Analysis

How much have Borussia Dortmund struggled without Erling Haaland?

Erling Haaland's absence from the Borussia Dortmund team has caused a major downturn in form which could cost Lucien Favre his job.

 
6:02pm on Saturday 12th December 2020
By
Stefan Bienkowski

Borussia Dortmund’s poor start to the season slumped to new depths on Saturday when they were comfortably and dramatically pulled apart by Stuttgart in a 5-1 Bundesliga demolishing.

The result now means that the German giants have won just one of their last five games in all competitions. The pressure is now well and truly on head coach Lucien Favre and it remains to be seen if he’ll be given the opportunity to turn things around.

Conceding five goals to newly-promoted Stuttgart unquestionably underlines Dortmund’s defensive issues but the poor run of form has coincided with Erling Haaland’s injury and time off the pitch.

So just how much have Dortmund’s performances dropped off without their Norwegian talisman leading the line?

Dortmund’s struggles without Haaland

To no great surprise Dortmund have struggled to create or score goals at the same rate since Haaland was forced to step out of the team.

Giovanni Reyna has tried to step into the Norwegian striker’s limelight with two goals in Dortmund’s last two Bundesliga matches without Haaland but he alone can’t be expected to make up the difference.

Indeed, Dortmund have averaged 2.28 goals per game this season in all competitions but over the course of the last four games without Haaland that number has dropped to 1.25. Similarly, their shots have dropped from 14.67 per game down to 12.5 and their expected goals average has fallen from 1.91 to 1.25.

Crucially, those numbers have all amalgamated into overall attacking performances that simply haven’t been good enough. With Haaland in the side Dortmund’s win record for this season stood at 64%. Without him over the last four games that number has fallen to 25%.

20 yrs - S (C) - Dortmund
98
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
1063
Played matches
15
13
2
Shots P90
2.79
Shots On target P90
1.61
Successful passing %
71%
Final third passes P90
7.62

Dortmund have no alternatives

Without Haaland in his side, Favre turned to Marco Reus to lead the line against Stuttgart and it just didn’t seem to work.

The senior forward didn’t manage a single shot (never mind a shot on target) throughout the whole match despite three touches of the ball in the Stuttgart box.

And it’s not as if Reus was playing the role of the self-less target man either. The German striker didn’t manage a single dribble or create any big chances throughout the match and his 20 passes in the final third were outdone by four other Dortmund players.

Whether Dortmund decide to keep Favre on board to try and turn things around remains to be seen, but if the last four games have shown anything it's that the Bundesliga club simply have no alternatives to Haaland's brilliance up front and struggle immensely without him.

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