Munich - Reigning champions Borussia Dortmund accept they have work to do after being held to a 1-1 draw by Nuremberg on Saturday.
Problems at both ends
Defender Mats Hummels bemoaned his side's lacklustre build-up play after the home side made light work of last season's most potent attack. "We made life difficult for ourselves with too many mistakes," said the Germany centre-back, who was given a torrid time by Nuremberg's Tomas Pekhart, scorer of the game's opening goal.
Dortmund struggled to make their 61 per cent possession count, leaving their coach Jürgen Klopp highly critical after the final whistle. Neither defence nor attack did enough to placate the 45-year-old, who demanded more from his team in future: "I got the impression we had far more of the game and played well in the first half, but we're still not at 100 per cent. That's something we need to address."
Summer signing Marco Reus was similarly frustrated after being substituted during the second half following a less than spectacular showing: "We knew how dangerous Nuremberg were from set pieces. Still, they did well." Left-back Marcel Schmelzer, meanwhile, thought his side had done enough to win at the easyCredit Stadion: "We were dominant, but we just didn't manage to create enough chances. It's always tough to play here because they always defend very deep."
Captain Sebastian Kehl was also full of respect for the opponents, who he felt were spot-on tactically. "They marked us man for man in the midfield," he said, praising Nuremberg coach Dieter Hecking, a former team-mate of his, on the way to the team bus.
"It's incredible, isn't it?" the midfielder joked with the gathered journalists. "It's true," responded Hecking, now 47 - 15 years Kehl's senior. "I even nutmegged him once," laughed the elder. The pair both represented Hannover 96 together during the 1998/99 season in Bundesliga 2 - and once again it was Hecking who got the better of his former protege on Saturday.