Germany: Bundesliga
4 - 2
(3 - 2)
J. Hofmann (4), R. Bensebaini (26), M. Thuram (30), K. Kone (46)
J. Brandt (19), N. Schlotterbeck (40)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Brandt on transition from Dortmund disappointment to DFB dream: "At some point, I'll flick the switch."

Two defeats heading into the World Cup break constitute and enormous blow for Borussia Dortmund's 2022/23 Bundesliga title hopes. 

Speaking to the Sat.1 microphones after last night's 2-4 loss to Gladbach, German national team attacker Julian Brandt made no effort to hide his disgust.
As many had feared, Borussia Dortmund's inability to bounce back from the midweek loss to Wolfsburg proved devastating the aspirations of Germany's would-be title challengers. Edin Terzic's Schwarzgelben have now suffered their sixth loss of the season before the halfway mark of the campaign has even been reached. If, as is widely expected, FC Bayern München picks up three points against FC Schalke 04 later this evening, the defending champions will open up a nine-point-gap over the BVB.

BVB trainer Terzic was obviously annoyed after the full-time-whistle.

"We're not entitled to that talk," Terzic said when asked about potentially catching Bayern by German broadcaster DAZN, "We've now got a lot of ground to make up in January."

For BVB attacker Julian Brandt - the scorer of a brilliant technical goal in the defeat - frustration was compounded by the fact that his recent form hasn't been much of a help to the team. After getting off to a sputtering start this year, the 26-year-old has gone on a tear recently. Brandt has collected four goals and chipped in three assists over all competitions this past month. For the first time in a quite a while, there was little doubt that he would be included on Hansi Flick's German national team roster.

Sounding suspiciously like his BVB teammate Mats Hummels, Brandt went off on the team's defending.

"Our own ineptitude defeated us today," Brandt told Germany's Sat.1 television interview crew, "Gladbach played a good game and was efficient, but one almost can't be asking for it more than we did today."

"We sleepwalked through some decisive phases," Brandt remarked when reflecting  the role Jonas Hofmann's 4th-minute opening goal played in setting the tone, "Then you lose the first ball, get a counterattack and 0-1. That's an issue plaguing us all season."

As for what comes next, the World Cup break means that Dortmund's players must deal with the bitter taste of these defeats for two full months. Brandt conceded that this would be most difficult and made no effort to deny that the current state of his club would remain with him until league play resumes.

"Both for those who stay and train in Dortmund and for the five of us [Dortmund players] who will be going to the tournament, it's extremely hard to carry this along with us," Brandt noted, "Two defeats before a winter break are really shitty. Until I get there [to Qatar], it will still make me feel sick. At some point I will flick the switch."

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