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Borussia Dortmund on the rise thanks to their superheroes

Football News | Article posted on March 2nd, 2015

It took 77 nervous minutes of frenetic, clumsy fumbling to get it in, as well as bit of masked role play and submissive assistance. But in the end, Borussia Dortmund came good on Saturday. The scenes of collective Black and Yellow relief at the final whistle made it impossible not to recall Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s pre-match revelation that “derby wins are almost like an orgasm”. He was being deadly serious, the Gabon striker had told Sport Bild in midweek: “It’s a similar feeling”.
Off-the-pitch pleasures are distributed a little more evenly, one should hope, but the Signal Iduna Park had indeed witnessed sheer ecstasy and successful reproduction, of a kind.
Borussia’s 3-0 triumph over local rivals Schalke was much more than a win; much more than a derby success. The supporters, team and staff experienced the perfect game said Jürgen Klopp, a performance so forceful, irresistible and convincing it felt like a rebirth. “Play, fun, thrill: that’s Borussia Dortmund,” the manager beamed, as if he’d just found his way home again after a seven-month ambulation through darkness.
The home side created enough high-calibre openings to win a dozen Ruhr derbies, while Roberto Di Matteo’s Royal Blues were so passive, they were hardly there at all. Their plan was to ride out the storm and hit an understrength BVB defence on the break. But the break never came. Schalke’s retro system with five defenders wasn’t able to offer sufficient resistance without any meaningful protection from midfield.
Dortmund, unmolested by any S04 pressing, used the space at the centre to pick up speed and thread killer passes by the minute. Three, four goals, they should have scored before half-time. It was the sort of dominance that can become worrisome, the longer the game dragged on scoreless, but the nervous tension that had begun to set in made the joy that greeted the opener all the more pronounced. Aubameyang and Reus celebrated with Batman and Robin masks that the striker had hidden next to the goal.
Klopp seemed in two minds whether he should applaud the duo’s bravado or chastise them for attracting the referee’s attentions. “Five yellows for cheering goals, that’s silly,” Klopp warned, but it was only Aubameyang’s second booking for going comic hero – Spiderman was his previous guise – and Reus, as the junior partner, escaped the yellow altogether. A surprising number of German journalists voiced their disapproval – not the done thing, you see, in a derby, for the first goal – but the fact the two partners in crime-fighting took the risk to look stupid, in more ways than one, also spoke of renewed optimism. “If there’s a good side to this goal celebration, it’s that Auba believed he would score,” said Klopp.

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