“Nobody in his right mind would have predicted HSV’s superb 4-1 win away to double winners Borussia Dortmund.” As you’d expect from a club publication commenting on their own fortunes, this description could be accused of glorifying their achievements. On this occasion though, it was justified.
Earlier this season, Hamburg prevented history by bringing Borussia Dortmund’s 31-match unbeaten run to an end but on Saturday, die Rothosen (“the red shorts”) made history by becoming the first side to beat Borussia Dortmund home and away since February 2010.
Saturday’s encounter was just as nonsensical and surprising as September’s 3-2 win, providing controversy and another five goals too. This time, it started as expected with the Champions scoring first. Heiko Westermann thought it would be a good idea to let a high ball bounce as it travelled back towards his own goal. Sadly for Westermann, Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski agreed as he punished the defender by finishing neatly past Rene Adler.
Lewandowski has been subject to much transfer speculation in the press and intriguingly he has been linked to Bayern Munich. The chatter about the Polish striker was to continue after the game too but it would be for another contribution that would come later. Lewandowski’s finish was impressive, yet neither he nor the Dortmund defence were prepared for Hamburg to strike back 93 seconds later.
The visitors moved the ball forward with the speed and precision you’d usually associate with the Champions. Marcell Jansen’s one touch pass down the left hand side found Dennis Aogo. He immediately squared it into the box where Artjoms Rudnevs finished first time past Roman Weidenfeller, completing a slick response from the visitors. That goal demonstrated the coherence lacking in last week’s defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt. Eight minutes later, it was time for Hamburg to show the individual talent they possess.
Step forward Son Heung-Min, the 20-year-old South Korean who has been in great form for Hamburg, netting a series of wonder goals for the Northerners this season. One of those came against Borussia Dortmund back in Hamburg and on Saturday he scored a very similar effort. As he did in September, Son stormed down the right hand side before cutting inside on the edge of the penalty area and shooting. The ball found its intended target on both occasions – September’s effort curled into the net without any woodwork assistance but Saturday’s strike swerved inwards before smacking off the post and bouncing into the goal.
Away at the Champions, Hamburg were a goal up, and soon they were a man up too thanks to Robert Lewandowski and their very own Rafael van der Vaart. Whilst attempting to win the ball, the Polish striker caught HSV midfielder Per Ciljan Skelbred as he carelessly swung his right foot. Enter van der Vaart stage right.
Not being involved in the incident didn’t stop the Dutchman from falling to the floor dramatically in the resulting melee. His comments after the game confirmed his intentions to get Lewandowski sent off. He admitted: ‘I had the feeling that he would not otherwise have been sent off. It was a clear red card.’ Still, at the same time he sounded like a bad sitcom actor discussing his performance as he said: “In the scene with Lewandowski I had to do a bit of theatre.”
Either way, the Polish striker was off with van der Vaart settling for a yellow card (having missed out on an Oscar). However, Hamburg’s one man advantage was gone 15 minutes into the second half after Jeffrey Bruma brought down Marco Reus as he went through on goal.
Perhaps that gave Borussia Dortmund a false sense of security as within minutes, Hamburg had extended their lead with Rudnevs heading in van der Vaart’s brilliant cross. Three became four just minutes before the end of the game when Son Heung-Min slid in from a couple of yards, rounding off a magnificent victory for the visitors.
The 1-4 score line condemned Dortmund to their worst home defeat since a 5-1 drubbing to Bayern in September 2009. The result was all the more confusing given the assured start they’d made to 2013 and it certainly ended any dreams of BVB becoming Champions for a third year in a row. Saturday’s result will have added some unnecessary anxiety prior to this week’s Champions League game in Donetsk.
Talk of the Champions League has become relevant to Hamburg, even if some of their performances this season haven’t been worthy of a side challenging for Europe. They’re six points behind Eintracht Frankfurt who currently occupy the fourth and final Champions League spot. Greater consistency is needed in their performances for that to happen but on what was his return to his hometown club Saturday’s result is definitely the high point of Thorsten Fink’s time as coach.
Hamburg’s result against Dortmund in September changed their season, though Thorsten Fink will be hoping the score line at Signal Iduna Park will help define their season as HSV push for an unlikely place in the Champions League.
Elsewhere in the Bundesliga:
Matchday 21 Results:
Borussia Dortmund 1-4 Hamburg
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-0 Nuremberg
Gladbach 3-3 Bayer Leverkusen
Hannover 1-0 Hoffenheim
Fürth 0-1 Wolfsburg
Stuttgart 1-4 Werder Bremen
Bayern Munich 4-0 Schalke
Augsburg 1-1 Mainz
Freiburg 1-0 Fortuna Düsseldorf
|1||FC Bayern Munich||21||17||3||1||55:7||+48||54||CL*|
|3||Bayer 04 Leverkusen||21||11||5||5||41:29||+12||38||CL*|
|4||Eintracht Frankfurt||21||11||4||6||38:31||+7||37||CL* Qual.|
|5||SC Freiburg||21||8||7||6||26:20||+6||31||EL* Qual.|
|6||1. FSV Mainz 05||21||9||4||8||28:25||+3||31||EL* Qual.|
|10||FC Schalke 04||21||8||5||8||33:35||-2||29|
|11||SV Werder Bremen||21||8||4||9||36:38||-2||28|
|13||1. FC Nuremberg||21||6||7||8||20:27||-7||25|
Table thanks to official Bundesliga website
With thanks to @timbotania for the image