Borussia Dortmund are ready to reclaim Bundesliga title

League leaders in good position following brilliant Derby win

Ali Mangi November 24, 2018
League leaders in good position following brilliant Derby win. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Having long lived in the shadow of Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund are famously known as Germany’s second best team.

One of the founding members of the Bundesliga, Dortmund has managed to win the title a meager five times whereas Bayern are the reigning champions of the league with 27 titles. While Bayern lift the trophy year after year, The Black and Yellows last won the title during Jurgen Klopp’s 2010-11 and 2011-12 campaigns.

However, the club finally seem ready to turn things around. With a fresh-look this season, Dortmund appear to be formidable contenders in the title race. Coming off a spectacular win against Bayern -in what has been touted as the best Bundesliga game in years-Dortmund are already top of the table.

Choosing the right manager at the right time has become the difference in their performances. Dortmund brought in Lucien Favre at just the right time. 61-year-old, former Swiss footballer brought out the best in Marco Reus, was the man who gave Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen his debut and rescued Hertha Berlin, Borussia Mönchengladbach out of the league’s relegation status, eventually turning them into European contenders.

Hertha upset Bayern to claim first win

Favre’s installation at Dortmund bore fruit barely a month of his arrival. Eleven matches into his first year, Dortmund are yet to taste defeat. The Black and Yellows are league leaders with 33 league goals.

The manager has built a team with a rock-solid defense that has rewarded him with eight clean sheets this season already. His penchant for youth has also paid off as Swiss number 5 Akanji and 19-year-old Zagadou have gained confidence and improved with each game. Despite conceding two goals the duo proved their effectiveness during Der Klassiker.

The heart of the team is what Dortmund lacked in their previous campaign; the midfield duo of Axel Witsel and Thomas Delaney. Witsel’s vision and decision-making in launching counter-attacks combined with Delany’s eye for goal and technical skills has become pivotal to the side this season.

Moving on, the forwards and the wingers are doing what they do best – finding enough spaces to play end-to-end and high-paced football with each other.

After rejecting Bayern Munich, former Watford and Manchester City academy player Jadon Sancho has been the talk of the town. Sancho has risen to the occasion despite being just 18-year-old with five goals and seven assists in all competition already this season - filling the void left by current Barca forward Ousmane Dembele.

On top of that, fullbacks like Achraf Hakimi, Raphael Guerreiro and Łukasz Piszczek have become problematic for the opponents when given space on the counter. The partnership on the right-flank between Sancho and Hakimi has been a real threat for opponents.

Bayern fall further behind after Dortmund defeat

The striker, Paco Alcacer, joining on loan from Barcelona, has added more venom to the forward line —bagging 13 goals in just 435 minutes with four coming from the bench.

Favre’s style and execution has also served as the perfect environment for Marco Reus to thrive in — proving that he’s got the talent to be the best. Despite his injuries the striker is a one-man army and has the tools to change the outcome of games on his own which is evident from his 13 goals and five assists this term so far.

This Black and Yellows have become serious candidates for the Champions League title as well, with wins against the likes of Bayern Munich, Atletico, Monaco, Bayer Leverkusen, and RB Leipzig with just one away defeat from Atletico.

Who could have thought high-paced Dortmund would be league leaders with 33 points already? This young-team is on fire, and show zero indication of slowing down. Is it time for the underdogs to finally shine? The signs are there.

Dortmund must build on this momentum to claim the title as Bayern no longer hold the winning formula.


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