The joy at the away victory did not skew the assessment of what was a committed, but not a consistent performance. Sporting director Sebastian Kehl put it as follows: "We had various phases in the match and I don't believe that they were all 100% good."

The final result was a 4-2 away win in Freiburg, which is particularly remarkable given that only one of the 17 clubs that have visited Sport-Club's new stadium since August last year have come away having scored more than one goal. Borussia Dortmund achieved this feat in both away game number one (3-1) and yesterday in away game number two in the Breisgau (4-2). In addition: both wins were achieved after being behind at half-time (1-0 and 2-1). "We've managed it twice, we're very happy with that," said Edin Terzic, who immediately went on to add: "What we don't like is the fact that we couldn't stay in control after the good opening phase."

Self-criticism prevailed following the triumph over last season's fifth-placed team. After a decent start and an early goal, "we became a little too passive," said Nico Schlotterbeck, "and then you concede two goals in stoppage-time". Mats Hummels, the scorer of two goals, added: "We were lacking activity off the ball and made Freiburg stronger in the process." His demand: "We simply have to manage to dominate our opponents in midfield and to break them down with our play. It was a hard-fought win – but we must not formulate it too negatively either."

The game turned following Nicolas Höfler's red card, with the score at 2-2. In the approximately 10 minutes that followed (including stoppage time), BVB registered 4-0 shots – including two goals from Hummels and Marco Reus to make it 3-2 and 4-2. By the end, the shot count was 14-14.

"I believe that the change of system worked very well," said Edin Terzic. With Marcel Sabitzer in the 'No. 6' role, Emre Can in the middle of a back three and two strikers up front (Donyell Malen and Niclas Füllkrug), his team looked more purposeful. Terzic said: "We liked how the team not only reacted to the setbacks but also how they reacted to the change of system."

The trend will be put to the test on Tuesday – in Paris.
Boris Rupert