Dortmund - These are rosier times for Borussia Dortmund, who celebrated a in the last 16 of the DFB Cup on Tuesday having won their in a row.
Strengthened by battle
More than just the results, however, head coach Jürgen Klopp is discovering a certain depth to his squad which enables him to rotate the team without losing any quality. In fact, the insertion of provided added value on Tuesday night.
The Italian striker had been consigned to a watching brief in recent weeks given the scintillating form of , but with the Gabon international rested in Dresden, Immobile seized his opportunity to remind Klopp of his worth, his two goals taking last season's Serie A top scorer to an average of one strike every 96 minutes all cup competitions this term.
More importantly, they helped resolve a tricky tie against a determined third-division Dynamo who embodied the same fighting qualities Klopp had asked for, and received, from his Canonniere. "We were up against a side who fought to the death," said Immobile, bearing the scars of battle after a late clash left him cut and bruised. "It was important that we won this game to keep us on track for [the final in] Berlin."
The 2014 World Cup participant was clearly happy to have supplied the decisive goals, but insisted it was merit of the team that Dortmund are now looking in a much healthier state than they were a month ago. "My two goals aren't important," said the 25-year-old summer signing. "What mattered was that we won as a unit.
"I'm delighted to have been able to help the team. After I scored the second goal Mats Hummels came over to me and said I'm really happy for you. Those words did me a lot of good," said Immobile after a night hinting he is finally beginning to settle in Westphalia.