Bielefeld (dpa) – The competition winner’s joy was quickly gone. Just minutes after his two goals to 2-0 (0-0) over Arminia Bielefeld, Dortmund defender Mats Hummels stumbled off the field – accompanied by the concerned look of his coach Lucien Favre.
The 2014 world champion’s injury before the important Champions League matches against FC Bruges on Wednesday and the league top three days later against FC Bayern weighed on the mood. “I hope to win the race against time on Wednesday,” said Hummels on the way to the team bus.
The game was over four minutes before time for the 31-year-old. As he left the square, he grabbed his thigh. An initial examination by the team doctor while still in the locker room gave Hummels confidence: “My thigh was tight. Fortunately I didn’t feel a bite, which is a good sign. It takes a few days.”
How important the veteran is for the second in the table was shown in Bielefeld. Without Erling Haaland, who was spared minor knee problems, the oppressively superior Borussia laid siege to the opponent’s goal for a long time without success – until the defender took over the role of the Norwegian goalscorer. In the 53rd minute, with a bit of luck, he pushed a corner from Jadon Sancho over the line, 18 minutes later he hit a head on a cross from BVB captain Marco Reus. “He plays very, very well. He is in top form,” said footballer Favre enthusiastically. National player Julian Brandt was excited that there would be no long-term failure: “Mats has good healing flesh.”
For Hummels, who scored a week ago in the derby victory over Schalke (3-0), it was the first Bundesliga double since January 2010 in Cologne. “We did some serious work. It was a very grown-up performance,” he says of the hopeless newcomer’s patience.
Especially when it comes to defensive work, BVB, which is actually known for its offensive strength, seems well on its way to adulthood. Five of the first six league games ended without conceding a goal. “It’s very good and much better than last year,” said midfielder Thomas Delaney. The improved stability gave everyone involved courage for the competition classic on Saturday against the table leader from Munich with the same points.
The Bielefeld side, on the other hand, suffered their fourth loss in a row, losing twice as many league games as in the entire previous promotion season. Yet frustration was limited given the great superiority of the opponent. “Borussia Dortmund is a top club in Europe, we noticed that especially in the second half. It is important that we remain positive. There will be games again in which we can get points,” said midfielder Manuel Prietl hoping for one. Trend reversal in the upcoming match at Union Berlin.