How Borussia Dortmund beat Schalke in the Revierderby: AWS Match Facts Analysis

Borussia Dortmund beat Schalke 1-0 in the 99th Revierderby of the Bundesliga era. Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS explains how they did it…

It was one-way traffic in the last edition of the Revierderby on Matchday 7 of the Bundesliga. Dortmund enjoyed significantly more ball possession (62%), had 19 attempts from Schalke’s three, more corners (11 from two) and passed the ball around with real confidence. In total, 83% of their passes found a man. Schalke’s pass completion was 67%. In other words, they lost possession on every third pass. The BVB press was simply too much for them to handle.

Schalke were also far too timid in attack. The first of three attempts by the Royal Blues on Dortmund’s goal came in the 62nd minute. More often than not, their passes into the penalty area have been cut off by BVB centre-backs Mats Hummels and Nico Schlotterbeck. For the most part, the game was played in Schalke’s own half. The visitors entered the attacking third just 24 times. The Black-Yellows, on the other hand, made 79 forays at the other end.

Look: Youssoufa Moukoko won the Revierderby for Dortmund

The only surprise was that Dortmund – with a final xG of 2.94 to Schalke’s 0.11 – didn’t win by a more comfortable margin. Schalke has their defensive efforts in central areas to thank for that. BVB couldn’t play amidst a tight 4-2-3-1 formation, especially after playmaker Marco Reus was injured on 30 minutes.

This could explain why Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic favored the flanks. According to ‘Attacking Zones’, 84% of BVB’s incursions in the final third came on the wings, with 44% of them on the left side. Donyell Malen against inexperienced right-back Henning Matriciani proved the key battle. Clocking three kilometers an hour faster than Matriciani, the Dutchman got the better of his opponent time and time again to reach the byline, and was one of the liveliest players on the pitch in the first half.

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Marius Wolf and Donyell Malen (lr) were a constant thorn in Schalke’s right side. – DFL

The problem was that Malen – a right footer playing on the left wing – took his time to find his passing range. Dortmund’s first big chance didn’t come until the 33rd minute, when Malen had enough time to move the ball to his preferred foot. Jude Bellingham met the cross but couldn’t convert a chance with a 24% chance of a goal.

Schalke head coach Frank Kramer duly responded at half-time by assigning more players to deal with Malen. Not that Dortmund were deterred. They continued to attack down the left side with makeshift left-back Marius Wolf – another right-footed player – in the foreground.

Wolf (c.) provided the assist for Dortmund substitute Youssoufa Moukoko. – IMAGO/kolbert-press/Marc Niemeyer/IMAGO/kolbert-press

With over an hour gone and Schalke tiring, Terzic sent on Youssoufa Moukoko and Karim Adeyemi for an exhausted Malen and ineffective Anthony Modeste. Moukoko was efficiency personified: despite only being on the ball eight times, the teenage forward fired four attempts on goal. Only Bellingham produced more overall.

Dortmund’s perseverance was rewarded in the 79th minute. Wolf managed to put the ball on his right foot and dig in a cross that found Moukoko. Not exactly renowned for his aerial prowess, the 17-year-old jumped 10 centimeters higher than Maya Yoshida to head the ball into the back of the net. Schalke’s resistance was definitely broken.

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