Marco Reus cut a frustrated figure on Friday night as he slammed Borussia Dortmund’s defensive fragility in their 4-2 defeat at Borussia Monchengladbach.
Some excellent attacking football and two excellent finishes from Erling Haaland counted for nothing as Dortmund once again proved the architects of their own downfall at Borussia-Park.
Things could have been worse with a Gladbach opener inside the first minute ruled out by VAR but Dortmund looked shaky at the back throughout and were predictably punished from set pieces.
Nico Elvedi scored from two free-kicks, Ramy Bensabaini fired in a superb curling finish and Marcus Thuram netted on his return from suspension.
Gladbach moved ahead of Dortmund into fourth in the Bundesliga table. Reus and his side will finish the weekend 12 points behind Bayern Munich if the leaders beat bottom club Schalke on Sunday.
"If we don't turn things around, it will be difficult," a visibly annoyed Reus told ZDF after full-time.
“It’s always the same mistakes that we make. It absolutely stinks!”
Mats Hummels, by now one of the most experienced defenders at the top level of the game, couldn’t disagree with Reus’ assessment.
“Our defensive standards are a very big thing for us,” he told DAZN. “We can’t criticise anything about the same.”
Since starting 2021 with back-to-back wins over Wolfsburg and RB Leipzig, Dortmund have taken just one point from their following three fixtures.
Interim manager Edin Terzic, at the helm since Lucien Favre was sacked in December, was exasperated to see his side make things so easy for their opponents in attack after they had initially come back from 1-0 down to lead 2-1 in the first half.
“The effort we had to put in to score a goal was significantly higher than it was for Gladbach,” he said. “We've now conceded simple goals in the last three games. It's a shame and bitterly disappointing when you play a good attacking game and then you can’t finish the job in defence.”
Dortmund have a week to regroup before their next game, at home to Augsburg next Saturday. A cup game with Paderborn follows before league fixtures against Freiburg and Hoffenheim, and a Champions League action against Sevilla on February 17.