2-0 - We Are Derby Winners! - Frei And Smolarek Score The Goals -
YESSSS! Borussia Dortmund has won the 129th Revier Derby against FC Schalke 04 by a score of 2-0 and not only celebrates an amicable farewell to the home crowd for this season, but next Saturday in Leverkusen, the team has the chance to earn a shot at a ticket into European competition! Referee Fandel´s closing whistle was drowned out by the unrelenting jubilation. In an emotion-filled and highly thrilling local derby, Alex Frei and Ebi Smolarek scored for BVB.
Reporting are Boris Rupert and Johannes Vorspohl
80,708 spectators at SIGNAL IDUNA PARK, which was sold out for the fifth time this season, saw an exciting football match. Alexander Frei gave BVB the lead right before halftime (44th min). The Derby victory was sealed by Ebi Smolarek´s 85th minute goal after a counter-attack.
Pre-Match Comments: The tenth-placed team took on the league leaders. Schalke 04 (S04) needed a victory to retain lead leadership from Stuttgart, who were one point behind and Bremen, who were two points behind. With 27 away points, garnered from eight victories and three draws, S04 were the third-best away team in the league behind Bremen at 29 points and Stuttgart at 28 points. However, Schalke´s last away match resulted in a 2-1 loss at VfL Bochum. BVB went into the match having secured 1st Bundesliga football for next season and on a streak of three consecutive shut-out victories. BVB was even able to hope that with a victory against Schalke, there was still hope to make it into a UEFA Cup place. Overall, only four other clubs had a worse home record than BVB, who had only won five of their last sixteen matches, with six draws at Signal Iduna Park. Furthermore, the last home victory against Schalke was eight and a half years ago. That was a 3-0 victory on 14 November 1998.
Personnel Issues: Both clubs made changes from their lineups of the previous week. For BVB, who could choose from the entire roster, Wörns made his return after overcoming a hip problem. For Wörns, Degen returned to the bench. For Schalke, the offensive Özil replaced the more experienced Kobiashvili. The injured Lövenkrands and Varela were missing.
Tactics: 4-4-2 against 4-3-3. Two systems that do not match in midfield. There, BVB enjoyed a nominal majority. Pander tried to even it out on the left side as he covered Kringe when Dortmund were in possession, as Rafinha did the same on the opposite side with Tinga. Also, the strikers on the wings, Asamoah and Özil, fell back at times, turning the 4-3-3 into a 4-5-1 or even a 3-6-1 if one of the Schalke wingbacks moved forward.
Borussia played of its familiar and fundamental lineup. Despite their defensive tasks of marking Özil and Asamoah, Metzelder and Dede tried to assist in the offensive game from their wingback positions. In the center, Wörns and Brzenska alternated marking Kuranyi. Kruska latched himself to Lincoln´s heel while Kringe mainly dealt with Ernst or Pander. Pienaar dealt predominantly with Hamit Altintop, leaving Tinga without a direct marker at least when moved back on defense. Up front, Smolarek faced Krstajic and Frei faced Bordon.
|His 16th Goal Of The Season Helped Spoil Schalke’s Championship Dreams: Alexander Frei|
Match Comments and Analysis: What was not spoken, mailed or written before the 129th Revier Derby? However, when there are high expectations, the match often does not live up to them. This Derby was different. At least at the beginning. After just 20 seconds, Alexander Frei had a potential opening goal on his foot. However, he could not get the ball under control and his shot went just to the left of Manuel Neuer´s goal. After a nice run, Ebi Smolarek put the Swiss striker in position for the chance. For the opposition, Kevin Kuranyi in the third minute and Gerald Asamoah in the fifteenth minute barely failed to score.
After that the match went a bit flat. BVB were compact, but biting in the battles for the ball and disturbed the building of the Schalke offensive game as soon as they could. The Black and Yellows rarely went forward. Schalke appeared to build a small bit of dominance, but were not able to turn it into anything noteworthy against the very strong Dortmund defense. After the exciting start, the match now lived off its own tension and the announcement of scores from elsewhere.
Shortly before halftime, both teams increased their shots at one another. And Borussia Dortmund was able to once again show its recovered coolness. After Roman Weidenfeller saved a goal with a shining save against Mesut Özil in the 43rd minute, Christoph Metzelder led the direct counter-attack. The German international crowned his run down the right side with a sharp cross into the middle. Alexander Frei was quicker to the ball than his opponent Marcelo Bordon and coolly finished the play scoring the opening goal for a 1-0 BVB lead in the 44th minute. The Swiss striker´s 16th goal of the season was celebrated with deafening jubilation at SIGNAL IDUNA PARK.
|The Guests Were Only Retrieving The Ball From Their Own Net|
After halftime, the picture was the same. BVB stood in a compact defensive position and were content to disrupt Schalke´s offensive game and to lurk for their own counter-attacks. This was successful. The guests were not able to create clear scoring chances. This changed only shortly when Lincoln (57th and 63rd minutes) and Kuranyi (59th) wasted a series of chances. On the opposite side, Marc Andre Kruska provided a bit of relief with a free kick that went just past the left corner in the 67th minute.
Thomas Doll attempted to add new life to the team with a double switch. In the 71st minute, the Dortmund coach substituted Tinga and Steven Pienaar with the youngsters Daniel Gordon and Nuri Sahin. More space for counter-attacks opened up for BVB. The outstanding Frei and Florian Kringe barely failed on a double chance in the 77th minute thanks to Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. In the 83rd minute, Doll played his final tactial card. Nelson Valdez entered the match for Alex Frei.
Shortly afterwards, Ebi Smolarek capped off the long-awaited Derby victory. After a counter-attack from the very strong Metzelder and after being deflected by a Schalke defender, the ball flew to Smolarek like a bug attracted to light. The Pole volleyed from 8 meters, leaving Manuel Neuer with no chance. 2-0 for BVB in the 85th minute and SIGNAL IDUNA PARK shook with jubilation down to its foundation. A bit later, referee Herbert Fandel ended the match.
Next Action: On the 34th and final match day of the 2006/2007 season this coming Saturday, May 19th, BVB will take the pitch in the sold out BayArena against Bayer Leverkusen. Kickoff is at 3:30 PM CET.
Translated by Keith Richardson