Werder Bremen vs Borussia Dortmund: 6 Things We Learned
Jurgen Klopp's side traveled to Bremen with a mixture of apprehension and a genuine eagerness for further victory following what was a very edgy encounter against bottom of the table Eintracht Braunschweig last week.
Robin Dutt's side came into the game fearing for their safety following a dismissive 3-1 defeat to Augsburg and no more than a simple 0-0 draw against Braunschweig.
Alas, it was Dortmund who opened the scoring just 26 minutes into the game through a wonderfully placed shot from none other than Robert Lewandowski with a goal that summed up the intentions of the visitors that afternoon.
Just 15 minutes and countless attacking plays later, Dortmund doubled their lead through Henrikh Mkhitaryan with a wonderful solo effort on the edge of the Bremen box. At halftime, Dortmund led two goals to nil and looked as though they had the game wrapped up.
If that wasn't the case before the break, it certainly didn't take long for Klopp's side to underline the point in the second half. Just two minutes after the restart, backup centre-back Manuel Friedrich latched onto a loose ball from the first corner of the period to make it three for Dortmund, and from there, the Black and Yellows simply enjoyed the rest of their afternoon.
It was the visitors' fourth goal, a wonderful counter-attack play in which Marco Reus, Nuri Sahin, Lewandowski and ultimately Mkhitaryan combined to create the kind of football that has been too seldom seen at the club this season. The simple finish from the Armenian forward sent Klopp into a frenzy of delight, as he and fans alike welcomed the return of the club's once heralded culture of wonderful football.
A consolation goal came for Bremen in the form of Levent Aycicek's late shot a few minutes from time, but it was only after Lewandowski had doubled his own tally and made it five for Dortmund on the day. It was a well-earned victory for Klopp's men, and one that fans will remember fondly for some time.
Here's what else we took from the game.
Dortmund Looked Like Champions of Old
First things first: Borussia Dortmund looked absolutely unstoppable today. And not just in the manner in which they put five goals past one of the league's worst sides this season; we mean across the whole board.
What a joy it was to watch Marcel Schmelzer and Lukasz Piszczek bomb either wing for the duration of the match like the dynamic wing-backs that they are. How pleasing it was to see Marco Reus run at defences out of simple joy once again. And how wonderful it was to see the side close down as a unit with that old ferocity that won this club so much success.
Dortmund finally looked like the old team that had once turned Bayern Munich over in their conquering of Germany and almost claimed Europe as its prize. More of that please, Mr. Klopp.
Bremen Continues Slump at Bottom of the Table
Werder Bremen were never expected to win, let alone steal a point from Dortmund today, yet the manner in which they completely capitulated was far too telling of the trouble this club now finds itself in.
Robin Dutt's side have now won just one game in their last nine from all competitions and will now find themselves just three points above the relegation spots ahead of Sunday's games. If they keep this kind of form, then those three dangerous spots at the foot of the table will only get closer.
Dortmund's Centre-Back Pairing Still Not Good Enough
It may seem rather cheap and a little too easy to pick on Dortmund's defence this season, but if we were to critique one aspect of the side's performance today, it would again be the glaring lack of quality between Schmelzer and Piszczek in defence.
In what was a routine routing of one of the Bundesliga's lesser sides, both Sokratis and Manuel Friedrich managed to find themselves one yellow card away from a sending off, as well as consistently chasing shadows at every set piece that Bremen had the fortune of taking. Jurgen Klopp will be over the moon with today's result, but lets hope he doesn't turn a blind eye to that blaring hole in his defence.
New Faces Look Like One of Bremen's Few Bright Sparks
For a club like Bremen that seems all out of ideas at this stage of the current Bundesliga campaign, manager Robin Dutt will do his best to take confidence in the fact that his two new additions to the first team looked rather bright at one point or another in this match.
Ludovic Obraniak is an experienced player who is never going to pull up trees for his new club, but he did look composed to the side on Saturday. Equally, another silver lining to such a defeat was young Levent Aycicek's goal just before full-time. The 19-year-old only had 10 minutes to impress, and he did just that with a confident goal.
Mkhitaryan Finally Gets His Goals
One of the key differences between Dortmund today and the wavering club on any other day of the week was the manner in which the front four were able to finally turn on their ability and score with relative ease. At the heart of that transformation was Dortmund's No. 10, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who scored not one but two goals.
To put such a display into context for the Armenian forward, we must of course remember that the new signing hadn't scored for the club since its emphatic 6-2 victory over Hamburg back in September of last year. And just like that dismantling of Hamburg that day, Dortmund certainly look much sharper when their playmaker and chief looks on the ball.
Dortmund Record Overdue Consecutive Victory in the League
Borussia Dortmund's 5-1 win over Werder Bremen today was the club's first consecutive victory in the Bundesliga since November of last year.
As such, it will undoubtedly strike Jurgen Klopp as a huge sigh of relief that his side may finally look as though they are beginning to pick up some consistent form. A strong push for second place—which Bayer Leverkusen look set to fight tooth and nail for—is what Dortmund need to accomplish this season, and with wins like that of which we saw today, it could well be obtainable for this club.