There are still two games remaining. Two lots of 90 minutes. “Bayern need to step on the gas, we’ll step on the gas,” said Edin Terzic in the run-up to the week of truth, which will see BVB play matches in Augsburg next Sunday and at home to Mainz six days later.
“We’re not finished yet. We still have two tasks ahead of us. We definitely have some amends to make away and then we have another home game. Then we’ll see where that ultimately gets us in our role as hunters,” explained the coach to Sky after the 5-2 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach. Bayern Munich top the table with 68 points and have a far superior goal difference (+55) than Borussia Dortmund (67 / +36). BVB therefore need to win both games and hope Bayern do not win either against Leipzig or in Cologne on the final day. The game yesterday confirmed that Borussia cannot finish outside of the top two. But they want more. “I’m dreaming of the Championship Shield,” revealed Donyell Malen.
The 5-2 against Mönchengladbach was the third emphatic home win in a row, after the 4-0 against Frankfurt and the 6-0 against Wolfsburg – although Gregor Kobel had to make a stunning stop to prevent a third Gladbach goal and a potentially jittery finish. “It got a bit erratic in the second half and a bit careless towards the end,” criticised the goalkeeper.
“Top in terms of substitute and teenager goals”
The two conceded goals did not have any consequences, in part because the attack is performing outstandingly. BVB recorded the highest xGoals value of all the 18 Bundesliga clubs this season against Gladbach (5.54) – “xGoals” represents the number of realistic goals based on the quality of the chances. The Black & Yellows shot at the Gladbach goal 32 times. That’s the second-highest value in the league this season. BVB have scored 53 goals since the winter break – 13 goals more than any other German team and the most in any top European league.
It is no coincidence. “We’ve been sharing the goals among many players the entire season. I’m delighted that we’re top in terms of substitute and teenager goals,” said Terzic, who has had almost the entire squad at his disposal since the winter break. Sébastien Haller had completely missed the first 15 matches due to cancer, while Donyell Malen and Karim Adeyemi had missed five and four matches respectively.
Terzic: “Gio is not making it easy for me”
There are five Dortmund players among the seven top scorers since the winter break, with Malen, Haller and Adeyemi joined on that list by Julian Brandt and Raphael Guerreiro. The following figures underline how in form the attacking trio currently are: Malen has been directly involved in 13 goals in the last eight games (eight goals, five assists), while Haller and Adeyemi have been involved in eight goals (4/4) and six goals (3/3) respectively in the last five games. “When you now see what they can do with their feet, it’s difficult to imagine that these three players – in Seb’s case it’s logical – did not have a Bundesliga goal after 16 matchdays,” explained Terzic at the press conference. That is in part because the internal pressure to perform is high. Terzic cited Gio Reyna as an example. Reyna has scored five of his seven goals this season since the winter break – all as a substitute. “Gio in particular is not making it easy for me to always only be bringing him on (editor’s note: from the bench). He pushes the others every day. We want to have that performance mindset in the team. Karim and Donny know that they need to keep stepping on the gas.”
They are keeping the pressure up internally. And continuing to send a message to the South. Bayern Munich must go first – on Saturday against a team that want to avoid their pursuit of Champions League qualification going to the final day. Then, on Sunday, Borussia Dortmund are up against a team that want to avoid their battle for survival going to the wire…