Dortmund – First Marco Reus was frustrated by a fantastic save by Hannover 96 keeper Ron-Robert Zieler, then he hit the crossbar. In the end though, Reus was relieved that Henrikh Mkhitaryan found the net with a long-range effort to secure a hard-fought 1-0 victory for Borussia Dortmund (Read: the match report).
In an exclusive interview with bundesliga.com, Reus reveals his thoughts on the team’s performance, missed chances, the gap to third place in the table and a teammate’s rather extravagant outfit.
bundesliga.com: Marco Reus, Borussia Dortmund started the game in dominant fashion, creating two very good chances. Then things got gradually more difficult. Why?
Marco Reus: Quite simply, we didn’t play as well as we had done in the opening ten minutes or so. To be brutally honest, it wasn’t one of our best performances. We didn’t play the kind of football we are capable of for long periods of both halves. That’s why it was a scrappy encounter and that’s why we only won 1-0.
bundesliga.com: Why couldn’t Borussia Dortmund get their game going? Was there a bit of pace missing?
Reus: We were certainly lacking tempo but our passing wasn’t precise enough. We didn’t occupy the space we had planned to and that makes it difficult to create chances and finish them off.
bundesliga.com: Thankfully Henrikh Mkhitaryan decided to have a go and scored with a long-range effort.
Reus: He did so really well. Marcel Schmelzer was on the overlap but he cut inside and we all know that Miki has a great shot on him. We needed the goal and we were desperate to take the lead in the first half, but weren’t able to do so. In the end, it wasn’t a good performance but thanks to Miki, at least we won.
bundesliga.com: Some players appeared to have difficulty standing up on a slippy pitch. How was it for you?
Reus: That’s no excuse because it was the same for the Hannover players. Of course it is not easy to play in these conditions - it was cold and then it started raining. But that’s not the reason we didn’t play as well as we have done in recent weeks.
bundesliga.com: Dortmund have now increased the gap to third to 13 points though.
Reus: In the past, we wouldn’t have won a game like that. As it is, we have stretched our lead over third place. That was important and does us good.
bundesliga.com: Before travelling to Bayer 04 Leverkusen next week, BVB have the small matter of the Europa League fixture against FC Porto. What kind of game are you expecting?
Reus: On the whole, we’d be better served analysing the game against Hannover first and the mistakes we made. But the match against Porto will be a whole new ball game as they have lots of different qualities. I’m sure we’ll approach the game in a different state of mind than we did against Hannover.
bundesliga.com: Finally, a question about your strike partner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. He was missing through injury but was certainly centre of attention in the stands with a very eye-catching outfit!
Reus: I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ll definitely have to have a look later (laughs). But we all know how stylish Auba is and nothing surprises me anymore!
Dietmar Nolte was reporting from Dortmund