Despite a period of lackluster performances from Borussia Dortmund, the Black and Yellows have the potential to make a deep run at the Champions League title. Dortmund has really picked up the pace recently and they are heading toward the end of season with confidence and momentum. A 4-0 victory over Benfica last week kept their Champions League hopes alive and a 3-0 victory today over Sportfreunde Lotte allowed Dortmund to advance to the semi-finals of the German Cup. It’s important to keep in mind that these wins came without the assistance of Marco Reus. And Mario Gotze’s ongoing health issue must be a crushing blow to team morale.
Winning without key players is a step in the right direction. There aren’t many midfielders boasting as much skill and talent as Marco Reus. Per Goal.com, Marco Reus has scored eight goals and has contributed five assists for Borussia Dortmund across all competitions this season. Those numbers don’t even do the German justice. Once you see Marco Reus play, his abilities are immediately recognized.
Mario Gotze may not have been having the best of seasons when his health issue forced him to take a break from football, but nobody can deny that a healthy Mario Gotze is a lethal component to any offense. Borussia Dortmund is handling the absence of the German duo very well through the proper use of substitutes.
American youngster and football phenom, Christian Pulisic, has immediately proved that he deserves playing time at Borussia Dortmund. In his start against Benfica last week, Pulisic tallied a goal and an assist at the Westfalenstadion. And in his start today against Sportfreunde Lotte, Christian Pulisic scored the first goal of the away game that ended favorably for Dortmund. This young man is in spectacular form and has already showed that he can start for a top club team.
The depth of Borussia Dortmund has allowed for plenty of Gotze replacements. Thomas Tuchel has a wide array of athletic midfielders at his disposal. Kagawa, Mor, Schurrle, and Dembele are all capable of playing in the midfield. The Black and Yellows have an outstanding cast of players to choose from in the event that someone gets injured.
The extreme depth and ability to handle crises gives Borussia Dortmund an actual fighting chance at a deep Champions League run. Facing the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich is no easy task, but anything can happen and already has happened. Barcelona’s absurd comeback against Paris Saint-Germain makes a Borussia Dortmund Champions League title not sound so crazy.