Borussia Dortmund have little time to count the cost of their Europa League collapse at Liverpool as they continue their bid to hunt down Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich with a match against Hamburg.
Thomas Tuchel’s men travelled to Anfield with a 1-1 draw from the home leg of the quarter-final and were in cruise control when Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored within the first 10 minutes.
Divock Origi pulled one back for the hosts but Marco Reus’ 57th-minute strike made it 3-1 on the night and seemingly left the game beyond Liverpool, before goals from Philippe Coutinho, Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren secured a scarcely believable 5-4 aggregate triumph and left Dortmund stunned.
But BVB can ill-afford to feel sorry for themselves as they seek three points against Hamburg to keep alive their slim hopes of catching Bundesliga leaders Bayern.
Pep Guardiola’s men possess a seven-point advantage at the top after Dortmund twice surrendered the lead to draw 2-2 with Schalke in the Ruhr derby last weekend.
Reus acknowledged it is difficult to start thinking about Hamburg after the Liverpool setback, saying: “We will have to see what this means for the future. We need to digest this game first of all, we actually did okay, we just lost the plot in the second half.
“We can’t think about Sunday right now. Getting knocked out is extremely bitter.”
Tuchel is unsure of the psychological effects the defeat will have on Dortmund, but hopes his team can bounce back against Hamburg and in Wednesday’s DFB-Pokal semi-final against Hertha Berlin.
“Right now we have to honestly admit that we have not reached the major objective of going through,” he said.
“Our standards are too high to simply brush aside this defeat. The interesting thing will be how we deal with it as a unit, how much energy it costs us and whether we managed to put the disappointment behind us by next Wednesday in Berlin at the very least.
“That’s also a characteristic of sport. There are no matches without defeats and losers. There are lessons that are part of it.”
On paper, the match against Hamburg presents a good opportunity to return to winning ways. Bruno Labbadia’s men firmly in mid-table, not troubling the European places and also unlikely to get dragged towards the relegation places.
The visitors will be keen to give a good account of themselves, though, after winning just once in their past four Bundesliga matches and having been beaten 2-1 at home to Darmstadt last weekend.
Hamburg can take heart from a favourable recent record against Dortmund, including a 3-1 win in November’s reverse fixture.
Indeed, Dortmund have failed to beat Hamburg since thrashing them 6-2 at Signal Iduna Park in September 2013.
Key Opta stats:
– There have been 345 goals netted in the previous 97 Bundesliga meetings between these sides, making it the highest-scoring fixture in the history of the competition. Both sides have scored more often against each other than any other side (HSV 177 goals, BVB 168).
– Hamburg have lost just one of their last seven league matches against BVB (6-2 in September 2013, otherwise W5, D1). Dortmund have claimed just one point from the last four meetings, scoring just one goal in the process.
– Dortmund (68) have twice as many points as HSV (34), and have scored almost twice as many goals (69) as Hamburg (35). With 30 points, BVB have the most points since the winter break and are the only unbeaten side in 2016 (W9, D3).
– BVB are the only side yet to lose at home this season (W12, D2), while they have taken 38 points from these 14 games (a club record). They’ve lost just one of their last 28 competitive home matches (W24, D3).