Every run comes to an end at some point, and Lucien Favre's unbeaten streak at Signal Iduna Park ended last night as Bremen defeated Dortmund on penalties in his 15th home game as coach. Nonetheless, there was plenty of applause for him and his team.
At 163 days – from 26 August 2018 to 5 February 2019 – Favre went longer unbeaten at home than any of his predecessors in the Dortmund dugout. There were 12 victories – some of them breath-taking triumphs – and two draws (against Hertha Berlin and Club Bruges) before Bremen came and eliminated the Black & Yellows from the DFB Cup. The score was 4-2 on penalties, following a 3-3 draw in what was a tense and spectacular 120 minutes.
"It was difficult to find the gaps," said Favre of his team's struggles for long spells of the match to break down the Bremen rearguard, before Christian Pulisic and Achraf Hakimi scored in the 105th and 113th minutes to put BVB into a 2-1 and 3-2 lead respectively. "The goal we conceded at 3-3 was a little unnecessary, but that's all part of sport," said Favre forgivingly. Sporting director Michael Zorc took a clearer line: "We weren't alert enough for their second or third goals. That's why we had to go to penalties. That's annoying."
Goalscorer Marco Reus, whose free-kick levelled the score at 1-1, was taken off with muscular problems as a precautionary measure at the interval. "We were a bit careless," he told kicker magazine. Their third goal shouldn't happen. We need to be more intelligent and to see out such a game in extra-time. No matter how."
Instead, the Black & Yellows were taken to penalties and were beaten by the lottery of the shootout for the first time in a DFB Cup home game. Another run, though small, drew to a close last night (three wins on the bounce). But the fans responded with great applause for the team. Bundesliga action resumes on Saturday when Dortmund will be looking to extend their Bundesliga home run against TSG Hoffenheim.