Borussia Dortmund beat Fortuna Düsseldorf 5-0 on Saturday. Here is what coaches Lucien Favre and Friedhelm Funkel said after the game.
Funkel: “Sadly, we could only stick to our plan in the first half. We played really well in the first 45 minutes when we were well-organised and showed a good defensive performance. We only had one or two opportunities going forward but we knew that chances would be scarce today.”
“In the second half, very little was left of that. I guess, the 2-0 was the key moment [for us falling apart]. It was a situation where we were on the front foot and then lost the ball. [Dortmund] made sure to use their advantage in pace against us. It was a well-crafted goal on the transition — exactly what we wanted to avoid. They managed to do the same for the fourth and fifth goal where we just didn’t defend resolute enough. We gave them way too much space. When Dortmund have space, we all know what they are able to do with their speed and their technical abilities. We were simply bad in the second half. Congrats and all the best to Lucien.”
Favre: “In the first half, both teams played very well. It was tough to create clear-cut scoring opportunities against Düsseldorf. We had three clear chances in the first half and, luckily, we scored the 1-0 before the break. In between, Düsseldorf had a few moments that maybe weren’t 100 per cent dangerous but somewhat dangerous on the counter.”
“Overall, they defended very cleverly. In the second half, we wanted to score the 2-0, which we did. Afterwards, the game became more open because [Düsseldorf] played more on the front foot. We found the gaps to score the goals. I must say that we played very well in terms of build-up play and forcing turnovers.”
Borussia’s team captain severely struggled to find his form this season, playing far below his capabilities even when he put himself on the scoresheet. On Saturday, however, the 30-year-old scored a brace and picked up an assist with his best performance of the season while leading the line upfront.
“It’s hard to speak about a player in particular straight after the game,” Favre said after being asked about Reus’ rough patch, adding: “But he played very well today. He accelerated with the ball on his feet, he was very present. It’s very important for everyone. We all know that Marco Reus is very important for the team. He, like every player in the world, can’t play at his best form for every single day.”
Football isn’t everything
The Swiss coach was asked about the reason’s for the strong performance and whether it was just down to his front-four performing on a higher level.
“We always want to play football. Our first priority is always to destabilise the opponent with football but nowadays you also need a good pressing. Winning the ball has become very important. Overall, we did that very well today,” Favre said, adding that winning away to Hertha Berlin while being down to 10 men last week was very important in the context of Saturday’s performance.
If there is one significant change starting with BVB’s 2-1 win at Hertha Berlin, it is the formation change to a back-three featuring Dan-Axel Zagadou and the decision to move Julian Brandt to the defensive midfield.
The Dortmund coach was asked for the reasons why he opted to change up Dortmund’s system and what the advantages of that system are.
Without revealing too much of his thought process, Favre said: “Switching to a 3-4-3 was intuition for me. We realised against Berlin that this worked very well and we stuck by it. Today, we played 90 minutes in the 3-4-3 but in Berlin, we switched to a 4-4-1 at halftime. But that doesn’t mean that we’ll continue to play like that.”