far this season have often panned to Reus sat miserably on the bench, a place unfamiliar to a player who has epitomised the different reincarnations of Borussia Dortmund teams over the last decade.
It was a different story on Saturday, as the club legend was given a place in the starting XI – something fans had been crying out for. Even on form, it was hard to leave out a player who came off the bench to good effect in the last two games.
The victory is even sweeter when taking all that into account, as Reus gave the fans a much-needed morale boost with his winning goal. His overall numbers in the game were impressive too; completing 20/25 passes, creating 1 big chance and having 2/3 shots on target. Perhaps the most impressive statistic was that the former BVB captain made 5 recoveries, and he was everywhere on the pitch.
Hummels was the other veteran rolling back the years. The centre-back got an unlikely brace in the last outing and has generally impressed in spearheading a very thin BVB defence so far this season.
His talismanic attributes were not required against Wolfsburg. But instead his passing was strikingly good from the back. Hummels completed 92% of his passes and played one key pass. The 35 year old has stepped up this season despite his lack of pace and the lack of a mobile defensive midfielder in front of him.
It was a miserable midweek result, but one fact that got away during that loss was that Mats Hummels and Marco Reus make up two of the three players with the most Champions League appearances in Borussia Dortmund’s history (Lukasz Piszczek is the other).
If that isn’t an indication that the Black and Yellows can actively rely on the experience and performances of two modern greats even at the ages of 34, it would be remiss to not value it whilst they are still there.