Jude Bellingham has been Borussia Dortmund's standout performer so far in 2022/23. - © DFL
Jude Bellingham has been Borussia Dortmund's standout performer so far in 2022/23. - © DFL

Borussia Dortmund: the 2022/23 season so far


Jude Bellingham's stock is rising fast, but Borussia Dortmund have ground to make up on leaders Bayern Munich after some mixed results during the first half of the 2022/23 Bundesliga campaign.

The story so far

Bundesliga runners-up in 2021/22, Dortmund turned to former DFB Cup-winning interim coach Edin Terzic in a bid to go one better and finally end Bayern's 10-season reign as champions. A summer recruitment drive that included Germany internationals Karim Adeyemi, Nico Schlotterbeck and Niklas Süle was a further signal of their intent. Sebastien Haller also made the switch from Ajax, but has yet to play for the club following a pre-season testicular cancer diagnosis.

Although Terzic's Dortmund got off to a winning start, old habits were laid bare as BVB surrendered a 2-0 lead, with two minutes of normal time remaining, in defeat to promoted Werder Bremen on Matchday 3. The ensuing campaign has been littered with similar Jekyll and Hyde performances, which have Die Schwarz-Gelben down in sixth place after 15 matches, four points adrift of the top four and nine behind Bayern.

Despite Youssoufa Moukoko's team-leading six goals, BVB are among the top eight's lowest scorers (25). - DFL

That's not to say Dortmund are short of encouraging signs. Bellingham gets better by the week, teenager Youssoufa Moukoko has helped fill the Haller role with six Bundesliga goals, captain Marco Reus is on the mend following injury and they made it through a UEFA Champions League group containing Manchester City, Sevilla and Copenhagen with room to spare. The five-time Bundesliga winners also have a DFB Cup last-16 meeting with local rivals Bochum to look forward to.

Key player: Jude Bellingham

A generational talent in the making, Bellingham is the beating heart of the Dortmund team. He's started all but one of BVB's 22 competitive fixtures so far this season, captaining the side for the first time on Matchday 8. Statistically, the cerebral midfielder ranks as the Bundesliga's top dog for challenges won (245) and had a direct hand in five of the club's nine goals in the Champions League group stage. Those heart-on-the-sleeve displays have translated into an England starting spot - a position the 19-year-old (no, you're not seeing things) will no doubt hold under lock and key for the next decade.

Watch: Jude Bellingham - tactical analysis

Best game

Dortmund showed their steely side in the first Klassiker of the season. Trailing Bayern 2-0, BVB cut the deficit with 16 minutes of normal time still to play through Moukoko. Substitute Anthony Modeste missed a golden chance to level, but made amends with virtually the last kick of the game. Five minutes after Kingsley Coman had been sent off, the Frenchman headed in Schlotterbeck's injury-time cross to spark wild celebrations.

Watch: Highlights of Dortmund's epic Klassiker comeback

One to watch: Gio Reyna

Injury derailed Gio Reyna's 2021/22 and checked his progress in the early part of the current campaign, but the twinkle-toed American hit his stride in time for the 2022 World Cup. After producing a brace of Champions League assists against Copenhagen, Reyna scored twice across the final five Bundesliga games of the calendar year. A game-changing taker and maker of chances, the US international could well be BVB's trump card in the Rückrunde.

View from the camp

"We're sixth. That's not where we set out to be. We have ground to make up. We have to work out what works and what doesn't, and be ready to go on the offensive again in January" - Terzic

Key fixtures in 2023

Watch: The Bundesliga is back!

All 2022/23 season reviews:

Augsburg | Bayer Leverkusen | Bayern Munich | BochumBorussia Mönchengladbach | Cologne | Eintracht Frankfurt | Freiburg | Hertha Berlin | Hoffenheim | Mainz | RB Leipzig | Schalke | Union Berlin | VfB Stuttgart | Werder Bremen | Wolfsburg