Borussia Dortmund opened their Champions League campaign with a devastating 2-0 defeat against PSG. Die Schwarzgelben travelled to the French capital in a rather underwhelming form and the lack of confidence running throughout the side was evident in Edin Terzić’s gameplan. The first half may have ended goalless, but with Dortmund looking to absorb PSG’s frequent escapades forward, they were bound to buckle.
Just as the second half got under way, Niklas Süle would offer PSG the chance to take the lead as he was judged to have handled the ball in the penalty area. Kylian Mbappé would open the scoring before Achraf Hakimi came back to haunt his former employers when he neatly doubled the Parisian’s lead. Chances would come for PSG to add to their advantage, but Dortmund would ultimately prevent further embarrassment. While the French champions are on course for a successful group stage, BvB show that there is little to be positive about surrounding the club at this moment in time.
Edin Terzić is under pressure
Underwhelming performances that have been highlighted by a lack of creativity has led to questions being asked around whether Edin Terzić is the right man to lead this side forward. Having been drawn into what many have claimed to be the group of death would certainly not have been ideal for BvB, and after such a disappointing start against the Parisians, will a change in the dugout need be made?
Dortmund turned up to the Parc des Princes with little intention of taking the game to PSG. Donyell Malen and Karim Adeyemi led the line for Terzić’s side with the aim of catching their hosts on the break. Nevertheless, Dortmund would rarely find themselves voyaging forward, and when they did, the lack of quality and creativity would haunt them once again.
Not so long ago, Dortmund were a team that any side in Europe would be frightened to come up against. Hard working, unpredictable and with quality all over the pitch, BvB were a joy to watch. However, while quality may remain – and that is up for a debate – at times they look lazy and predictability is their unfortunate trait. Terzić has to find a way to turn their fortunes around, and soon, as BvB cannot continue to underperform in such a manner.
The absence of Jude Bellingham is evident
Last season, Jude Bellingham was the star player for Borussia Dortmund. When an obstacle stood in the way of the Black and Yellows, the Englishman was the player that would often find a solution to galvanise his troops.
Nevertheless, in his absence, Dortmund have looked lost at sea in difficult moments. Against Freiburg on Saturday, it was the experience of Mats Hummels and Marco Reus that stepped up to the plate. But tonight, nobody looked ready to push Dortmund forward. When Bellingham was on the field, he was able to offer inspiration to those around him and lead by the front.
However, there are no longer any leaders within the team. From the outset there was a sense of fear within the side that never looked like changing. While Julian Brandt and Felix Nmecha showed flickers of quality from midfield, they are not on the same level as Bellingham. There is experience within the side, but without possessing certain characteristics, they are unable to provide the positive impact required and Dortmund continue to flounder.
Borussia Dortmund have to avoid fourth spot
Having to kickstart a Champions League campaign away at PSG is an unenviable task – despite the Parisians disappointing history in the competition. Luis Enrique’s side are undoubtedly the favourites to top the group and falling to defeat in the French capital will not be considered a monumental failure for BvB.
However, the manner of the defeat will indeed disappoint. Throughout the tie, the Black and Yellow’s looked void of ideas with no two players on the same wavelength. The first half display did show that there is grit within the side, but once the first goal went in, their heads dropped.
Nevertheless, Dortmund have to move on and learn from their mistakes. Games against AC Milan and Newcastle will not be easy and finishing fourth in the group would be a monumental failure. Exiting European competition would signal regression for a group of players that should be playing at a higher level.
GGFN | Will Shopland