The Borussia Dortmund U23s picked up their 11th victory of the season against a deep-lying Bergisch Gladbach side on Sunday. Steffen Tigges and Dominik Wanner (two) scored the goals as BVB ran out 3-0 (0-0) winners.
The scenario: SV Bergisch Gladbach went into this game in 19th place in the table and with the spectre of relegation looming, having picked up only 11 points and won two of their 14 games all season. One of those wins came against their direct rivals Bonner SC in their previous match. Meanwhile, BVB were in second place, five points behind league leaders RW Essen but with two games in hand.
Personnel matters: BVB head coach Enrico Maaßen made two changes following the first defeat of the season against Rödinghausen, with Marco Hober and Henri Weigelt replacing Alaa Bakir and Maximilian Hippe.
The match & analysis: The home side started with a very defensive formation – a back five protected by two defensive midfielders and only three attacking players. BVB, meanwhile, lined up in their usual system and impressed with their good passing play in tight spaces. In the sixth minute of the match, Tobias Raschl played a perfect pass through a gap in the defence to Steffen Tigges. The forward was brought down by Bergisch Gladbach keeper Dennis Lohmann five metres from goal and a penalty was awarded, which Tigges himself took – only for Lohmann to make the save.
But the Black & Yellows were unaffected by their early failure. Maaßen's charges continued to pin Bergisch Gladbach back into their own half and the relegation battlers only rarely managed to relieve the pressure. Their first moment of danger did not come in the 28th minute, when a shot sailed wide of Stefan Drljaca's goal following a corner. At this point, BVB were lacking the tempo that their play needed to break through the hosts' compact defence. It was not until five minutes before the interval that the Bergisch Gladbach goal came under threat again, but none of Steffen Tigges, Richmond Tachie and Taylan Duman succeeded in putting the ball in the back of the net from close range. Tobi Raschl then had an effort from distance on the stroke of half-time.
The second period started the way the first one had ended, with BVB dominating possession of the ball while failing to show a cutting edge in the final third of the pitch. Their set-pieces also failed to bring about a breakthrough, which meant that the home side were only rarely under serious threat. BVB coach Enrico Maaßen reacted by bringing on Dominik Wanner and a short while later introducing Kolbeinn Finnsson and Alaa Bakir.
The Black & Yellows upped the pressure to such an extent that Bergisch Gladbach rarely got out of their own half, and they finally reaped the rewards of their immense effort in the 76th minute. Taylan Duman whipped a free-kick from the right across the face of goal and Steffen Tigges stuck the ball in the back of the net. The long overdue opener seemed to open the floodgates for Dortmund, who doubled their advantage barely 120 seconds later when Dominik Wanner rounded off a lovely move to make it 2-0. With the game now over as a contest and BVB on their way to three points, Dominik Wanner added another in the 88th minute to make it 3-0.
Outlook: There will be no midweek action next week, with only one match on the agenda. The U23s will welcome SV Straelen to Hohenbuschei on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 14:00 CET).
Team & goals
BVB U23s: Drljaca - Maloney, Weigelt (Finnsson, 62), Dams, Duman, Knauff (Wanner, 55), Pfanne, Hober, Tachie (Krebs, 86), Raschl (Bakir, 62), Tigges
Goals: 0-1 Tigges (75), 0-2 Wanner (77), 0-3 Wanner (88)
Incidents of note: Dennis Lohmann saves penalty from Steffen Tigges (6)