Borussia Dortmund set a club record with their ninth victory in a row on Saturday – it’s the best start to a calendar year in the club’s history. Yet more records are on the horizon. The team are enjoying the celebrations, but not getting swept up in the euphoria.
The final score of 1-0 did not reflect the way the game went, as TSG Hoffenheim and Borussia Dortmund continuously exchanged blows – especially for much of the second half. “It was counter-attack after counter-attack,” said Nico Schlotterbeck, who worked with centre-back partner Niklas Süle to guard the BVB goal as well as possible. The fact that the final score was 1-0 was less down to wastefulness on the part of the strikers than outstanding performances from the two goalkeepers, Oliver Baumann and Gregor Kobel.
Kobel made five crucial saves to deny TSG, while Baumann made seven. In total, BVB had 23 shots to Hoffenheim’s 13, with 14 clear opportunities for BVB and 7 for Hoffenheim. “We had many, many chances to put the game to bed. That meant that we had to fight hard until the end,” said coach Edin Terzic, who also praised his sides “willingness to defend set-piece situations”.
Either side of the only goal of the day, which Julian Brandt scored with his back after a free-kick cross by Marco Reus in the 43rd minute, BVB had an abundance of clear opportunities to put the game to bed early. First, Baumann made two outstanding saves to deny Haller, before Reus and Wolf fired wide. “From the 25th minute on, we played a really good away game until the half-time break,” said Terzic.
Even though it remained exciting until the final whistle. No one questioned the fact that the victory was deserved. The fans celebrated wildly, but in the dressing room, the team were more sober. “It feels good and just makes you want more,” said Emre Can. “But we can’t rest on our laurels,” said Edin Terzic, adding: “Everyone should strive to achieve something great. But neither I nor the team are paid to dream. We are only paid for effort and hard work. We know why we are in this situation.”
“This situation” is nine victories in a row across all competitions. The club’s record is eleven, set between 30 July and 20 September 2015.
But first, we have to deal with Leipzig. A victory would be the eighth in succession in the Bundesliga alone – something the Black and Yellows have achieved only once before, in the 2011/2012 season.