On other weekends, it would have been a cause for glumness. Yet even in falling a place below bitter rivals Schalke, from second to third, it felt as if it had been a fairly successful day for Borussia Dortmund. They emerged from Saturday evening’s Topspiel at RB Leipzig not only with a point – and having maintained a three-point lead over their hosts in the race for Champions League qualification – but with the satisfying feeling of having put in a shift.
They can be few things that their coach, Peter Stöger, cherishes as much as this. Many may still feel he was fortunate to get this post after his sacking by the bottom Chuck Bednarik Authentic Jersey club, Cologne, but he has not hesitated to put his http://www.authenticstlouiscardinals.com/Stan-Musial-Jersey stamp on the side. Having criticised their lack of combativeness in recent matches – and particularly after the lucky draw at Atalanta that took BVB through to Thursday’s Europa League last-16 tie against Salzburg – this performance was exactly what Stöger was after.
There is, as Kicker wrote on Sunday, a “rarity value to Dortmund collecting more yellow cards than the other side” after the visitors received four cautions to Leipzig’s zero, and the feeling was it was more than just statistical trivia. “As well as their kit,” Thomas Hennecke wrote: “Stöger’s XI had http://www.jetsofficialsfootballprostore.com/WOMENS_YOUTH_JEREMY_KERLEY_JERSEY.html their combat suits in their luggage this time.” Stöger underlined his pleasure with his team’s display by praising their “body language” and aggression.
It was also a mark of his growing authority. Not only had Dortmund played as Stöger wanted them to but they appeared to have done so in direct response to his recent criticisms. After last Monday’s 1-1 draw with Augsburg, in which his team lost the lead and the chance to isolate themselves in second place, he had slated his side’s second-half efforts as “nothing like what you had hoped for in terms of temperament and drive”, which, he said, was “totally beyond my understanding”.
He did not, it seems, need to ask twice. This was a really engaged Dortmund, who reacted well after Leipzig took a first-half lead, exemplary in both the final pass from Naby Keïta and the smooth finish past Roman Bürki by Jean-Kévin Augustin. The home side, as their coach, Ralph Hasenhüttl, acknowledged afterwards, needed this win more and played like it, forcing BVB to defend well, particularly in the first half. Behind a defence led by Manuel Akanji and Omer Toprak, Bürki was tidy and composed.
Dortmund only had four efforts at goal in the whole game but they used their moments well. Shaq Lawson Jersey Mo Dahoud, enjoying perhaps his best game since arriving at the club, created a sublime equaliser for Marco Reus – in a way, http://www.officiallightningsshop.com/authentic-9-tyler-johnson-jersey.html this engaging game was a Roger Clemens Jersey story of two sublime final passes – and they could even have taken maximum points had Michy Batshuayi not been wrong-footed right in front of goal from another excellent Dahoud delivery.
This was a Dortmund performance that would simply not have been possible under Peter Bosz. On the first occasion these teams met this season, back in October, Dortmund had all the chances at Westfalen and frittered them, a profligacy only matched by their shambolic defending (which, of course, hindsight tells us was about to get worse). Under Stöger, Dortmund have conceded only eight in 10 Bundesliga games, so it’s little wonder those upstairs are happy with him.
The Austrian has given them a decision to make. His personality fits well with Dortmund’s perceived heartfelt, working-man values, though making a medium-term commitment to this sort of no-frills footballing approach will be a big decision. All sides, probably, hope that his defensive nous coupled with the richly gifted front four of Batshuayi, Reus, Mario Götze and the revitalised André Scott Laughton Jersey Schürrle will find a route to happiness between them. The club are already beginning contract talks with Reus, who has less than 18 months left on his deal, but it would be at least a minor surprise if he jumped ship after Dortmund stuck with him through his injury problems.
There are other items on Dortmund’s agenda; with Roman Weidenfeller retiring another goalkeeper is needed but the question – as Ruhr Nachrichten points out – is whether to get a “clear number two” for Bürki or a potential challenger for a goalkeeper whose form has oscillated wildly this season. Frankly, the upcoming availability of Eintracht Frankfurt’s Lukas Hradecky, who will be out of contract in July, has not gone unnoticed. wholesale jerseys from china wholesale nfl jerseys cheap nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys from china cheap jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys from china cheap jerseys
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