The Hard Tackle brings you a complete throwback of Borussia Dortmund during the calendar year of 2019, including their failure to win the Bundesliga title.
Borussia Dortmund endured quite a mixed year in 2019. In a year when the Black and Yellows were expected to put an end to Bayern Munich’s winning cycle and sheer dominance in the Bundesliga, they failed to live up to the expectations.
On the flip side, there were a few off-pitch revelations that did increase the overall financial as well as the cultural image of the club, including Dortmund’s more robust nature in the transfer market. Moreover, it is fair to point out that they also enjoyed one of their most productive seasons ever since Jurgen Klopp left in 2015.
And here, at the Hard Tackle, we will dive deep into the top five moments for Borussia Dortmund, good or bad, in the calendar year of 2019.
The Bundesliga campaign that deserved a title but didn’t get one
Of course, the biggest disappointment for Borussia Dortmund in 2019 was to miss out on the Bundesliga title, despite a tremendous start to the 2018/19 campaign. The Ruhrpott giants were leading the Hinrunde table by a considerable margin and were widely expected to go on and win the league, breaking Bayern Munich’s streak of winning six back to back Bundesliga titles.
But, a disastrous start to the Ruckrunde campaign saw Dortmund secure just one win in February. They notably drew three back to back games against Eintracht Frankfurt, TSG Hoffenheim and 1.FC Nuremberg. This run of three winless matches in the league helped Bayern recover the nine-point gap that existed earlier in the campaign.
Moreover, in the game against Frankfurt, club captain Marco Reus sustained an injury for the first time since the start of the 2018/19 season. He missed the game for a couple of weeks and wasn’t really fit when Dortmund clashed against Augsburg in March when the team once slumped to a 2-1 defeat.
The curse against Schalke
One of the most disappointing moments for Borussia Dortmund during 2019 was when they lost 4-2 to FC Schalke even at their own turf. It was a vital result – a defeat that allowed Bayern to move up to the table, thus diminishing Dortmund’s title hopes.
Moreover, it was also Dortmund’s first home defeat since Matchday 33 of the 2017/18 campaign. Not to mention, the win was crucial for Schalke as it provided them with the ideal boost they had needed to end the campaign on a strong note.
And this season, Die Schwarzgelben have once again dropped points against Schalke, playing out a goalless draw at Veltins Arena. That means Dortmund failed to defeat their arch-rivals throughout the entirety of 2019, which is a rather shameful record.
Adversity against Bayern Munich
Prior to the 4-2 defeat against Schalke in April, Borussia Dortmund had lost 5-0 at the hands of Bayern Munich, earlier in the month. The result made a huge difference in the league table. But most importantly, it completely shattered the confidence of the men in Black and Yellow as they went on to lose the derby as well.
It was a game where Dortmund were expected to perform well, just like how they did in the reverse fixture, back in 2018. However, Lucien Favre’s cautious approach backfired as Bayern Munich went on a scoring spree in the first half, taking a 4-0 lead.
While it was looking like a long night ahead of the visitors, they did improve in the second half and even caused a lot of trouble in the Bayern third. But in the end, the ended up conceding the fifth, thanks to former comrade Robert Lewandowski.
It wasn’t the first time Dortmund failed to perform against Bayern in 2019. Although they did win the Supercup 2-0 in early August, Bayern once again inflicted a heavy 4-0 defeat on Die Schwarzgelben earlier this season, at the Allianz Arena.
“SanSHOW” against Fortuna Dusseldorf
2019 was clearly the year of Jadon Sancho. The young Englishman had already made a mark during the backend of the 2017/18 campaign. But, it was the 2018/19 campaign, where the winger was expected to play a prominent role in the Dortmund attack and that he did.
And the English international continued his performances in this new season as well. Especially in December, he was involved in more goals than any other player in the Bundesliga, scoring four goals and mustering three assists. As a result, Dortmund won four of their five competitive matches in that month.
Sancho’s performance against Fortuna Dusseldorf, in particular, was eye-catching as the club won 5-0. The winger looked untouchable, alongside Marco Reus as the duo combined really well to completely bamboozle the opposing backline. It was a result that helped Dortmund recover from the 3-1 defeat against Barcelona earlier in the campaign.
Of May and the Dortmund Might
Borussia Dortmund were always identified as a selling club, who would usually buy young players and develop them into world-class individuals. But, during the summer of 2019, the Black and Yellows, led by Aki Watzke, emerged as quite a force in the transfer market.
The Bundesliga giants made a number of high profile signings, notably securing the services of Julian Brandt, who is regarded as one of the best attackers in the Bundesliga. They also signed Thorgan Hazard, another top forward in the German top flight, as well as Nico Schulz.
The acquisition of these three individuals were officiated in the fourth week of May, with the club splashing a combined total of €75 million – a definite bargain. It was perceived as a signal of intent, with many experts in European football believing that Dortmund were now hell-bent on ending Bayern’s dominance in this new season.
Moreover, Mats Hummels was re-signed from Bayern Munich, the following month, providing a real boost in the Dortmund backline. And given the fact that they have already signed Erling Haaland this January, these are exciting times for the BVB fans as they keep an eye on the club’s transfer policy in the market.