Monday, October 27, 2008

Borussia Dortmund fights to draw against Hertha Berlin

Die Schwarzgelben fought to a come-from-behind 1-1 draw against Hertha Berlin extending their unbeaten streak to four matches. However BVB will be far from satisfied with the draw as they played well within the boxes but lacked the creativity in the final run-up to create a good scoring chances. Manager Jürgen Klopp stated after the match, "Again it feels like we didn´t get what we deserved and what we invested in so much. The opponent played a very defensive match and we made things difficult for ourselves. That Hertha can live with the 1-1 in the end, I can surely understand."

While that is a short but sweet sound-bite, it is accurate as they played BVB by the "book"; give them enough slack to control the ball but packed the box and forced them to shoot outside, particularly as BVB switched from the 4-3-2-1 formation against Werder Bremen to a 4-4-2. The plan worked perfectly because while the Berliners didn't create many opportunities they let them pound shots from the distance but wouldn't break down the final line of defense and get in close.

As match started a cold rain came down in the dark afternoon with BVB creating the first scoring opportunity only five minutes after the start when Nelson Valdez's shot clanged off the crossbar. The Berliners nearly scored ten minutes later as Cicero's shot was cleared off the line by BVB defender Marcel Schmelzer. Unfortunately twenty minutes in the match, Jakub Blaszczykowski took a hit and with blood pouring out his nose, Swiss capped Alexander Frei was unexpectedly pressed into duty. Fifteen minutes from half, a through ball sent Raffael clear but with Roman Weidenfeller rushing in for the loose ball, Raffael tumbled and the penalty awarded. Cícero stepped-up for the penalty and easily converted with Weidenfeller guessing in the wrong direction. BVB looked to even the match with one ball cleared off the line to shouts of hand-ball and further attempts by Hungarian international Tamás Hajnal were saved by Berliner 'keeper Jaroslav Drobný as the half-ended.

BVB began to turn the screw after the re-start with Alexander Frei providing the spark. The Berliners pulled-back behind the ball, content with the one goal margin. The plan was working perfectly till Frei's corner was headed-in by Sebastian Kehl. Die Schwarzgelben were hungry for a victory in-front of their fans and went on the prowl for the winning goal but every forward push was met with staunch defending. Without another scoring chance on either end, the match ended in a 1-1 draw.