Unstoppable BVB cruise to 4-0 victory over Rieslasingen
DFB Cup holders Borussia Dortmund have made a comfortable start to the 75th edition of the competition, cruising to a clear and deserved 4-0 (2-0) victory over fifth-tier outfit 1. FC Rieslasingen-Arlen.
Dennis-Julian Gottschlich reporting
With Rieslasingen's home stadium, the Sportanlage an den Talwiesen, not possessing the necessary capacity, this DFB Cup First Round clash was played 110 kilometres away, at the Schwarzwaldstadion in Freiburg, in front of a sellout 24,000 crowd. The majority of those in attendance were rooting for BVB, whose travelling fans were left in no doubt from the first whistle as to which team would progress. The Black & Yellows recorded 80 percent possession and scored two goals without reply – Bartra (12) and Aubameyang (pen., 41) – in the opening 45 minutes. The Gabon international then struck twice after the break (55, 80) to make it 4-0.
The scenario: Rieslasingen-Arlen recorded a 6-1 victory over VfR Hausen at the end of May to claim the South-Baden Cup for the first time in their history, thus qualifying for the First Round of the DFB Cup – also a first for the fifth-tier outfit, which was formed from a merger between FV Arlen and FC Rieslasingen back in 1999. BVB, meanwhile, suffered an unlucky 5-4 penalty shootout defeat at the hands of FC Bayern in last weekend's Super Cup final, though there were a number of positives to take from the match. "We prepare for each opponent seriously," said new BVB boss Peter Bosz in the run-up to the clash, for which the Westphalians were unsurprisingly clear favourites.
Personnel matters: There was a genuine surprise in the BVB starting line-up, with A-Junior champion Beste handed his professional debut on the left flank. New signings Philipp and Dahoud also started. The Black & Yellow were without Reus (partial tear of the cruciate ligament), Schmelzer (partial tear of the lateral collateral ligament), Guerreiro (ankle), Weigl (fitness), Rode (fibre tear), Durm (muscular problems), Pulisic (fitness, due to resume training on Monday), Götze (fatigue following five-month injury layoff) and Dembélé (suspended). Sokratis wore the captain's armband.
Tactics: Rielasingen countered the Black & Yellows in a 5-4-1 formation, switching to a 3-5-2 when they had the ball. BVB, meanwhile, lined up in their usual 4-3-3 formation. The Black & Yellows repeatedly attacked from the wide positions, which were occupied by Piszczek and Beste, trying to get in behind the Rieslasingen defence and square the ball into the middle.
The match & analysis: While the difference in class might have been obvious from the off, Rieslasingen tried to make life as difficult as possible for BVB with two deep-lying defensive banks, and battled valiantly. However, Borussia lived up to their role as favourites early on and often tried to pull Rieslasingen out of shape with long crossfield balls and quick attacks down the flanks. It was an approach that proved rather successful in the opening quarter of an hour, with Aubameyang (2) and Philipp (4) heading narrowly wide. The two then combined to create a chance five minutes later, but Rieslasingen's Kling cleared the ball for a corner at the last second. Then 'keeper Klose saved a shot from 25 metres out by Bartra (11). The Spaniard, though, was not to be denied and broke the deadlock one minute later. Sahin chipped the ball into the penalty area, where Beste sent a low cross into the six-yard box and Bartra got the simplest of touches to send the ball into the bottom right corner (12).
The Westphalians continued to pile on the pressure and pushed for a second. Klose reacted brilliantly to deny Aubameyang (15), Castro narrowly missed from 20 metres (27) and Philipp went close from the edge of the box (29). Rieslasingen, however, had no intention of submitting quietly to their fate despite BVB's total dominance and often attempted to reach the pacey Niedhardt and the robust Sebastian Stark up front with long balls and counter-attacks. Their best chance was spurned by Winterhalder, whose left-footed shot from 17 metres out required Bürki to show his class and parry wide (26). It briefly looked as if the match might develop into a rather open exchange, but Borussia quickly managed to bring proceedings back under their control. By the time Aubameyang made it 2-0 from the spot, the minnow's fate was sealed at the former Dreisam-Stadion. The spot-kick was awarded after Klose had felled Philipp in the box.
The first chance of the second period fell to Matt, whose long-range effort was easily dealt with by Bürki. Frank Stark then tested the BVB shot-stopper from around 30 metres after 53 minutes, but otherwise all the action was at the other end. Schürrle's goal on 47 minutes was ruled out for offside, while Dahoud's effort went wide a minute later and Klose made a sensational fingertip save to thwart Aubameyang on the 50 minute mark. But the Rieslasingen custodian was powerless to prevent a third going in when Dahoud picked out Aubameyang after 55 minutes and the Gabon forward chipped the ball into the net from 15 metres. Bartra (63), Philipp (65) and Sahin (68) subsequently all went close.
1. FC Rielasingen-Arlen continued to perform courageously. Sebastian Stark missed clearly at the end of a highly-promising counter-attack from the hosts (67), but it was clear that they were running out of steam in the final 25 minutes. Dahoud hit a shot from 18 metres out with ten minutes remaining, but the ball was deflected and landed at the feet of Aubameyang, who fired it home from close range to round off a 4-0 victory (80). Barely two minutes later he could have almost made it five but fired narrowly over the crossbar, before clipping the outside off the post with a header with four minutes left on the clock. The final chance fell to Castro in the 87th minute, but it was ultimately dealt with by Klose (87).
Prospects: BVB will kick off their 2017/18 Bundesliga campaign with a trip to VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday (19 August, 15:30 CET). The fixtures for the Second Round of the DFB Cup will be drawn during the "Sportschau" on 20 August, with the matches taking place on 24 and 25 October.