By Enis Koylu
England may have ended up 1-0 losers in their clash with Germany, but there is little doubting that Borussia Dortmund paid a far greater price during the Wembley clash.
Much of the pre-match talk had been dominated by Joachim Low's so-called favouritism towards Bayern Munich players: Philipp Lahm and Manuel Neuer had been sent home ahead of the match, with several BVB stars left to slog it out in the friendly.
Germany acquitted themselves well in London, dominating spells against an experimental Three Lions side, but there was an air of absolute inevitability when first Marcel Schmelzer, then Mats Hummels succumbed to injuries.
|BVB'S INJURY CRISIS
The gravity of their respective knocks remains to be seen, but it leaves Dortmund in a precarious situation ahead of what club president Reinhard Rauball has described as the most important week of their season.
First, Jurgen Klopp's side clash with Bayern - although a win could cement their place as true contenders for the Bundesliga, while a loss could see the Bavarians go seven points clear in the race for the title.
They may have to face last season's treble winners with none of their first-choice back four, with Neven Subotic and Lukas Piszczek both missing with long-term problems.
Just a few days later, they take on Napoli in a do-or-die Champions League fixture. Win at Signal Iduna Park and they will have all but sealed a place in the next round – lose and a return to the knockout phase will be impossible, assuming Arsenal beat Olympique de Marseille, the group's whipping boys.
Low has spoken of "precautionary measures" in withdrawing the duo on Tuesday, but BVB will no doubt be sweating over what will be a critical period of the current season.
Claims of a conspiracy are unfounded. Low wanted to give Hummels, bereft of form at international level, a chance to prove he was worthy of a place in his first XI, while Schmelzer is by far Germany’s best left-back. Indeed, even if the Bayern players who were excused from duty were still in the fold, these two still would have featured.
Two Bayern players, Mario Gotze and Toni Kroos, played 90 minutes – just as many BVB stars did. Fate just did not favour them.
Tuesday was meant to be a good day for Dortmund's injury woes, with Piszczek making his comeback from injury in a friendly against Paderborn, while Ilkay Gundogan gave a reassuring update on his progress from a long-standing back problem, ironically sustained on international duty in August.
BVB have been innocent victims throughout all this - luck has abandoned them over the course of recent months. It would be a terrible pity if their season, which looked so promising just a few weeks ago, were to fizzle out prematurely.
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