Borussia Dortmund’s struggles during defensive transitions continue
Over the years, Borussia Dortmund have become known for their high-press, possession-based attacking football, as it has been the club’s motto for many years now. However, this brand of football has now been replaced with a more pragmatic approach.
This approach requires cohesive defending and smart positioning in order to win the ball back, as we saw against Newcastle. Defensive transitions are also pivotal, especially to avoid gaps in the backline and create counter-attacking opportunities.
But that was missing against Stuttgart, as Borussia Dortmund kept losing the ball quickly with many players finding themselves out of position. This meant that they weren’t able to recover quickly enough, allowing Stuttgart to have a free run in the final third.
Stuttgart created many scoring chances by exploiting Borussia Dortmund’s lack of disciplined defending. Whether it was tired legs and minds after playing three English weeks in a row, or if the players were simply overpowered or overwhelmed, but BVB were a level below their opponents on Saturday right from the first whistle.
The prime example of this pattern was Gregor Kobel’s foul for the second penalty. Before the penalty was given, Nico Schlotterbeck missed a pass in the middle of the pitch. With the turnover in possession, Borussia Dortmund’s defensive line had more gaps than players to cover due to improper positioning, which meant that Kobel had to commit the foul and give away the penalty.