Three takeaways from Borussia Dortmund's 2-1 loss to Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid v Borussia Dortmund: Quarter-final First Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
Atletico Madrid v Borussia Dortmund: Quarter-final First Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages
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Borussia Dortmund traveled to Atletico Madrid and lost 2-1 in the Champions League, but all is not lost just yet. Here are some key takeaways from the loss, and some optimism for next week.

Edin Terzic’s tactics are too predictable

Before this match started, I looked at Edin Terzic’s starting XI with some dismay. The first-half exemplified a reversion to Terzic’s nervous tactics.

This was a play-for-the-draw team, but far too many tactical errors were presented before kick-off. Emre Can plays at his best as a solitary, holding midfielder (as he did in the second-half), but he struggles when forced into the auxiliary centre-back role. Mats Hummels has shown he can still preform at the top level, but how can Terzic expect him to keep it up without any breaks?

Niklas Füllkrug has been in poor form, but more on that later. In this instance, Terzic was relying on Adeyemi’s speed on one wing and Sancho’s ball control on the other. But with Füllkrug’s poor positioning and Nmecha’s lack of impact, who could Adeyemi or Sancho pass to? I kept wondering where the goals would come from, as BVB struggled to get out of their own half. The biggest problem with parking the bus from the first whistle, is that one mistake can derail the entire game-plan. That happened in the fourth minute.

The second-half was much more positive and unpredictable. Julian Brandt replacing Felix Nmecha added some more bite and creativity to the midfield. Having Sabitzer move forward, allowing Emre Can to drift into his preferred position benefited both players and the team. Jamie Bynoe-Gittens brought everything to this match! Give that kid a start! Marco Reus became a threat as soon as he entered the pitch, and Sebastien Haller pulled back a much-needed goal to keep this tie alive.