Borussia Dortmund were expected to beat Hannover and keep their title charge motoring, but the same defensive concerns arose. Peter Bosz faces even more questions after another poor display.
Just days before Halloween, Borussia Dortmund delivered a frightening performance against Hannover — and not the kind usually associated with the football club.
The surface was terrible at the HDI Arena in Hanover, perhaps more suitable for a game of rugby than football, but so poor was Dortmund's performance that not even the excuse of a bad surface could save them.
Hannover are a clever side, but they used the same method that others already have this season to take apart a Dortmund team that have become far too predictable, far too soon. Long balls through or over the middle left Dortmund in ruins, scrambling for position. The midfield was stretched, the defense overwhelmed.
Dortmund's individual quality wrestled them back into the game, but a clumsy foul, a red card and a free kick later and that same approach had Dortmund losing again.
Everything about BVB's defending was off. Even though the game was up by the time Marc Bartra tracked Ilhas Bebou out wide, the Spaniard let the winger drift in from out wide far too easily. It was symbolic of Dortmund's defense on the day.
Granted, Dortmund's defense wasn't their first choice four — Zagadou looked troubled in the center and Bartra out of place at right back — but the current system made all four defenders look poor. And that affected the rest of the team as creativity remained thin, with Christian Pulisic virtually the sole source of inspiration.
Peter Bosz wants his side to defend higher up the pitch, but on current evidence that is a risk not worth taking for this team. Dortmund have made the same mistakes for far too long and something has to give if they're to avoid ghosting through the rest of 2017.