VfB Stuttgart not only defeated Borussia Dortmund for the second time in a month, but also dominated them. The 2-0 (0-0) win on Wednesday (December 6th, 2023) in the round of 16 of the DFB Cup was also the fifth in a competitive game in a row. As in the league win on November 11th, Serhou Guirassy scored, Silas made the final score.
BVB initially showed a double learning effect in Stuttgart. When they lost 2-1 in the league (the course of the game was clearer than the result), Dortmund saw how they couldn’t survive against such a strong team. Last weekend at league leaders Bayer Leverkusen (1:1) we saw how it could work. And the runner-up started the cup game with exactly the same tactics.
Sabitzer hits the crossbar
Dortmund, who were once so strong, limited themselves to disciplined defense of their own goal and left the hosts to control the game. Coach Edin Terzic’s line-up had already indicated this because he put the two playmakers in Marco Reus and Julian Brandt on the bench and brought in a strong counterattacking striker in Youssoufa Moukoko (had to be substituted injured after 22 minutes), for whom Niclas Füllkrug came out the starting eleven slipped.
And so the initial phase became the blueprint for the Leverkusen game – except for one crucial detail. BVB also had their first big chance in Stuttgart, but this time they were inches away from taking the lead because Marcel Sabitzer hit the crossbar with a left-footed shot from 18 meters (20′).
Undav misses the lead several times
As a result, only Stuttgart played – and BVB was lucky several times not to concede a goal. First Gregor Kobel parried a header from Deniz Undav (24th), then from close range against Serhou Guirassy, who was, however, offside (25th). A little later, Mats Hummels and Julian Ryerson each had to be the last man to prevent a 100 percent chance.
And shortly before half-time it became dangerous on several occasions. Especially because Dortmund had big problems with Stuttgart’s high pressing. But Undav was first unable to control a pinpoint cross from Maximilian Mittelstädt standing free in front of Kobel (41′), then after Jamie Bynoe-Gittens lost the ball, the striker overlooked his teammates, who would have freely approached the goal if they had passed the ball (43′). A shot from Atakan Karazor (this time after a mistake by Marius Wolf) and a save from Kobel (45th+2) ended the first half.
Guirassy scores with a long run-up
And the second round started as the first had ended. This time Hummels made a mistake, but again Stuttgart couldn’t accept the invitation. Guirassy missed the right moment in the opponent’s penalty area to pass to his fellow striker Undav (48th). And other BVB mistakes went unpunished. Among other things, Guirassy was free in front of Kobel after Hummels lost the ball again, but was denied by the Dortmund goalkeeper (52′).
But then VfB took advantage of one of its countless chances. Guirassy completed an attack via Mittelstädt and Enzo Millot to give Stuttgart a more than deserved 1-0 win (55th). The top scorer (16 goals in the Bundesliga) had already decided the league game with a penalty – now he put his team on the way to the quarter-finals.
Bynoe-Gittens only cheers briefly
BVB adapted their tactics after the league defeat, but defended worse and worse as the game went on. It was only thanks to Kobel that the game was not decided prematurely – shortly after the first goal, the goalkeeper prevented Millot from making it 0-2 with a lightning reflex (58th minute).
Shortly afterwards, Dortmund finally went on the offensive for a short time. First Alexander Nübel had to defuse a low shot from Bynoe-Gittens (59th), then the 19-year-old Englishman even scored, but was just offside when Füllkrug passed the ball (60th). That’s how it remained with the Stuttgart leadership.
Silas puts the lid on it
BVB was now obliged to react. Terzic’s team took control and built up a little pressure, but it wasn’t compelling. And Stuttgart used the resulting spaces. Coach Sebastian Hoeneß’s team showed that they can not only dominate a game, but can also counterattack really well. Mittelstädt broke through after a counterattack on substitute Silas, who increased the score to 2-0 (78′).
And VfB couldn’t let this lead be taken away from them. Although Dortmund had a few shots on goal, Stuttgart’s victory was not even remotely in danger. And as in the league, it was well deserved and could have been even more significant given the balance of power in the game.