Since I am too lazy to explain a lot of things verbally: Here’s a generously illustrated video of Dortmund’s performance against PSV!
Borussia Dortmund had some issues throughout the weeks before the winter break. CE already explained what went wrong for the team of Thomas Tuchel. Two of the main issues indicated a general problem with their positional play: Inappropriate build-up structures and ineffective spacing in midfield. With some time to spend on the training ground in Marbella, the side from North Rhine-Westphalia is looking to reshape the principles that made them very strong in some games and to add some new features to the mix.
In PSV they found a suitable opponent, which defended in a newly implemented 4-4-2. Typically for the reigning Dutch champions this was done in a highly man-oriented fashion and allowed Dortmund to create space in some easy ways. Especially Weigl was often able to exploit PSV’s weaknesses from a deep-sitting position. BVB would control the game via deep circulation just to change the rhythm, when space was opened, and to start some fast attacks.
Another important factor was Ousmane Dembélé, who usually drifted towards the right half-space and used his exceptional dribbling qualities as well as his good skills in quick combinations. Paired with the clever movements of Kagawa and Reus as well as some good involvement of Ramos, Tuchel’s team was able to establish a proficient central focus to domiante the opposition. How this looked like? You better watch by yourself. An arrow might say more than a thousand words would…