“Eeven as a child, you can’t imagine a sequence of play that is great,” said Ole Werner. The 34-year-old Werder Bremen manager is the youngest head coach in the Bundesliga but anyone would have celebrated as wildly on the pitch after this shocking finish at Signal Iduna Park, which Borussia Dortmund left excited.
“I have no idea what happened there,” said their wonder captain, Marco Reus, who has seen many incredible turns in his last decade at the club.
This was unprecedented in the history of the Bundesliga. Dortmund led 2-0 in the 89th minute as they went for their third win in three of the new league season – albeit with efficiency rather than any particular style. Then came the drama, with such an East Midlands flavor that Shane Meadows might have directed – Once Upon a Time in Westfalen, if you like. First, Lee Buchanan (who was born in Mansfield and left Derby for Werder in the summer) hit a delicate left-footed volley into the top corner, which looked like a nice consolation but fell short of a notable effort. Bremen.
There were different ideas in the side which had been promoted relentlessly by Werner. In the third minute of stoppage time, Niklas Schmidt headed in an equaliser, which was feverishly received by the traveling team and fans.
There were more. Oliver Burke – born in Kilkenny but raised in Melton Mowbray, a former Nottingham Forest striker who also arrived this summer – was played into the inside-right channel by Mitchell Weiser and angled a shot in front of the Yellow Wall to to bring the Yellow Wall. house down.
After last week’s late goal through the same combination to save a point against Stuttgart, Burke’s second in two games went one better. Werder came back later than any he had previously managed in the Bundesliga from that position. After all the talk of a move to five substitutes in favor of the big boys, three substitutes scored to make history and create a shock that will be difficult to overcome this season.
It was delirium for Werner’s team. Outside the end after full-time a group of traveling fans celebrated with a bagpiper, fittingly after what Scotland international Burke had done. For Dortmund? Destruction. If this is mugging in terms of time, Werder did not steal their victory.
“We are talking about a deserved victory,” said Edin Terzic, calling it “absolutely stupid,” in the way of conceding three late goals, with visible irritation. “We cannot lose a game like this,” sporting director Sebastian Kehl told Bild TV. “The team knows they are responsible.”
And they did. “We didn’t play well throughout the game,” Reus said, complaining that his team “can’t keep the ball for 20 seconds”. Werner said he would consider the game a missed opportunity if Werder won.
Dortmund’s results this season have been thinly veiled with a certain malleability, but this was a step backwards. “The results and the commitment [had been] right,” wrote Jürgen Koers of Ruhr Nachrichten, “even if the team was far from using its footballing ability.”
This was like pulling teeth. BVB had the upper hand with a 2-0 lead. Gregor Kobel (again) saved them in goal more than once and they didn’t have a shot from inside the penalty area until the 90th minute, when substitute Youssoufa Moukoko called Jiri Pavlenka into action shortly after after Buchanan’s strike.
The defensive side of things will be analyzed more. Marius Wolf and Raphaël Guerreiro are good footballers but people have little idea of full-backs – Wolf is a great player, while Thomas Tuchel and Lucien Favre saw Guerreiro as a midfielder. The Portuguese’s future value was underlined in Saturday’s second goal, which he should have achieved, a shot that slipped under Pavlenka.
Werder’s late goals highlighted BVB’s vulnerability in wide areas so acutely that they could have been part of a health and safety video provided for the returning Terzic. Dortmund are happy to have him back, but the honeymoon is over. He has a job on his hands to break old flaky habits and “has to judge who can be trusted,” as Koers said.
Frank Baumann, Werder’s sporting director who has had his share of criticism over the past six years, cut a very pleased figure on Doppelpass Spórt 1 on Sunday morning and spared no credit to Werner, saying that the coach is like a glove.”
They are still a long way from facing the top, as they did during Baumann’s time as a player, but on this evidence, so are Dortmund.
Bayern were back at Bochum, where there was the greatest horror in the last season. There wasn’t much of a hint of that this time, although you could argue that the home side were less afraid of the champions than the rest of the league which saw them even push on. and they were after them, which left them fatally open. Julian Nagelsmann’s side led 4-0 at half-time and won 7-0 in the end. Leroy Sané made his first start of the season and won a great opener in a great display. “If he is 100% up for it, then he is one of the best players in Europe,” said his coach. Cristian Gamboa, a screeching all-round scorer in February’s 4-2 win over Bochum, had a nightmare here. He was involved in Bayern’s two goals in the first half and added the sixth goal to his own goalkeeper, Manuel Riemann, who also had a day to forget.
Leipzig stumbled again while still searching for an opening win of the campaign after defeating Union Berlin. Timo Werner complained (with some justification) that he should have received an early penalty for a challenge on Christopher Trimmel. That said, the Union were brighter and more decisive after that, with Jordan Siebatcheu and Sheraldo Becker again striking perfectly and both scoring. The Union thus extended a) their hex streak over RB and b) their unbeaten Bundesliga club record to 10 games, extending from last season. Werner warned that Leipzig “urgently need to win a game or it could get pretty dark,” although the atmosphere at the fans’ opening day on Sunday was subdued to say the least.
Then we get to Leverkusen. Flagged by many as a potential Bayern define before the start of the season, they have no points with one goal to their name after their third win, a comprehensive 3-0 home loss to Hoffenheim. Gerardo Seoane’s team could claim some bad luck in the previous setbacks and even here Sardar Azmoun managed to get the better of his teammate Patrik Schick. André Breitenreiter’s savvy side were well beaten, with Christoph Baumgartner heeling open, Ozan Kabak making a barnstorming run to set up Andrej Kramarić and youngster Georginio Rutter putting the coup de grâce with a rocket from a range. “The squad [from last season] More or less stayed together,” said Bayer managing director Simon Rolfes, “so we have to remember what made us so strong.” It makes the current level of disagreement even worse for Sean.