Borussia Dortmund have not had the best of UEFA Champions League campaigns this season, as they currently sit at third position in their group behind leaders Ajax and second-placed Sporting Lisbon. Dortmund will most probably now be playing in the UEFA Europa League knockout stages for the remainder of this season, as they have accumulated only five points in their five group games so far and are three points behind Sporting, who are second. Even if Dortmund win and Sporting lose, the Portuguese club has a much superior goal difference (+6) than the German club (-4), which is almost impossible to overturn. Domestically, after a little slow start, the BVB have now caught up and are looking good, placed in second spot in the standings with 30 points from their 13 games and are just one point behind leaders Bayern Munich. In this post, we will look at Dortmund’s stats in the UCL to see what went wrong for them in this season’s competition.
In terms of attack, Dortmund only scored five goals in their five UCL games this season and created an xG of just 6.59 in these games. Domestically, they have been impressive going forward and have managed to score 33 goals in their 13 games, behind only Bayern Munich.
The above viz shows the xGA values for various teams in the UCL. xGA (Expected Goals Against) refers to the goals an opponent is expected to score against a team. A lower value of xGA means a better defense, and Dortmund had the tenth highest xGA among the 32 teams in the UCL. They have conceded 11 goals in their group, while they have been much better at defense in their league, conceding just 19 goals in 13 games.
In their five group stage games in the Champions League, Borussia Dortmund have had to contest the third-most number of defensive duels. They have won 250 duels in total, averaging 50 per game. Their problems in defense and leaking goals led to their two defeats against Ajax Amsterdam and one against Sporting. Now, with almost zero chances of qualifying, the BVB will be looking to get better at defending when they play in the knockout stages of the Europa League.
After winning their first two group stage games in the 21-22 UCL campaign, Dortmund looked like favorites to qualify for the knockout stages from their group. They beat Besiktas and Sporting in the first two games and looked on their way to the Round of 16. But, their next two games against Ajax Amsterdam proved to change their fate, as they lost both games, 0-4 away and 1-3 at home. They further lost to Sporting 1-3, which now leaves them with zero to very little chances of going through to the next round. Instead, the German club is now looking set to play in the Europa League, where they can be considered as serious title contenders.