For Marco Reus, it was as if 10,000 Dortmund supporters were in attendance in Augsburg. The support was certainly brilliant. Yet again. The fans carried their team to an away victory and, consequently, back to the top of the table for the third time this season. This time they want to stay there – the coach and the team have no doubts about that.
Boris Rupert reporting from Augsburg
For the first time Edin Terzic answered the call of the supporters, who wanted to "see the coach"; the team danced in front of their fans, who sang at a deafening volume: "Only BVB will become German champions!" For Marco Reus, the moments that unfolded on the pitch and in the stands at 19:30 CET on Sunday evening were "beyond words". Addressing the fans, the captain's message was one of great thanks: "We're only worth half as much without them. I don't need to tell you what it's going to be like next Saturday. I'm in good spirits and I hope we can pull it off!"
The team laid the foundations for the win with a rock-solid performance. They registered more shots in the first period than they have in any half in almost 10 years (17), even "though we weren't shooting at the net then but at the keeper instead," Terzic said. However, his team stuck at it. "We played a good game from the beginning and created many goalscoring chances," explained the coach at the press conference, before adding: "It was of course slightly different after the red card. Then we could no longer find the spaces in behind. Then it was a case of tiring the opponent out. When they could no longer close down the spaces, the lads were there. It was much better than several weeks ago in Stuttgart."
Julian Brandt also took a deep breathe after a winless streak of six away matches in all competitions throughout March and April had come to an end: "Especially with the record that we had away, we've taken a huge opportunity. We had patience and we had determination, particularly in the second half."
Sébastian Haller has been the attacking lynchpin in the home stretch. He has scored nine goals in 18 appearances since the winter break and bagged another brace in Augsburg yesterday. Terzic labelled it an "absolute miracle" and underlined the importance of the attacker, who was out of action for half a year. "With this desire, with this positive energy, Sebastién Haller the person was such a big miss for us in the changing rooms and on the training pitch."
The preparations for the 34th and final matchday have been under way since Monday morning. There will be no days off this week. "We will regenerate well, stay hard-working and focus on what has put us in this situation. Now it's a case of picking up the final three points," said Terzic, who promised: "We will do everything in our power to finally bring the Championship Shield back to Dortmund."
By the time he boarded the flight home on Sunday evening, Marco Reus was also back to normal temperature after the emotional minutes in front of the fan block. "It feels very good to have it in our own hands before the last matchday. But the job is not done yet," he emphasised. The captain's advice to his team-mates is: "Keep calm, keep working hard and then produce a firework display at home."
There, it won't be what feels like 10,000 in the stands; it will be 80,000 at SIGNAL IDUNA PARK. Whenever there's previously been an opportunity to become champions at home, it's been taken!