Borussia Dortmund returned from the international break with toughest test away at Freiburg, but were able to grind out a 4-2 win at the Europa Park.
In the first half, Dortmund took the lead through a Mats Hummels header from a corner. However, Dortmund were not able to take advantage of their early momentum and Freiburg were able to get themselves back into the game with a Lucas Höler header. Things got worse for Dortmund just before halftime when Nicolas Höfler gave Freiburg the lead, also from a header.
In the second half, Dortmund equalised from a Donyell Malen counter. Die Schwarzgelben then benefitted from a red card to Höfler which opened up the game. Dortmund then took the lead with a later header from Hummels once again before Marco Reus made it 4-2 with his first goal of the season.
Donyell Malen has lost the flop tag
In the opening four games of the season, Malen has been Dortmund’s stand out player, the 24-year-old scored his third goal of the season to equalise for Dortmund in the 60th minute. Malen brings the pace and drive that Dortmund are missing as the other wingers have not been at their best at the start of the season.
With this form as well as his form at the end of last season, it now means that the Dutchman has lost the tag of a flop after struggling to adjust to the Bundesliga for over a season and a half.
Dortmund lack creativity
Dortmund once again showed they lack creativity when it comes to attacking. Apart from Malen and Reus’ goals, both of Hummels’ goals came from corners while during the rest of the game, especially in the first half, they struggled to take advantage of their lead and allowed Freiburg to come back into the game.
This once again shows Dortmund’s poor transfer window as their failure to bring in another attacker who can provide creativity has become more prominent in the opening four games of the season. Against stronger teams, Dortmund are likely to struggle.
Freiburg have lost their way
This is the second time that Freiburg have lost in an ’embracing’ manner. Normally the club from the Black Forest are a tough team to play against but in the past two games they have conceded nine goals. The red card to Höfler did not help the team in this game but they have struggled to look like their normal selves.
Freiburg’s leaky defence could be due to the lack of refresh in the defence and the likes of Lukas Kübler and Manuel Gulde are no longer at the level that Freiburg are currently competing at or it could be on the goalkeeping position. 21-year-old Noah Atubolu has been thrown in at the deep end for Freiburg, before this season he had only played at 3. Liga level and the keeper has struggled in his first four Bundesliga games. It maybe time to try Florian Müller in goal and give Atubolu more time to develop and get used to the Bundesliga level.
GGFN | Jack Meenan