Borussia Dortmund suffer cup hangover in scoreless draw vs. Cologne
Borussia Dortmund's streak of scoring in each of their past 21 league matches came to an abrupt halt as they could not find a way past a defensively sound Cologne, and a scoreless draw was the consequence.
If you don't score yourself, a point is the maximum.
Dortmund were feeling their cup hangover after winning 3-2 at Bayern Munich on Wednesday. After some promising opportunities in the opening quarter of an hour on Saturday, the Black and Yellows dropped off severely, as Cologne resorted to defense-only mode. The dropped two points means that TSG Hoffenheim have the chance to pip the Westphalians to third place on Sunday against Eintracht Frankfurt, making the following matchup against Hoffenheim a must win.
Manager rating out of 10
6 -- There is only so much that Thomas Tuchel could've done with a squad that is still feeling the aftermath of an exhausting midweek cup tie.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Roman Burki, 6 -- As Cologne hardly put anything on target, the shot stopper was hardly called to action.
DF Matthias Ginter, 5 -- Some wobbles when the guests actually pushed forward.
DF Sokratis Papastathopoulos, 6 -- Stood strong a few times against Anthony Modeste, who then picked Ginter as his opponent. Was taken off after 73 minutes.
DF Marcel Schmelzer, 8 -- Dortmund's most active and also best player over 90 minutes. The captain suffocated Cologne's attacks time and time again, initiating a lot of attacks on his left side.
DF Erik Durm, 5 -- Had the second-worst pass completion rate in the first half with only 66.7 percent. Only Marco Reus was worse. Durm, however, had more responsibility in build-up play.
MF Julian Weigl, 5 -- The 21-year-old wasn't quite on song with his passing, as vertical and diagonal balls more often than not went astray.
MF Christian Pulisic, 6 -- Blazed past former teammate Neven Subotic with pure pace in the opening minutes. Couldn't repeat that trick later, as Cologne gained more compactness at the back, but won a lot of corners after overlapping runs.
MF Shinji Kagawa, 6 -- Like most of his teammates, Kagawa had a quiet afternoon. The playmaker had one moment of brilliance but the play yielded an offside call. Taken off in the 66th minute.
MF Gonzalo Castro, 6 -- Found some space against a dense midfield, but also missed a couple of promising opportunities with an overhit pass.
MF Marco Reus, 6 -- Started brightly, but also deteriorated quickly. Taken off along with Kagawa.
FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 6 -- Cologne remain the only league opponent Aubameyang is yet to score against.
MF Raphael Guerreiro, 6 -- Forced Timo Horn into a world-class save in stoppage time.
MF Ousmane Dembele, 6 -- His individual quality created some momentum after his substitution in the 66th minute. The effect vanished after 10 minutes, however.
DF Lukasz Piszczek, NR -- Filled in for the hobbled Sokratis in the final 15 minutes. No notable contributions by the defensive all-rounder, however.
Stefan Buczko covers Borussia Dortmund for ESPN FC. Twitter: @StefanBuczko.