Dortmund - Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp believes a period of introspection is necessary after his side’s 2-0 home defeat to Bayer 04 Leverkusen in their opening match of the season.
Klopp: ‘My responsibility’
“We have plenty to work on,” said the BVB tactician, whose side fell behind just nine seconds after kick-off as Karim Bellarabi netted the fastest goal in Bundesliga history. “When you start a match like that, it really hurts.”
As disappointing as going behind early on was, Klopp was far more concerned with the reasons why it happened. “We simply weren’t there, we didn’t turn up,” he said. “We’ll have to take it on the chin, or at least I will. Making sure the team is awake is my responsibility and their attitude and so on is also largely down to me. Therefore I’ll have to think about what exactly happened today.”
Leverkusen did not let up after their furious start, playing Dortmund at their own game by closing down the spaces high up the pitch and denying their hosts any room to manoeuvre. “It probably didn’t surprise any of us that Leverkusen opted to play such an attacking game,” Klopp continued. “It was clear that they would, but that wasn’t the problem. We weren’t able to take advantage of it. If we’d played well we’d have switched the play and then suddenly we’d have had two players bearing down on their goal. We didn’t do that.”
World Cup-winning defender Erik Durm agreed with his coach’s assessment: “In training we talked about the fact that Bayer would attack us early but even then it’s difficult when you play the ball out wide and you’re immediately put under pressure," he said before accepting the blame for Leverkusen's second. "I dwelt on the ball too long."
Yet despite the defeat that leaves Dortmund chasing title rivals FC Bayern Munich even at this early stage of the competition, there were positives to garner from the encounter. New signings Ginter and Ciro Immobile made their BVB league debuts, with the latter in particular impressing Klopp on his maiden Bundesliga outing. “He was dangerous when he played the lone striker role in the second half. He was a bit unlucky too. We’re not worried about him at all."
History on Dortmund's side
Marco Reus also came through the game unscathed following his ankle injury, although he was unable to exert much of his influence on the fixture. And with new captain Mats Hummels and first choice goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller set to return next week, it is hard to imagine Dortmund flailing in the same manner away to FC Augsburg in the Matchday 2 opener on Friday.
“Now we have to help the lads get back on track,” stated Klopp. “The willingness is there. The desire is there. We just have to make sure we pick up results along the way." All is far from lost at this stage though and the last time Dortmund lost their first match of the season at home to Leverkusen - and Bayern also beat Wolfsburg a day earlier - was at the start of the 2010/11 campaign. BVB were crowned champions come the end of it.
Check out the previous fastest goals in the Bundesliga in this video, courtesy of the Bundesliga's official YouTube channel: