Borussia Dortmund was dismantled by Ajax in the Champions League in what was one of their weakest collective performances of the season. Erling Haaland going over to apologize to the travelling Dortmund fans at the Amsterdam Arena after the full time whistle pretty much summed up what was a thoroughly disappointing night for Die Schwarzgelben. They went into the halftime break 2-0 down after an own goal from Marco Reus and a strike from Daley Blind and never really gained any sort of foothold in the rest of proceedings.
The result snapped what was a three-match winning streak across all competitions for Marco Rose’s side where they had even provisionally gone top of the Bundesliga table before Bayern Munich’s 5-1 thrashing of Bayer Leverkusen. Dortmund is still well poised in Champions League Group C with six points and in second place. Dortmund still has every chance of progressing, but performances like the one the put forth in Amsterdam should not be tolerated from Rose’s perspective.
Speaking after the 4-0 loss to Ajax, Rose said he expects a better reaction from his players when they wind up going down in matches. There was no sense of urgency after they conceded twice within the first half hour and they did not match Ajax’s intensity. He drew parallels to Bayern’s Joshua Kimmich when he was asked about the reaction to going 2-0 down inside the first half hour of the match. “After the 2-0 defeat, our body language was as if it had already been 4-0,” he said. He continued by saying a player like Kimmich simply would not tolerate the defeatist attitude to going behind at Bayern. “He doesn’t just wave it away, he gets really pissed off. That might be a bit of a difference. In Munich, too, there would be a fire under the roof,” he emphasized.
It would probably be an easy task to compile all of the images of Kimmich letting out ferocious screams in matches and training sessions for both Bayern and Germany and make a coffee table book out of it. At a club like Bayern, the bar of expectation is always incredibly high and Kimmich has definitely shaped himself into an enforcer in the center of midfield. He never shies away from letting his teammates know if their work rate isn’t high enough or if there’s something they need to be doing better.