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Bundesliga

German Cup: Wasteful Dortmund need to sharpen up

Since Klopp announced his Dortmund departure, BVB has had a spring in its step. But that disappeared in Berlin, as Dortmund's weak finishing came back to haunt them. DW's Ross Dunbar analyzes Dortmund's Cup performance.

Why did Jürgen Klopp's lively seven-year connection with Borussia Dortmund have to come to an end with a whimper?

It's a question that has several caveats: throughout the season, Dortmund has suffered from a lack of variation, whilst Klopp's key players have continued to let him down. The latter seems especially relevant on a night where Dortmund went down 3-1 to Wolfsburg who didn't even need to weather the proverbial late storm.

Blunt at the front

Wolfsburg, winning their first ever German Cup, had a firm control of the match despite not controlling the ebb-and-flow of the game. What pleased Wolfsburg more than anything was that Dortmund could have had the ball for hours, and still not scored.

Aubameyang's finish, granted, was a neat bit of football, largely inspired by Shinji Kagawa's wonderful talents. But the Gabon striker missed two other chances afterwards, while he was anonymous after the break.

On 18 minutes, a key point in the game, Marco Reus was presented with a gilt-edged chance from outside the six-yard-box which should have been tucked away to make it a two-goal advantage. How that would have changed the match is subjective, but what has been abundantly clear is that Dortmund need to sharpen up in the future.

This isn't a new thing: for several seasons under Klopp, the club has generally been one of the weaker sides when it comes to chance conversion. This season, it has taken Dortmund on average 7.49 shots to score, which is a minor improvement on last season. That's still more than two shots poorer than Bayern Munich, however.

DFB-Pokal Finale Borussia Dortmund gegen VFL Wolfsburg Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Dortmund's football at times was rudimentary in the second half

In 2011-12, even with Robert Lewandowski, the problems were there. Dortmund needed more than 8.5 shots to score, while it was 9.35 the season previous. There are other problems in defense clearly, but rediscovering those scoring touches has to be a summer priority for the Ruhrpott club.

Huffs-and-puffs, but little craft

But what should have improved regardless of chances missed, was the kind of situations created in attack. With the scores at 3-1, Dortmund did little more than toss the ball into the penalty box in the final 30 minutes, a pattern that seemed to completely by-pass key, crafty players like Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Shinji Kagawa.

Considering Dortmund's below-average conversion rate from cross balls, this tactic seemed a little rash. Dortmund crossed the ball into the box 23 times overall and barely forced Diego Benaglio into a threatening intervention.

On average, it takes Dortmund nine crosses to score a goal - a record that is worse than the majority of other Bundesliga sides. The likes of Werder Bremen have an almost 50 percent better record when it comes to scoring from crossing situations; it just simply isn't an effective way of playing for Dortmund.

How Dortmund's team is reconstructed next season lands in the hands of Thomas Tuchel who is the confirmed successor to Klopp. BVB will be back in action as early as July 30 in the UEFA Europa League, yet in the meantime, Tuchel and Dortmund's key men need to scrub up their attacking play and find some potency.