Dortmund - Following the disappointment of Sunday’s 2-2 draw at home to promoted SV Darmstadt 98, Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels has already turned his attentions to a busy week that culminates with a trip to FC Bayern München’s Allianz Arena.
Speaking after the game, the 26-year-old defender explained what went wrong at the Signal Iduna Park, before looking ahead to Der Klassiker.
Question: Mats Hummels, BVB gave it everything to turn the game around after falling behind, but it the end you had to settle for a point. Aside from being disappointed, how are you feeling?
Mats Hummels: We showed spirit. We did really well after falling behind and could have equalised earlier. Luck and bad luck played a big part in the end and Darmstadt equalised. Having said that, it didn’t have to be that way.
Question: Why did Dortmund find it so hard for so long to break down the Darmstadt defence?
Hummels: We didn’t have many chances admittedly, other than a couple of golden opportunities we didn’t take. It’s really tough when the opponent essentially plays in a 6-3-1 formation. We couldn’t break them down, but we kept coming. It think we were really strong in the second half. We can be happy with that. The only annoying thing is what happened in the 90th minute. We didn’t want the win enough. If an opposition player is almost all alone in a central position, 15 yards from goal from a free-kick, then we’ve definitely done something wrong.
Question: If Dortmund had kept moving the ball among themselves rather than pushing forward, maybe Darmstadt wouldn’t have had any more chances. Do you take a similar view?
Hummels: You’re not wrong. Darmstadt were spent, that was it for them. Their spirits were broken after we took a 2-1 lead. All we had to do was see it out, but then we went on the attack with four men, lost the ball and had to commit a tactical foul. As a result, they got the free-kick. If the opposition plays kick and rush football, sometimes it pays off.
Question: Was it a case of Dortmund not being smart enough?
Hummels: I wouldn’t say that. These things happen. If we’d have scored a third, that would have been it. Nothing more would have happened.
Question: You've picked up two points from their last two games and now trail Bayern by four points.
Hummels: The annoying thing is that we once again failed to open up a seven-point gap on fourth. We’ve had two great chances in a row to do that, and we’ve messed up twice. That’s what annoys us the most because it’s about finishing in the top three - ideally as comfortably and as quickly as possible.
Question: BVB have a tough week ahead: first you face PAOK in the Europa League on Thursday and then Bayern in Der Klassiker on Sunday.
Hummels: Without doubt they’re two tough matches, but we’ve played some terrific matches in Munich in recent years. Sometimes we’ve won, other times we’ve lost. I don’t think there’s an obvious trend. It’ll definitely be a good game, but first we want to take the next step towards the next round of the Europa League. That’s the first objective. Then we’ll be focusing on the Bundesliga again on Friday.
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