Markus Gisdol had made a firm resolution in case the small miracle actually became a reality. The coach of 1. FC Köln wanted to go into the dressing room immediately if his team won at Borussia Dortmund, apparently after long weeks of criticism he wanted to avoid images of triumph. In the end his own fitness had been questioned louder and louder, but when “the battle” he spoke of a little later was finally won, he forgot all resolutions and rules of distance. With a wildly contorted face, he cheered the first Cologne victory in Dortmund since 1991 and even more important: With this 2-1 victory in the Revier, the fabulous series of 18 Bundesliga games not won for his club came to an end. Finally!
So Gisdol reported full of pathos about the “self-sacrificing work” that was being done in his club. He was part of a “conspiratorial bunch”, it was finally clear “that despite this filthy virus we are not cursed, but can win games,” he blurted out. You have found the reset button and now hope to have finally arrived in this special Bundesliga season. “That must now be the direction for the next few weeks,” said Timo Horn after Ellyes Skhiri had scored twice in an almost identical way from corners. “The way the guys got involved today against an actually overpowering opponent was sensational,” said the goalkeeper. The defender Sava Cestic had played for the first time in the Bundesliga and had Erling Haaland well under control. And last but not least, the people of Cologne were lucky that BVB had caught one of those dark days that are somehow an integral part of these changeable Dortmund years under coach Lucien Favre.
“There are afternoons like that,” said Favre with fatalism. He had foreseen it, had issued warnings, but had not been heard by his team, who had recently looked so stable. The pattern of this defeat is well known to them: the opponent was well organized, ran a lot, was low, and the skills of the individualists in black and yellow, celebrated as magic on good days, remained pale. So Favre once again formulated sentences that were almost word for word even after the game at FC Augsburg. Or after the defeats at Union Berlin or in Mainz last season: “We have lost our patience a little,” said the Swiss. “We played rushed sometimes. And we should also play at a faster pace, I’m talking about passes. “
These relapses into a puzzling state of lack of energy are still an integral part of the nature of this team, although there are two promising solutions in the current season. The individual quality in the offensive, which is basically able to steer tough games in the desired direction through special individual moments. And the breadth of the squad. But that afternoon Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus, Julian Brandt and Erling Haaland all remained harmless.
However, Favre himself often falls into the same coaching pattern on these BVB lifeless days and waits a surprisingly long time before making his substitutions. When fresh attackers came into play, BVB immediately became more dangerous. Thorgan Hazard, who scored 1: 2 (74th), came after an hour, Youssoufa Moukoko and Giovanni Reyna after 67 minutes, which was clearly good for the team. But the rebellion came too late, maybe also because the energies from the audience were missing, which otherwise so often help BVB to score goals in the final minutes.
Now Dortmund were annoyed about the points they gave away, especially since the two goals conceded were similar in a bizarre way. Ondrej Duda had hit a corner from the left into the penalty area, Marius Wolf had extended both balls at the near post with his head before Skhiri completed the back post from close range (9th, 60th). Dortmund midfielder Julian Brandt was responsible for securing the short post, who played particularly weakly in a team without ideas.