Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels believes his team-mates replicated Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich during their Europa League win against Krasnodar on Thursday.
Thomas Tuchel’s men got their Group C campaign under way with a dramatic 2-1 win over their Russian opponents – coming from a goal down to claim the points with a last-minute Park Jo-hoo header.
Matthias Ginter had cancelled out Pavel Mamaev’s opener at Signal Iduna Park and Hummels was pleased to see Dortmund fight until the end, much like Bundesliga champions Bayern – who themselves were the beneficiary of late goals in Europe this week to beat Olympiacos 3-0.
Asked if Dortmund’s strong form had helped enable the late winner, he told the club’s official website: “That may be. It is also something that Bayern do often.
“They know they can still win, they know they still have a chance. That happens more if you have won your last few games.
“Last November, we would probably not have got the 2-1.”
In Jurgen Klopp’s final campaign last term, Dortmund struggled badly and were even bottom of the table during the winter break, before a strong second half to the season lifted them to seventh.
However, under Tuchel, Dortmund have now won all 10 competitive outings, with Hummels adding: “I don’t believe we could have settled it sooner, we did not have enough chances and were not superior enough for a 3-0.
“The 2-1 reflects the game very well. It is of course perfectly fine that we won – we had more chances, more of the game – but still Krasnodar were always dangerous.
“Every attack had a situation in which an opportunity could arise because we were very wide and very open and Papa [Sokratis Papastathopoulos] and I occasionally had a one-on-one or two-on-two at the back.
“That is, of course, difficult to defend but that’s our job, especially when it comes to games where the counter pressing does not work so well.”