Munich - After being routed 3-0 by FC Bayern München on their own patch in December, Borussia Dortmund were able to exact sweet revenge by easing to an identical margin of victory in Munich on Matchday 30.
Goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marco Reus and Jonas Hofmann were enough to maintain BVB's four-match unbeaten league run in the Allianz Arena, ensuring they remain three points above FC Schalke 04 in the race for second place. After the game, midfielder Nuri Sahin reflected on two excellent team performances this week that prove BVB can still mix it with the very best, as well as singling out one team-mate for particular praise.
Question: Nuri Sahin, the walls at the Allianz Arena are covered with reminders of who the current German champions are. Did that give you additional motivation playing Bayern?
Nuri Sahin: No, not really. They deserve to be champions, they've played really well to win the league and obviously they can celebrate that. I didn’t have any extra motivation though, and I don’t think my team-mates did either.
Question: What was the decisive factor in Dortmund winning this game?
Sahin: I think tactically it was a very mature performance from us. Our plan worked extremely well and we managed to stick to it for 90 minutes. And if you do that, you get your rewards.
Question: What exactly was the gameplan?
Sahin: To give them hell (grins). We just wanted to get in amongst them and get stuck in. When you play the ball out from the back like they did, you can’t shut down all the spaces, and if you lose possession and the opposition counterattacks quickly, you get the type of goals we saw today. We took advantage of that really well.
Question: Was this result an important reminder that Borussia Dortmund are still a force to be reckoned with?
Sahin: It’s maybe a good thing for the rest of the Bundesliga that we’ve won this game. Bayern have been so dominant this season, so I think a lot of neutrals were probably supporting us. When we played them last time, we had them where we wanted them, especially in the first half, and still ended up losing 3-0, so this win feels really good. We didn’t allow them many chances here and it was a really good performance.
Question: A few of the Bayern players spoke of psychological difficulties after having already become champions. Did you notice that on the pitch?
Sahin: They all wanted to win. I can’t imagine any player for FC Bayern having a problem getting revved up for a game. We’re all professionals and we have to do our best to win matches. That’s what they would have been thinking today as well, but we deserved to win it.
Question: You’ve now beaten Real Madrid and Bayern this week, and face Wolfsburg in the DFB Cup semi-finals next week. Is that the most important game of the three?
Sahin: Yes, definitely. We have a great chance to win a trophy and we want to be in the final, so we have to show the same determination against Wolfsburg as we did here. This was a good way to prepare for Tuesday.
Question: Finally, what would you say about Henrikh Mkhitaryan, a tragic hero on Tuesday against Madrid but outstanding here against Bayern?
Sahin: He’s a player who wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s in a country he doesn’t know and there’s a lot of pressure on him. There aren’t many players in the world with his quality, the way he turns and accelerates. When he gets it right, nobody can stop him, and he proved that today. I’m not worried about him at all. He’s having a very good season with a good return of goals and assists. Obviously he was disappointed to have missed those chances against Real but he’s a really important player for us and I rate him highly.
Tim Tonner reporting from the Allianz Arena
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