Germany: Bundesliga
1 - 4
(0 - 2)
RB Leipzig
D. Malen (84)
K. Laimer (21), K. Laimer (30), C. Nkunku (58), D. Olmo (86)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Hummels cites positive performance metrics and denies defense plays like "headless chickens."

Mats Hummels knew what was expected from him in his post-match interview after another disappointing BVB loss. 

The squad's defensive captain (and go-to player for memorable quotes after a defeat) opted to consciously take a different tack. 
Members of the German press have become accustomed to eliciting an emotional reaction out of Mats Hummels whenever his team must contend with a frustrating result. There may not have been a better opportunity to do so than Saturday evening. The filled-to-capacity Signal Iduna Park certainly expected better of their team than a heavy to Leipzig.

For the first time in 763 days, Dortmund's fortress was rocking with 81,365 live spectators. Virtually all of the BVB ultra groups were in attendance for the first time since the onset of the global pandemic. Die Schwarzgelben didn't furnish much of a welcome for the passionate fans who wished to commemorate their full return.

"Of course, this is disappointing for us," Hummels conceded afterwards, "We had different plans for the audience."

"I know that there's a lot of frustration after a defeat like this," he continued, "and you can tell that from my statement right away. But I believe that Leipzig's victory today was a matter of chance utilization. This was by no means a 4-1 game in terms of the performance ratios."

Hummels' observation was, in fact, correct. The two sides weren't far apart in terms of chance creation. The final xG stats saw both teams hover around 1.0. Had BVB captain Marco Reus opted to shoot for himself (instead of cutting back for Erling Haaland) in the 7th, the game could have gone quite differently.

"I also believe that the Leipzig players know that things could have gone differently in the first half," Hummels emphasized, "They deserved to win, but one can't say that they hammered us 4-1. We worked and didn't platy listlessly. We also won a lot of midfield balls."

Positives aside, there were some aspects of the BVB game that were explicitly far too weak. Defensive lapses allowed Leipzig to score the goals in the first place and, had the Saxons been in the mood to pile on, the German Red Bulls could have capitalized on multiple blown marking assignments after the 3-0.

"We got a bit hectic," Hummels conceded, "We tend to leave our positions, lose concentration, and then ball-watch in some circumstances."

The veteran defender then took special care to emphasize that he didn't wish to criticize his teammates too much.

Asked if the "headless chickens" metaphor applied to Dortmund's sometimes frazzled defense, Hummels deferred.

"I'm not sure I would say that," he noted, "There's just too many mistakes."

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