Dortmund traveled to the San Siro in Milan for their third match of the Champion’s League Group Stage. Stars Marco Reus and Paco Alcacer were absent from the lineup.
Looking to produce goals without their most dangerous scorers, Lucien Favre went with three at the back to overload the midfield and control possession. Dortmund seamlessly controlled possession but perpetually stalled in the final third.
Inter absorbed much of the pressure from Dortmund and made the most of their opportunities on the counter-attack. Inter pulled ahead midway through the first half and never looked back. While Dortmund struggled to make the most of their possession in the final third, Inter picked apart Dortmund’s back line with ease.
Dortmund threatened a few times in the second half, but were unable to generate a goal. Their best opportunity came for Sancho late in the second half, but he was unable to convert in a crowded penalty area.
Dortmund were fortunate that Sancho had the opportunity to level the scoring, thanks in large part to Roman Burki’s huge penalty kick save. But the save proved meaningless down the stretch as Inter scored the dagger to go up 2-0 in the closing minutes.
Dortmund’s lackluster performance in the final third was characteristic of a side lacking it’s most dangerous weapons. But Reus and Alcacer aren’t Dortmund’s only weapons, and the duo aren’t Dortmund’s only dangerous attackers.
Mario Gotze has proven his viability as a forward, but Lucien Favre elected to keep Gotze on the bench at kickoff. Perhaps more puzzling was Favre’s decision to keep Gotze on the bench for the entire match.
Dortmund will need to improve dramatically on today’s performance if they want to survive the Group of Death. Dortmund have their chance for revenge when Inter travel to Westfalenstadion on November 5.
A 2019 graduate from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Ryan is an aspiring sports writer with a profound passion for the Black and Yellow. On match day, Ryan can likely be seen draped in Dortmund’s colors, perennially pacing the living room of his Ann Arbor apartment. He dreams of one day watching a match from world football’s largest and most impressive standing terrace, The Yellow Wall.