It was a somewhat disturbing end to a very successful evening for Edin Terzic. At the end of the press conference after the 4-1 (3-0) win at FC Sevilla, the Borussia Dortmund coach praised his Spanish colleague Julen Lopetegui. He appreciates him and has “the utmost respect for him.” He “deserves” the ovations from the audience that Lopetegui received despite the defeat.” Nevertheless, according to Terzic, he will also be there next Tuesday, when Lopetegui is in Dortmund with Sevilla have to compete, do everything to ensure that he then wins against him again.
Terzic was informed by the journalists: Lopetegui had already been fired. Terzic was taken aback and refrained from making any further comments.
In fact: while the players were still showering or changing in the catacombs after the Champions League game, and the fans in the stands were still discussing the game, FC Sevilla had their coach free and at the same time posted a sentimental farewell video for Lopetegui on his social Media channels focused. When Dortmund left the stadium shortly before midnight, hundreds of Seville fans stood in front of the gates and celebrated the popular ex-coach. This almost blatant example of the vulnerability of coaches made Terzic think.
However, the joy and probably also the relief that his team had shown a remarkable reaction on Wednesday outweighed it. “It wasn’t an easy win, it was hard work,” said the 39-year-old. Last Saturday, after the 2-3 defeat at 1. FC Köln, Terzic himself asked the question of character. He had canceled the day off for the players and ordered a debate.
None of this was forgotten after the final whistle in Seville. On the contrary. “We were always aware that what happened last Saturday, what happened before that in Leipzig and before that against Werder Bremen – still hurts,” said Terzic. “But we can take a lot of good things from Seville and also a few things that we need to continue working on,” he explained. It wasn’t unqualified praise.
Finally, on Wednesday it was again possible to see for a moment what BVB occasionally suffers from. Shortly after the restart, the team, obviously aware of the comfortable 3-0 lead at the break, simply switched off and allowed the hosts to score. Why international player Nico Schlotterbeck let Sevilla’s center forward Yousseff En-Nesyri head the ball completely unhindered (51st minute) remained his secret. In any case, he briefly flashed out again, the BVB sloppiness.
The rest, however, was a performance show, with the team showing what they are capable of when all the players concentrate. “We’ve upped the ante. That was the reaction we expected from ourselves,” said sporting director Sebastian Kehl. The team would have fought its way out of phases of weakness – but above all it has repeatedly caused problems for the opponent with a lot of dynamism and playfulness.
This was primarily due to Jude Bellingham, who was the initiator of most of the attacks. The England international initiated the 1-0 lead by Raphael Guerreiro (6th). He made it 2-0 himself when, unexpectedly for his opponent, he shot the ball into the goal from an acute angle with a shot from the outside of his foot (40′). “Jude was outstanding, you saw why he wears the captain’s armband even though he’s still so young,” enthused Terzic about the 19-year-old Englishman. Bellingham is fast becoming the hottest commodity on the international transfer market. But BVB still has what is perhaps the most complete midfielder in the Bundesliga. Bellingham has long been indispensable. He hasn’t missed a single minute of a competitive game this season.
Another reason Dortmund got back on track after Cologne’s disappointment is a change Terzic finally managed to make. Youssoufa Moukoko played up front from the start. He thanked the coach with the portion of goal threat that had been missing recently – even if he didn’t score a goal himself. “But that’s not bad, he’ll still score a lot of goals for us,” said Terzic. In fact, Moukoko showed that he had learned: he behaved more skilfully in direct duels. The timing of advances was right, even with his back to goal he managed to secure the ball. Terzic had worked on all of these topics with the 17-year-old. Which was quite tedious, since Moukoko is extremely impatient.
Now the supposed miracle talent, who had struggled for a long time with the transition to adult football, has become firmly established in the team. Terzic can almost no longer put him on the bench on Saturday when FC Bayern come to Dortmund. “He has now shown what he can do on the big Champions League stage,” said Terzic. At the same time, he held Moukoko, who is currently playing poker for a new contract, responsible. “It’s not enough that he only plays like this once. We’ll tell him that we’d like to see that from him more often,” said the coach.
Despite the second win in the third game in the Champions League, Terzic remains challenging. The blatant drop in performance from last Saturday had annoyed him too much to just go back to business as usual. Especially not when it comes to Bayern.
“You all know what has happened in Germany over the past ten years,” explained Terzic when the top game on Saturday (6.30 p.m. / live Sky) was discussed. For ten years there was no other champion than Munich. “Many have a big wish,” said the coach: finally another title holder. BVB, the club that – if at all – is most likely to be trusted to dethrone Bayern, is aware of its responsibility. “We want to show that,” said Terzic: “There’s a chance that we’ll be three points ahead of Bayern on Saturday night.”
That drives BVB on, even if it still hurts that the starting position could have been even better. If what happened hadn’t happened to Dortmund in Cologne – BVB would have gone into the German classic as the leaders in the standings. “Now the situation is just the way it is,” says Terzic. “But we will accept it.”