Hanover – There's hardly a better way to celebrate reaching a milestone than with victory, and with so many people there to witness it.
Mats Hummels played his 200th Bundesliga game in front of 49,000 spectators at the HDI-Arena on Saturday, and he had plenty of reason to rejoice in a 4-2 victory which consolidated BVB's place at the top of the table.
With 87 percent of his tackles won, Dortmund's captain made an important contribution to the Westphalian club's record-breaking start to the season, but one of the 13 percent he failed to win took a bit of gloss off his day. "I really should have got that ball before they made it 2-2," admitted the 26-year-old. It illustrated the fine line between excellence and perfection, and Hummels admitted there is still ample margin for improvement in the quest to turn the former into the latter...
Question: Mats Hummels, four wins from four league games – what do you make of that?
Mats Hummels: It wasn't an easy game to win today, but one that we had to fight for. It was what we expected; like it has always been at Hannover in recent years. They've always been tight games here, even if we've more often than not been able to come away with a win. I've only ever lost here once, if my memory serves me well.
'Things are going well and we're happy'
Question: You turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead just before the break. Was that the turning point?
Hummels: No, I think we only put a lid on it when we made it 4-2. It was on a knife-edge until then. The game was wide open.
Question: You didn't cut the best of figures when Artur Sobiech made it 2-2 just after half-time…
Hummels: I really should have got that ball before they made it 2-2, absolutely. I go for a header when it would have been better for me to go with my foot. Either way, I really had to clear it.
Question: Dortmund were superior right from the start and it seemed at times like a game of handball, with the Hannover players camped inside their box not letting you in…
Hummels: It's been three or four years now that I'd say 80 percent of our opponents have played defensively against us. We've just got to be patient and wait for our chance.
Question: The fans are already singing that you'll win the title…
Hummels: They're allowed to dream. We've made a very good start to the season. Things are going well and we're happy, but we've still got to find a touch more stability.
Jürgen Blöhs reporting from Hanover