End of the winning streak, failure of a key player: The loss of Chelsea in the Champions League is frustrating for BVB – and is not good as an encouragement for the derby.
For club advisor Matthias Sammer it was a “tangible scandal”, for firebrand Emre Can “the referee’s fault” and for coach Edin Terzic “a very tough decision”.
The bitter knockout in the round of 16 of the soccer Champions League with much-discussed penalty decisions drove the good mood at Borussia Dortmund – of all things before the explosive Revierderby on Saturday at Schalke.
Even the day after, the anger was not yet to follow. The Dortmund pros boarded the plane in the dreary sleet from London with gloomy expressions and mourned the missed chance of reaching the quarter-finals. “A lot came together yesterday. All in all, I found it extremely hard. These things were emotional for us. It’s okay that you get upset about it afterwards,” said sports director Sebastian Kehl after landing in Dortmund.
Strong criticism of the referee Makkelie
For the 0: 2 (0: 1) at Chelsea after ten competitive wins in a row, the culprit from BVB’s point of view was quickly found. Can, in particular, got really excited after the final whistle. “We’re playing here at Stamford Bridge, maybe the referee is afraid of the fans, but then UEFA should send someone else,” complained the defensive all-rounder. No less annoyed, TV expert Sammer commented on the key scene of the game on the Internet broadcaster Amazon Prime Video: “The penalty kick and the repetition. It’s a real scandal. I don’t need a rule keeper either. Makkelie is a very, very arrogant person.”
The reason for the anger: After a cross from Ben Chilwell, the ball jumped to the slightly spread arm of full-back Marius Wolf, which the Dutch referee only punished with a penalty after the intervention of the video assistant. Havertz fired the first shot at the inside post, but was allowed to play again because some players had moved into the penalty area too early.
From the point of view of DFB referee instructor Lutz Wagner, there shouldn’t have been a repetition. If the referee does not see that someone is running into the penalty area during the execution, there is no reason for the video assistant (VAR) to intervene. “He should only intervene when things are clear. That means if the one who runs in too early either scores a goal or prevents the shooter from scoring,” Wagner told the German Press Agency.
Unlucky Wolf was not aware of any guilt: “All in all, it’s very annoying. It’s not on purpose, I don’t go to the ball, I have my arm on my body and turn away.” He was just as critical of the referee’s lack of sensitivity as Sammer: “He wouldn’t let himself be talked to. At least I wanted him to explain it to me. Especially with a decision like this.”
The fact that Makkelie acted “according to the rules” in his decision to have the penalty repeated, according to referee expert Wolfgang Stark, was lost in the general excitement. In general, the referee’s scolding was only of limited use as an explanation for the sobering performance, which brought the Bundesliga runners-up additional income of over ten million euros. After all, Borussia offered a despondent performance, especially on the offensive.
Schlotterbeck: “More would have been possible”
Raheem Sterling (44′) equalized Dortmund’s 1-0 lead from the first leg with his goal shortly before the break. “We were just too passive in the first half. We lacked penetrating power in the first third. If we’re honest with ourselves, we can be happy with the 0-1 break,” confessed central defender Nico Schlotterbeck and summed up the dilemma : “More would have been possible.”
Everyone involved hopes that the setback in London will not have a negative impact on the Bundesliga title fight. Especially since the last outstanding BVB professional Julian Brandt suffered an injury in the third minute of the game and threatens to be out for the time being. According to Kehl, a match against Schalke seems highly unlikely: “It was a shock that he had to leave after a few minutes,” complained the sporting director.
Nevertheless, BVB wants to continue its impressive race to catch up and continue to put pressure on leaders FC Bayern Munich, who are now tied on points. A victory at the arch-rival from Gelsenkirchen could help to quickly dispel the concerns that arose in London. Wolf gave the direction: “Today the disappointment is great. But from tomorrow the focus will be on Schalke. We definitely want to win the game.” With a determined look, the defender added: “It’s a derby, it’s the derby.”
Kehl is hoping for a defiant reaction from the team: “The derby comes at exactly the right moment. It’s good to have such a game in front of our chests after such a disappointment.”
I am Pierce Boyd, a driven and ambitious professional working in the news industry. I have been writing for 24 Hours Worlds for over five years, specializing in sports section coverage. During my tenure at the publication, I have built an impressive portfolio of articles that has earned me a reputation as an experienced journalist and content creator.