Despite all the euphoria, a declaration of war against FC Bayern never crossed the lips of anyone at BVB. But in the initial joy about the 6-0 (3-0) spectacle against VfL Wolfsburg, Sebastian Kehl's statement sounded at least like a greeting from Dortmund to the league leaders from Munich.
"That makes an impression. One or the other will have sat in front of the television today and said, that's an exclamation point," commented the sporting director on Borussia's biggest win of the season.
Although Dortmund were unable to return to the top of the Bundesliga table and FC Bayern are still one point ahead after the 2-1 win in Bremen, coach Edin Terzic also felt that his team's tenth home win in a row was encouraging for the showdown in the master thriller.
"The season showed us how crazy it is and how many problems almost all clubs had. We will do everything to ensure that it stays crazy and that we have something to celebrate in the end," said the coach, hoping for a blunder Bayern and another change in leadership. National player Emre Can sounded similarly confident: "It's far from decided. Our faith is definitely still there."
Praise from Terzic
It fits the image of a team hungry for success that Karim Adeyemi had to be cheered up by his congenial team-mate Jude Bellingham (54/86) despite a gala performance that was crowned with two goals (14th/59th). The missed penalty in the 64th minute diminished the joy of his best game in a BVB jersey: "I ruined my day a bit. I was inconsolable at that moment."
With the prospect of his first Bundesliga hat-trick, the 21-year-old tried to take the penalty and even persuaded regular shooter Marco Reus, who had just been substituted on, to give him the ball. Adeyemi looked back ruefully: "I'd rather give the ball to Marco, that would have been better. First of all it's about the team and not about me."
But on a day like this, everyone in Dortmund could easily get over Adeyemi's missed shot. Terzic was nevertheless full of praise for the fastest Bundesliga player according to speed measurements: "Of his estimated 100 actions, 99 were really good. The way he used his almost 37 km/h today was outstanding." The fact that Bellingham, despite recent speculation about a move to Real Madrid, was in great form and that veteran Mats Hummels earned top marks as a tireless tackler, spoke for Terzic's work in the past few days.
"It's about getting up again and again"
It's hard to imagine how a team with such qualities could lose the lead in the table in Bochum (1-1) a week ago. Or had to settle for a draw against the "cellar children" Schalke (2:2) and Stuttgart (3:3).
Terzic recalled the low mood on the last match day: "Just a week ago I had to answer stupid questions. Maybe it's the season of setbacks. But it's about getting up and showing that you can do better."
With three games left against Mönchengladbach, in Augsburg and against Mainz, the second-placed team must continue to hope that the defending champions, who had played their task in Bremen the day before with significantly less brilliance, were weak.
Sports director Kehl has rarely wished Dortmund's archrival FC Schalke a win more than at their game on Saturday in Munich. "We wouldn't be mad if we got a little help," commented the former BVB professional, "we need help. We have to be that honest."