Three observations as more refereeing controversy helps push Dortmund to Europa League

After ninety-seven minutes in Lisbon, Dortmund are officially relegated to the Europa League. Two goals from Pedro Gonçalves put Black and Yellow in a first hole, but it was a red card decision from the referee who once again sentenced Dortmund to an unsavory fate. A late goal from Donyell Malen was not enough to bring BVB back into the game, and players will feel extremely uncomfortable walking out of the campaign with two bad red cards and a roster of injured players.

Make no mistake, Dortmund were dominated for almost fifteen minutes, an accurate representation of what has been a dismal year at UCL. Dortmund gave a glimpse of their European promise, but without Haaland and a bit of luck those glimpses ceased to result in goals.

Now, Die Schwarzgelben must prepare to run for a chance at the Europa League title, something they haven’t competed for since the 2017/18 season.

Dortmund’s Haaland Fakeout is wearing out

As October turned into November, some Dortmund fans were eager to see the team still racking up points without the talismanic striker Erling Haaland. Haaland’s impact is undeniable, but players like Marco Reus and Thorgan Hazard have taken as much slack as they have been able to hold on to the points (in the Bundesliga, at least). Today, despite a great effort from Donyell Malen, that luck was cut short. Dortmund were dying for a Haaland after the start of the second half, but there was no one there to crush a house like the tall Norwegian does. The momentum was stopped by an unhappy red, and I encourage anyone who understands what happened there to find out in the comments. That’s all I’ll say about it.

Some general player ratings

Does Nico Schulz want to destroy this team? I wonder if he spent his time on the injury table preparing his revenge against the team, against Emma herself. Schulz’s back pass started the downward spiral for Dortmund; a weakened defense was doing their best to keep the opposition out until Schulz opened the door or even laid the red carpet. Ugh.

Donyell Malen put in a strong performance today and I’m delighted to see him score two goals in two games. Malen was working hard today, running deep runs in space and recording four shots, three of which were on target. He had the misfortune of being denied by a block from Coates and suddenly to the near post. Donny’s talent is there, and I really hope he continues to shine as he grows in confidence.

Oh can. You run, you work, you fight. Today you lost my man. It’s not clear how, and I promised earlier that I wouldn’t talk about it again, but I pray in the future that we can get through a few more UCL matches where you can just be uneventful. But honestly, never change.

UEL campaign to come

Europa League … a place where you are. A Thursday that you would normally spend at happy hour. But stay! A chance for a trophy that Dortmund should seek to seize! Let’s take a look at who we might face in the upcoming Round of 16 (I’ll be honest, I don’t remember how it works. Maybe I’m about to discuss a squad that we can’t actually play. I’m still bowled over by this game, just give me a little slack). Keep in mind that this week’s results will affect qualifying.


UEL Record: 4-0-0

League record 5-4-4 (10th place)

Despite a strong UEL campaign, the French heavyweights languish in the intermediate table at home. Endlessly disheveled team, Lyon are struggling a bit with the loss of Memphis Depay, but Lucas Paqueta and Carl Toko-Ekambi are doing their best to fill the void. It is a difficult team to predict for the next round of UEL.


UEL Record: 3-1-0

League record: 6-3-3 (4th place)

Leverkusen was cruising at the start of the season, but slowed down a bit after the loss of Patrik Schick to injury. Still, they are a strong opponent in the Bundesliga, which we can prepare for. Real Betis and Celtic complete a competent UEL squad, but the German side have managed to take the lead in their squad.

West Ham

UEL record 3-1-0

League record: 7-2-3 (4th place)

An easy group helped West Ham take the top spot, but make no mistake, their 4th place in the league is a testament to the quality of performance David Moyes is cheering on his players. Drawing West Ham could prove to be a solid test for Borussia Dortmund, with or without Erling Haaland.

Give us your thoughts on UEL Dortmund’s outlook below.

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