BVB sports director Sebastian Kehl found clear words after the emotional derby setback in the title race.
"We gave away two points," said the 43-year-old and rated Borussia Dortmund's performance as casual, at least at times. The team may have thought, "It will work itself out today," said a disappointed Kehl after the "completely unnecessary" 2-2 draw at FC Schalke 04.
Ironically, in the duel with their archrival and in the middle of the tight title fight with FC Bayern, BVB fell back into the pattern of days gone by. At the front, Dortmund were too inefficient, at the back they made unfamiliar mistakes. While Schalke euphorically celebrated the draw after falling behind twice, Borussia were annoyed as if they had been defeated.
"It hurts," Kehl said. "I hope that those two points don't hurt us completely at the end." The sports director also referred to the previously successful phase with eight wins in a row in the Bundesliga. But the concern that Bayern will celebrate again at the end of the season and that BVB will, as so often, be without anything to count, is palpable. First the Champions League exit at Chelsea, now the jubilant opponent in the district duel, plus numerous injured or ill top performers: the past few days could hardly have gone much worse for the black and yellow.
Schalke competitive thanks to Coach Reis
As if the sporting annoyance wasn't big enough, Borussia also had to endure a lot of ridicule at Schalke: the Schalke fans maliciously imitated Dortmund chants about the championship after the game. The team jumped in front of the curve. "We got everything out of it and were able to annoy the opponent a bit in the table," said goalkeeper and original Schalke player Ralf Fährmann.
His coach was also satisfied. Thomas Reis managed to form a competitive team from the bottom group, who had been knocked off in the meantime. Schalke presents itself as a unit, and the spectators appreciate that. Despite all the joy about the thrilling derby evening, Reis remains a realist. The fight to stay up is tight again, but Schalke is still in a relegation zone.
"We will not be too euphoric," Reis said. "At the moment we are where we don't want to be at the end of the season. We want to collect as many points as possible so that we can have derbies again next year."
Terzic: "Failed to close the sack"
Despite all the rivalry, that would probably also please BVB. Dortmund, who previously tied on points, are now two points behind Bayern. After the home game against 1. FC Köln and the international break, it's off to the big summit in Munich. BVB can afford even less chances and inconsistency in defense like at Schalke.
"We failed to close the sack and open the door for the opponent again," said coach Edin Terzic of his side, who were superior for a long time and had opportunities to score significantly more goals. "We absolutely have to learn from this if we want to achieve higher goals," he said. Despite BVB's impressive run, the 40-year-old had been very reluctant to make statements about the title race and the championship in the past few weeks - he probably knew exactly why.
Terzic gave the all-clear to key player Jude Bellingham. The 19-year-old English exceptional player had played with a knee bandage. After the game, he sat longer on the ground and slapped his hand on the grass in anger. But he is not injured. "Jude has often played with the bandage. It just gives him stability. There's nothing wild about it," said Terzic. "He's someone who plays very intense football and of course that leaves its mark."