Borussia Dortmund were held to a 2-2 draw by a stubborn Heidenheim side, who claimed their first ever point in the Bundesliga in stunning fashion. Julian Brandt would open the scoring for Die Schwarzgelben before Emre Can placed the hosts in a commanding 2-0 lead that they took into the interval. However, Eren Dinkçi would install hope into the visitors before Tim Kleindienst equalised in the 82nd minute to silence the Westfalenstadion. It is a point that reflects far better for Frank Schmitt’s side, who have put a serious spanner in Dortmund’s title challenge.
Borussia Dortmund lack a leading figure
It has undoubtedly been a difficult summer for Borussia Dortmund. After missing out on the Bundesliga title in heartbreaking fashion on the final day of last season, the Black and Yellow’s have had to contend with losing their star man Jude Bellingham. A player they would often turn to in a moment of crisis, it is clear to see that his departure has affected Edin Terzić’s side.
While Donyell Malen has started the season in sumptuous style – continuing his fine form in 2023 – with two goals in his previous two games, he has proved that his re-emergence from the shadows of this side is not going to fade. As well as this, Emre Can has stepped up to the mantle to captain Dortmund after he ended last season as a crucial clog in Terzić’s system.
However, while both players have proven their worth to this side, they have been unable to replicate the importance of Bellingham. It has been the Achilles heel of every Dortmund side for over a decade and it is an issue that does not look like disappearing any time soon. When the going gets tough, Dortmund shy away. The lack of leadership and composure will continue to hold Die Schwarzgelben back from dethroning Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga.
Heidenheim will not back down
Before this Bundesliga season kicked off, many fans and pundits who regularly tune into the Bundesliga would have most likely written Heidenheim off. A certainty for regulation, they could be the new whipping boys who endure the wrath of those far more experienced in Germany’s top flight. While the first half would suggest that the masses would be proven right, Heidenheim’s second half display would silence them instantly.
A difficult opening day in Wolfsburg was followed by a positive display at home to Hoffenheim on matchday two. Attempting to build upon an improved performance away at the Westfalenstadion is not an ideal scenario for any sides, but Heidenheim are not just any side. Frank Schmitt would have urged side push Dortmund all the way.
With little surprise, Heidenheim would do just that – as only lady luck prevented them from claiming all three points. A 2-0 deficit at half-time would have led to many side giving up hope of walking away with a point. However, an inspired second half performance would see Dortmund wilt away under the pressure, as Heidenheim capitalised on their positive work. Tim Kleindienst would score the crucial goal as Frank Schmitt’s side claimed their first point in the Bundesliga, while simultaneously going one step close to proving their doubters wrong.
Borussia Dortmund continue to look void of ideas
A cagey 1-0 win to kickstart their Bundesliga season may not have been the dream start for Edin Terzić, whose side looked like a shadow of their best from last season, but three points would have more than made up for it. Nevertheless, when the performance failed to improve away at Bochum last weekend, alarm bells would have been ringing in Terzić’s head.
Unfortunately for Terzić and the Dortmund faithful, Heidenheim would prove to be no walkover and the same problems that have plagued Die Schwarzgelben in weeks prior continues to rear its ugly head. While they would race into a 2-0 lead, they would fail to put the final nail in Heidenheim’s coffin – and in truth they never looked like doing so.
Half chances would prove to be the best Dortmund could offer after Emre Can scored from the spot after 15 minutes. Disillusioned and incoherent in the final third, while looking hapless and reckless in defence, it is difficult to see how Dortmund are preparing to mount a serious title challenge. The signing of Niclas Füllkrug will help, but it will not solve their problems. It could be a season of frustration for those in Black and Yellow.
GGFN | Will Shopland