Borussia Dortmund appear to be suffering a bit of a post-Napoli hangover. In the wake of their Champions League loss in Naples, the previously perfect Germans lost dropped their first points in league, drawing Saturday at Nürnberg. Now comes today’s DFB Pokal result, where 90 minutes weren’t enough for Dortmund to see off 1860 Munich. They did find the woodwork three times and generate another point-blank chance, but after regulation time, BVB were left on even ground with their second division foes.
It was only after 1860 midfielder Dominik Stahl saw straight red in extra time that the favorites finally broke through. Stahl was given his marching orders for taking down Marco Reus, leaving Dortmund with a 105th minute penalty kick. Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, who spent the match’s first 99 minutes on the bench, scored the opener from the spot, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan doubling the lead two minutes later.
It’s hard to imagine the BVB team that was firing on all cylinders two weeks ago having so much trouble with a team that’s already lost three times in the 2.Bundesliga, particularly given the quality Jurgen Klopp chose for his starting lineup. Eight of Dortmund’s 11 were players who would either be in the first choice side or would be part of the team’s normal rotation. Only Aubameyang, defender Neven Subotic, and goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller were left out.
Perhaps this was only a bad day, but that makes three straight subpar performances for a team that started the Bundesliga 5-0-0 after beating Bayern in the German Super Cup. A loss at Napoli, draw at Nürnberg, and struggles in Munich have brought last year’s European finalists back to earth, a slide that coincides with rival Bayern’s strides forward under Pep Guardiola.
If we were to do a European Power Ranking pre-Naples, Dortmund would have been number one. Now, at least four teams would be ranked ahead of BVB. The Prussians need to deal with their season’s first bump.