|Borussia Dortmund play their seventh game in 22 days on Saturday (KO 1530 CET) when they travel to VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach. Before heading into the international break, last year´s Bundesliga runners-up want to wrap up their busy schedule with a win to defend their top of the table position. Jürgen Klopp, by the way, will be where he belongs.|
At exactly 10.45 pm on Tuesday night, the fans under the East Stand of Signal Iduna Park were treated to an unusual sight. Jürgen Klopp stepped off the lift with BVB media director Sascha Fligge and walked in the direction of the dressing rooms. At that time, he was still not allowed to enter the corridors of the stadium. Shifting from one leg to another in the crisp autumn air, wearing a black coat, and a casual smile, the BVB boss had to wait another three minutes in front of the entrance before, exactly 15 minutes after the final whistle, he was eventually allowed to join up with his team.
"I did not go inside a minute too early as I didn´t want to risk anything," he said later, adding that it had been a strange feeling to watch his team from high in the stands. However, thanks to an outstanding performance from the Black ´n´ Yellows, the touchline ban of their coach was consigned to no more than a side note of Matchday 2 of the UEFA Champions League.
"The team executed perfectly what we talked about before the game," said Klopp. The Dortmund coach and his assistants knew that it would require immense commitment and running to beat the French visitors. And the team put their game plan into practice, covering a total distance of 126 kilometres, more than 16 kilometres more than their opponents, a Champions League best this season. "We closed down the space well. In this area, it was an exceptionally good performance from my team," said Klopp in praise of his players.
Borussia repeatedly caught Marseille with quick counter attacks and lightning quick transitions from defence to attack, creating much more chances with 18 shots on goal to the visitors´ seven. "We could have scored one or two more," said BVB youngster Eric Durm, adding, "But at the end of the day, we are all very happy." And rightly so because after the 5-0 hammering of Freiburg last weekend, BVB managed to keep a clean sheet for a second time in a row - and scoring eight goals in that span speaks for itself.
BVB´s attacking power will be needed again on Saturday (1530 CET), because according to the stats, goals are almost a certainty when Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Mönchengladbach meet in the Bundesliga. There has been no goalless draw in this fixture for 32 games (the last one in 1994), with 3.3 goals being scored on average in 82 matches. As the two sides also lead the Bundesliga for the most goals scored this season (21 for BVB; 17 for Gladbach), the Black ´n´ Yellows face another tough test to retain their top of the table position in the Bundesliga.
For Jürgen Klopp, Saturday´s match will probably be much easier to deal with. Referring to his touchline ban, he said, with a twinkle in his eye, "I don´t need that too often, and the team shouldn´t get used to it. The view may be better, but otherwise it´s not that pleasant."
Klopp will be happy to swap a better view for his place on the touchline on Saturday, and the fans at the sold-out Borussia Park will be treated to the familiar sight again.