Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Hamburg SV

Posted on August 5, 2011

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CHAMPIONS Borussia Dortmund got off to the perfect start in the defence of their Bundesliga crown with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Hamburg SV.

Dortmund were at their very best in the first half and were two goals up at the break through Kevin Großkreutz and Mario Gotze. They extended their lead through Großkreutz early in the second half and the game was all but sown up, despite HSV’s late consolation through Robert Tesche.

The champions made two changes to the team which beat SV Sandhausen in the DFB Pokal last weekend with Sven Bender and Felipe Santana coming in for Sebastian Kehl and Neven Subotic, the latter being ruled out through injury. Löwe continues at left-back in place of Marcel Schmelzer who sustained an injury during pre-season.

The major question mark over Jurgen Klopp’s team selection was the replacement for departed midfielder Nuri Sahin who joined Real Madrid in the summer and was such an integral part of Dortmund’s title-winning side. Ilkay Gundogan was one of Die Borussen’s major summer signings after joining from Nurnburg for £4m, and he started beside Sven Bender in the heart of the Dortmund midfield.

Michael Oenning was dealt with a late blow when Son Heung-Min picked up an illness in the build up to the match and he was replaced by Jose Paolo Guerrero in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with the Peruvian supporting Mladen Petric in attack. The only other change for Hamburg was David Jarolim dropping out for Tomas Rincon.

Questions were raised in the build-up to the opener at Signal Iduna Park about the transfer policy at Hamburg with Frank Arnesen dipping in to his Chelsea contacts to bring Michael Mancienne, Gokhan Tore, Jeffrey Bruma and Jacopo Sala to Germany. Dutch defender Bruma had to be content with a place on the bench alongside another new signing Per Skjelbred who signed from Rosenborg last week.

Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Hamburg SV: 90 minutes

The hosts started well in the early exchanges with a very high tempo and good movement but there was very little in terms of goalmouth action for either team.

The Dortmund fans were treated to some of the superb link-up play last season which helped them secure the Bundesliga championship, when Mario Gotze played through to Shinji Kagawa who fired wide of the right-hand post from 20 yards out.

And the champions did not wait long for the opening goal which came on 16 minutes when a quick Dortmund break opened up bags of space behind Diekmeier at right-back and Kevin Großkreutz waltzed through on goal and slotted home with his left-foot.

Hamburg were kept in the game by the woodwork after Kagawa’s lovely footwork on the edge of the penalty box worked some space for the shot which beat Drobny, but not his right-hand post.

The Japanese midfielder missed another chance just before the half-hour mark when Großkreutz was played in to the left channel and he cut the ball back from the touchline for the oncoming Kagawa who fired well wide of the far post.

The second soon came through teenage wonderkid Mario Gotze after sublime work with Robert Lewandowski who played a lovely one-two with the youngster and Gotze cooly clipped the ball past Drobny’s right shoulder and in to the back of the net.

Micahel Oenning was forced in to a substitution with minutes to go until half-time and Jose Paolo Guerrero, who has just returned from Copa America duty, was replaced by Anis Ben-Hatira.

New signing Gundogan nearly opened his Dortmund account for the season on 44 minutes when he found space at the edge of the box and slotted just wide of the post after Gotze had created the opportunity.

The second period was just two minutes old when Dortmund added a third when Santana, and then Gotze, breezed through the fragile Hamburg defence and despite their best attempts to clear, Großkreutz bundled the ball home from 4 yards out.

Hamburg did put the ball in the net on 51 minutes when Roman Wiedenfeller spilled a cross from Diekmeier and Marcell Jansen pounced to slot the ball home but the referee adjudged Jansen to have fouled the Dortmund goalkeeper.

With HSV looking dead and buried, Klopp replaced Chris Lowe and Mario Gotze with Ivan Perisic and Jakub Blaszczykowski to add some freshness to a rather stale period of the game for the champions.

But the game took an unexpected twist just after 76 minutes when substitute Robert Tesche hammered home a goal for the visitors from a corner kick after an almighty scramble inside the Dortmund penalty area.

Substitute Perisic was making his debut in the Bundesliga and he came very close to scoring when he curled a free-kick wide from just outside the box.

There was encouragement for the travelling supporters with some decent half-chances in the last 10 minutes and left-midfielder Marcell Jansen making a massive difference to the game since coming on at half-time.

However, the home side were in no real danger of losing their lead in front of a buoyant 80,000-strong crowd inside the Westfalenstadion to see Dortmund stay at the top of the Bundesliga, for 20 hours at least.

BVB: Same as where they left off

Dortmund got off to the perfect start in the Bundesliga tonight and their football was just as good as what they served up last season.

It had been mentioned a few times that teams who do so well in one season will just fall away the next, otherwise known as “second season syndrome” and on initial impressions, Dortmund won’t have to worry about that.

Jurgen Klopp has kept the bulk of the squad together and the loss of Sahin has been cushioned by Ilkay Gundogan who looks a very promising player indeed – but isn’t a carbon copy of Sahin. The new Real Madrid midfielder was Dortmund’s heartbeat and was normally very deep and starting every attack from his defensive midfield position.

Gundogan is much more in the middle of the park and is more dynamic compared with Sahin as we saw with some of Gundogan’s runs in to the Hamburg half of the pitch. Interestingly, Gundogan had a passing completion rate of over 89% which is higher than Sahin’s normal average.

It seems the role Sahin played last season which was to collect the ball early from the Dortmund’s centre-backs and move it to the creative players has been completely discarded. It certainly helps when you have players such as Mats Hummels and Felipe Santana who were immaculate in possession this evening with the latter having 89% completion.

HSV: Reinforcements needed

When your up against the champions on the opening day of the season, it’s not really the most appropriate time to judge the players and the coach but one key observation from tonight is that Hamburg need to add 2 or 3 proven players to a very young squad.

At times, such as the first goal with Diekmeier, Hamburg’s younger players were exposed and Dortmund took advantage of that with some ruthless finishing.

In the 4-2-3-1 formation that Hamburg will play this season, they are lacking two players who can play defensive and attacking roles. Tomas Rincon is a very tidy player and the 23-year-old should be one of the regulars in HSV’s midfield but to complement Rincon’s athletic style of play, Oenning could do with a holding midfielder before the end of August.

In an attacking sense, there is absolutely no doubt Guerrero is not an attacking midfielder to work off Mladen Petric. The thing about Petric is that he’s not necessarily the best player in terms of linking up with a supporting striker, and he really needs the service provided to him. A creative midfielder is a must for Hamburg this summer.

Questions have already been raised about Eljero Elia who again produced another ineffective performance in a Hamburg shirt and could find himself behind Marcell Jansen in the pecking order after his impressive second half display in Dortmund.

MOTM: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund)

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Posted in: Matches