Borussia Dortmund's season ended in defeat as they were comfortably beaten 4-0 (2-0) at home by TSG Hoffenheim on Bundesliga Matchday 34.


Hoffenheim were the more dynamic side, and their 2-0 lead at the break courtesy of Kramaric goals in the eighth and 30th minutes was not undeserved. The Croatian forward scored twice more directly after the restart to seal the victory. The chance ratio stood at 1-2 at the break and 2-8 by the end.

The scenario:  
While BVB had already wrapped up second spot, seventh-placed TSG were still fighting for automatic UEFA Europa League qualification (places five and six). Only one of the previous 13 home games against TSG in league and cup had ended in defeat.

Personnel matters:  
The suspended Can plus Akanji, Delaney, Dahoud, Reus, Schmelzer and Götze, who was bade farewell prior to kick-off, were not available. There was only one change to the side that won 2-0 in Leipzig last weekend, with Balerdi making his first start for the club in place of Can. Morey and Reyna kept their starting spots despite Hakimi being back in the squad after his suspension. The Moroccan joined Sancho among the substitutes.

Borussia started their attacks in their usual 3-4-3 formation with Haaland the furthest forward. Meanwhile Hoffenheim, who lined up in a 3-3-2-2 system but switched to a 5-3-2 whenever Dortmund had possession of the ball, started with an attacking partnership of Bebou and Dabbur.

The match & analysis:
The first dangerous moment of the match fell to Borussia when Haaland met a corner with a header that looked destined for the far corner, but TSG shot-stopper Baumann made a lightning-quick save to keep the scores level (5).

The Black & Yellows struggled to deal with their visitors, whose quick and energetic offensive pressing paid dividends in the eighth minute. Bebou won the ball back and fed it out to Kaderabek on the right flank. The Czechia international squared the ball towards Kramaric on the edge of the box, who was allowed far too much time to pick his spot and curl home from 20 metres out (8). Bürki was powerless to prevent it flying into the top corner.


All in all, there was not enough movement from the home side. Not enough tempo, not enough penetration. Quick switch-play is usually one of their strengths, but it was Hoffenheim who were using it to devastating effect. By the half-hour mark, Dortmund had 66 percent possession, a 76 percent tackle win rate and a 92 percent pass completion rate. But they had fewer shots (2-6) and were 2-0 down. The second goal came in the 30th minute when Skov had a shot from the edge of the box that inadvertently went to Kramaric, who steered it into the net from several metres out.

The Black & Yellows looked for gaps in a disciplined away defence but often broke off their own forays forward or simply ran into trouble. Aside from a Hazard effort from 20 metres out, which Baumann comfortably dealt with (37), there were no chances of note.

Favre reacted at the break, introducing two players who had 48 scorer points between them: Hakimi (five goals/10 assists) and Sancho (17/16). Guerreiro and Hazard made way, with Morey switching over to the left flank. But within two minutes of the restart they were 3-0 down. Kramaric received the ball from Bebou and sidestepped Piszczek before firing through the legs of Bürki as he came charging off his line (48). Two minutes later, the referee awarded what appeared to be an extremely dubious penalty for an alleged push by Hummels on Dabbur. But that mattered little to Kramaric, who slotted home to make it 4-0 (50).

Borussia switched to a back four but it was TSG who continued to have the better chances. Bürki twice denied the visitors a fifth. Substitutions three and four followed after the hour mark with Zagadou and Raschl replacing Balerdi and Reyna. Former U19 captain Raschl was making his debut in the Bundesliga. Schulz replaced Piszczek shortly afterwards.

Borussia Dortmund finished the season as runners-up. The 2020/21 campaign could begin on the second or third weekend of September. The DFL has yet to announce an exact date.
Boris Rupert

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