Borussia Dortmund loses an important constant with Marco Reus, but still prevails against strong Schalke. But now BVB has to step up and Edin Terzic should rely on Youssoufa Moukoko in the attack. Schalke must do something about his dependency. The theses on the Revierderby.
Despite the Reus failure, BVB must seize the opportunity for the title
The 28th minute in the Revierderby against FC Schalke 04 took the breath away of the supporters of Borussia Dortmund – and not only them. Marco Reus twisted his ankle in a duel with Florian Flick and had to be treated for minutes. It was very quiet in the stadium until Reus was carried off the pitch, accompanied by loud, encouraging chants and some ugly “Goodbye” calls (from Schalke fans).
You don’t really have to look at the statistics to see how important Reus is for BVB, but bare numbers often help to underpin the subjective impression. The district derby was Reus’ 250th Bundesliga game for Dortmund. In those 250 games, the 33-year-old scored 111 goals and provided 67 assists. With all due respect to Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland, who have given outstanding performances at BVB, Reus has been Dortmund’s long-running favorite for ten years.
And he is – as recently stated at this point – the mother of all can openers with 60 goals that led to BVB’s 1-0 lead. An unbelievable record, which he expanded in a few tight games this season and paved the way for one or two wins for Dortmund both in the league and internationally. Even if Reus is not only missing “three to four weeks” (Sebastian Kehl), as initially feared, the failure will hurt.
The can opener factor is worth mentioning again. It’s not a trend, it’s a fact that BVB have problems making the game – especially when the opponent closes the chains. Reus’ creativity paired with his experience and a certain perseverance is often the solution.
Against brave but old-fashioned defending Schalke, Dortmund constantly had the ball (at times 73 percent) and despite a visual superiority, it took until the 79th minute for Schalke to get tired and Dortmund to strike at the first real mistake. It was BVB’s fourth 1-0 win this Bundesliga season. Assumptions should be treated with caution, but there were games that Dortmund would not have won in recent years or did not win.
It’s the games that can decide the title fight. Even if BVB is reluctant to talk about it, a team is emerging that can seriously play for the championship. Who, despite heavy slips (Bremen, Leipzig), seems to have the mentality to win these tight numbers with the necessary concentration instead of running to ruin.
BVB must now take advantage of FC Bayern’s phase of weakness and position themselves for the direct duel on October 8th. According to Kehl’s forecast, Reus should be back against the permanent champion if Dortmund tries to prevent their ninth defeat in a row or possibly even their first win since the DFL Supercup in 2019.
As a can opener but also as a leader. “We feel better when he’s on the pitch,” said Youssoufa Moukoko after the derby. The reactions of colleagues after the injury confirm the impression that the team follows their captain, despite the discussions of the past few days.
If BVB compensates for the loss of Reus to some extent, the fight for the title is an issue in Dortmund. The fact that the win against Schalke was forced without him is a good first sign.