Dortmund - If you only returned home in time to catch the post-match celebrations of Borussia Dortmund's much-needed 1-0 victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach on Sunday evening, you'd have been forgiven for thinking Jürgen Klopp had just seen his side clinch the title.
'An extraordinary game'
Leaping high into the night sky and embracing the rest of the dugout, the 47-year-old strategist simply could not contain his emotions as the final whistle resonated around the sold-out Signal Iduna Park to herald the long-awaited end of BVB's seven-match winless run in the Bundesliga.
"We've finally reached double figures in terms of points for the season," said Dortmund's head coach after the game. "If today's game kick-starts our season, then I'll take it. The team played an extraordinary game under the circumstances. We wasted bags of chances, and then that crazy goal goes in. Christoph Kramer has inadvertently earned a place in Dortmund folklore."
The five-time Bundesliga champions were, indeed, exceptional on the night, even if it took an aberrant own goal to settle the contest in their favour. Kramer's 40-yard lob over goalkeeper Yann Sommer has to be up there with the very best 'where were you when...?' moments in the Bundesliga's decorated history, but let's not take anything away from Dortmund who, at times, played some frighteningly good football.
'We're off the bottom'
"We could easily have scored three or four goals of our own in the first half and in the second," recalled Dortmund's Armenian creator-in-chief Henrikh Mkhitaryan. "Obviously [Christoph Kramer] didn't want things to turn out like they did, but one mistake like that has won the game for us. It was a very important game. We knew we had to do everything to win. You don't feel pressure, but you feel bad that a team like Dortmund are last. Everyone knew this and gave it everything - and now we're off the bottom."
In the end, BVB spent little more than 24 hours propping up the rest of the table following SV Werder Bremen's win over 1. FC Köln a day earlier; a position they hadn't been in since the close of play on Matchday 2 of the 2007/08 campaign. Their win-at-all-costs approach to Sunday's contest - a club record 22 shots on goal to Gladbach's one - nevertheless made a mockery of the mid-weekend status quo to lift Klopp's side out of the doldrums of domestic despair and into 15th place on ten points from 11 games.
'The team coped really well'
"It was a strange situation to be in," admitted veteran midfielder Sebastian Kehl. "You can be at the bottom now and again, but not after ten or 11 games. The team coped with it really well, though. We had plenty of chances and really should have taken the lead in the first half, but we weren't rewarded. The fact the game was decided by such a strange goal perhaps sums up BVB's situation, but we'll take it. We're happy to finally pick up a win in the Bundesliga again."
Breathing a collective sigh of relief, Dortmund now have a winning platform for the rest of their Bundesliga campaign. If they do manage to secure another season of UEFA Champions League football, die Schwarz-Gelben will do so forever indebted to their unwitting catalyst for change. Gladbach's Kramer might not remember much of the 2014 FIFA World Cup final owing to concussion, but he'll never be able to forget the 85th instalment of the fabled Battle of the Borussias.