Borussia Dortmund were completely dominated by Stuttgart’s pressing
Stuttgart’s pressing structure absolutely annulled any chances of Borussia Dortmund progressing the ball consistently during the whole match. They applied a high-intensity pressing system where the BVB back-line and the main articulators had basically no space to breathe.
As a consequence, Borussia Dortmund could not keep possession for long periods. Stuttgart always had numerical superiority in those lower areas and forced a lot of long balls from the Black and Yellows during the game.
At the same time, BVB did not react or adapt well to this high-press. Edin Terzic and his players even tried different approaches to the build-up play to break through Stuttgart’s strategy, including the single-pivot, double-pivot, and Salih Özcan supporting in a back-three.
However, these changes were ineffective as the home team continued to have the upper-hand. Things improved a bit early in the second-half as Gio Reyna and Marco Reus brought some dynamism and tempo to the Borussia Dortmund midfield. But that was short-lived, as Stuttgart regained their ascendancy and eventually got the winning goal their performance richly deserved.
As for Borussia Dortmund, solutions are desperately needed with several crunch games coming up after the international break. The pressure is already mounting and it will be interesting to see how those in charge react.