DORTMUND, Germany — Nuri Sahin has told ESPN FC that he has no explanation for the collapse of Borussia Dortmund, who blew a 4-0 lead against Schalke in the Revierderby to draw 4-4.
Dortmund blew their Ruhr rivals away in the first 30 minutes on Saturday as Peter Bosz’s 3-4-3 setup caught Domenico Tedesco’s team by surprise.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pushed the ball over the line in 12th minute for the opener, Dortmund’s lead was doubled by Benjamin Stambouli scoring an own goal in the 18th minute, and two minutes later, Mario Gotze headed an Aubameyang cross past Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann.
Raphael Guerreiro’s volley in the 25th minute put the hosts 4-0 ahead and it looked as though the winner of the match was already determined.
However, in the 61st minute, Guido Burgstaller took advantage of a lapse from Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who misjudged a long ball and Amine Harit then pulled a second goal back five minutes later. Dortmund soon had Aubameyang sent off in the 72nd minute, and Schalke wrestled back full control, with Daniel Caligiuri making it 4-3 in the 86th minute and Naldo scoring an uncontested header in stoppage time to grab an equaliser.
“There are no explanations,” Sahin told ESPN FC after the match. “Everyone of us has to face the criticism now. It mustn’t happen. If you lead 4-0 in the derby, it mustn’t happen. We were tactically superior, had a superb plan that came to fruition in every single moment in the first half.
“I cannot comprehend the second half. The last five minutes of the first half were already not going well for us. We talked about it in the locker room.”
Sahin added: “In easier times, we would have won this match 4-1 or 4-2. Let’s put it like this: If it wasn’t a derby, we probably would have won. But we started to contemplate things, thought whether this was really happening.
“The moment you start to doubt yourself in the Bundesliga is the moment you lose. We were down to 10 men, then Schalke scored a third and we saw that there were seven minutes of injury time — all factors that brought back negative thoughts.”
Dortmund fans made their dissatisfaction heard after the game, drowning out the celebrations of the Schalke supporters with a loud jeer.
“It’s absolutely justified that the fans air their discontent,” Sahin said. “They’ve been very supportive until now during this tough period. There are no excuses now.”
Dortmund will travel to Bayer Leverkusen next week, where they will look for a first win in seven league matches.
Stefan Buczko covers Borussia Dortmund for ESPN FC. Twitter: @StefanBuczko.