For the fourth time this season, BVB were forced to end a Bundesliga match a man down. It was the third time this has happened away from home, and the third time BVB have come away with three points. Little surprise then that double goalscorer Marcel Sabitzer described himself as "happy" at the conclusion of 113 minutes of frantic football in Mönchengladbach.

"We fought, we wanted to win at all costs and we're very happy to take home the three points," said the Austrian, who answered the question of how he was feeling with a one-word answer: "Tired." 

After Karim Adeyemi was shown a second yellow card in the 55th minute, the Black & Yellows had to play with ten men for 43 minutes, including the long stoppage time. Defending a lead in this stadium with a player fewer represents further development. We demonstrated a certain maturity, even if not everything was good," said Niklas Süle to BVB TV, before adding a quick reference to the summery weather: "We were all fired up, just like the conditions, especially playing a man down." 

Five weeks ago, in Bremen, BVB had to play 50 minutes a player down. On that day, Sabitzer was shown a very controversial red card. Borussia also won 2-1, and in Hoffenheim on 29 September 2023, Ramy Bensebaini was sent off after receiving a second yellow card in the 71st minute with the score at 2-1. The ten remaining players were ultimately able to come away with a 3-1 victory. Only in their home match against Leipzig (a 3-2 loss) have Borussia Dortmund failed to win a game in which they've found themselves a player down. That said, they had to last a full 86 minutes after Mats Hummels was shown red early on. In the 203 minutes this season in which they've been shorthanded, BVB have scored three goals, conceded four and won three of the four matches.

On Tuesday, it will be back to XI vs XI. "With the fans behind us we can do it," said Marcel Sabitzer ahead of the second leg clash with Atletico. The win in Gladbach has provided additional confidence, even though it came at a cost. "Suboptimal for Tuesday,'' said Niklas Süle in reference to the fatigue of playing a man down, adding: "But I think we'll manage to replenish our energy over the next three days."
Boris Rupert