Borussia Dortmund vs. Eintracht Frankfurt: 6 Things We Learned
The victory was BVB's second over the Adler in four days, coming after the Ruhr side's 1-0 triumph in Tuesday's DFB-Pokal quarterfinal.
The match was monumental for Dortmund and coach Jurgen Klopp in more ways than one: Click "Begin Slideshow" for an in-depth look at the major talking points from Saturday's action.
Lukasz Piszczek Is Back
Following Kevin Grosskreutz's impressive performances during his injury-induced absence in the first half of the season, Lukasz Piszczek needed a bit of luck to have a chance to win back his place in the BVB starting lineup. It turned out that an injury to Marco Reus, although to Dortmund's loss, was Piszczek's gain.
Piszczek and Grosskreutz had shared the minutes at right-back in the spring prior, but due to Reus' injury, the Pole has started the last three matches in his preferred position. Grosskreutz has featured exclusively in left midfield.
Piszczek has showed more and more of the form of yesteryear, and Saturday's match with Frankfurt was perhaps his best performance yet. The visitors were never a threat on his flank and the former Hertha BSC man on numerous occasion managed to make surging runs forward on the counterattack; in one case he ought to have earned an assist, but the pitch took much of the pace off Marcel Schmelzer's header, which was cleared.
Dortmund fans will be pleased to see Piszczek's trademark crosses back in action once more. He's had a long way to come since his injury but seems to have finally turned the corner.
Klopp Now Dortmund's Most Successful Coach in the Bundesliga
Dortmund's win marked the club's 146th victory under coach Jurgen Klopp, 111 of which have come in the Bundesliga. The trainer had exceeded Ottmar Hitzfeld's tally of 145 overall last week, and this week, he surpassed the Swiss trainer's record of 110 victories in Germany's top flight.
Hitzfeld served at the helm of BVB for six seasons, coaching in 207 Bundesliga games and 272 overall. Klopp has a somewhat higher victory rate, his wins tallies coming from 192 fixtures in the Bundesliga and 253 overall during his five-and-a-half seasons.
Note: All statistics taken from Kicker.
Frankfurt Not Suited for 3 Games in a Week
When Frankfurt finished sixth place in the Bundesliga last season and as a result earned a spot in the 2013-14 Europa League, few expected much from Armin Veh's side on the continental stage. Their starting XI was rather ordinary, and critically, there was little depth to ensure the trainer would have fresh players available in every game.
Frankfurt exceeded all expectations by winning Group F with 15 points out of a possible 18. But the Adler have struggled on the domestic front and entered Saturday's clash with Dortmund in 12th place. After losing Tuesday's DFB-Pokal clash with BVB, 1-0, Frankfurt looked tired and not at all sharp as they faced Klopp's side for a second time in just four days.
The visitors were always going to struggle, but the way they capitulated in the opening minutes was proof that they were exhausted. The opener came after Sebastian Jung was dispossessed all too easily deep in his own half. The second followed a poorly defended corner kick; the third came from a needless penalty.
Within 20 minutes, the match may as well have been over: A very, very easy day at the office for BVB and one to forget for a very fatigued Frankfurt. On Tuesday, the two teams were near-equal. On Saturday, there was no comparison.
Aubameyang's Strike Rate Is the Best in the Bundesliga
It took just 20 minutes for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to record his 12th and 13th goals of the Bundesliga season, bringing him within one of joint leaders Adrian Ramos and teammate Robert Lewandowski.
Although he is not quite as prolific as the Colombia and Poland internationals, however, Aubameyang's strike rate is superlative in the Bundesliga. The Gabon international averages a goal every 107.9 minutes, slightly better than Mario Mandzukic (108.9) and Pierre-Michel Lasogga (110.6).
It's difficult enough to be prolific when often used as a substitute, but even more impressively, Aubameyang—unlike his competitors—has been used exclusively on the wing. Lewandowski is generally regarded as the primary scorer for BVB. But that could change considering Aubameyang's prolific form.
Jojic Has a Knack for Impressive Debuts
Milos Jojic made his Dortmund debut on Saturday, replacing Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the 68th minute. Within 17 seconds, and with his first touch, the 21-year-old scored—a simple finish on an empty net, but a goal nonetheless.
Incredibly, Saturday's goal was not the first time Jojic had found the target in a debut appearance. In a friendly with Japan last fall, the youngster earned his first cap for Serbia in a five-minute appearance as a substitute. He scored at the death.
Klopp will have to hope for more of the same from his new signing.
Dortmund's Defense Is Finally Reliable
After last week's near-miss against Werder Bremen, Dortmund kept their first clean sheet of the calendar year in the Bundesliga. Counting their DFB-Pokal win, it was BVB's second consecutive clean sheet, an encouraging result considering that Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic are injured.
With full-backs Lukasz Piszczek and Marcel Schmelzer fit and in good form and Sokratis Papastathopoulos and the resurgent Manuel Friedrich having developed a good partnership in the center, Dortmund do not look the mess they were in defense earlier in the season.
They will welcome back Hummels from injury soon and the 25-year-old will surely be important both in attack and defense, but the good news is that for now it seems BVB have five solid defenders. Above all other things, this will be crucial for their aspirations in the Champions League.