Emre Can dampens Borussia Dortmund’s offensive drive against Eintracht Frankfurt – and leads his team to a safe victory against the Hessians. The 26-year-old has a great influence on the BVB game.

The people in the Dortmund stadium appreciated the performance. When Emre Can had to leave the field slightly limping after 62 minutes, they gave friendly applause for the new signing of Borussia Dortmund. Can had done his job 4: 0 (1: 0) without fault or blame. Lukasz Piszczek (33rd minute), Jadon Sancho (50th), Erling Haaland (54th) and Raphael Guerreiro (74th) ensured the never-at-risk victory against the disappointing team of coach Adi Hütter.

Even if the high result signals something else: this victory against Frankfurt was not as exciting and spectacular as you are used to from Borussia Dortmund. And Can had a big part in that.   

Can and Witsel lead the Dortmund game 

At his Dortmund premiere last week in the game at Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Can also stormed as intensely as his teammates showed him – and together with the team gave an already believed victory. But against Eintracht he was no longer carried away by his team’s offensive spirit and played his very own role.

The 26-year-old played an important role in the central defensive midfield position. Together with his partner Axel Witsel, he skillfully determined the game of his team. And in the interplay between offensive and defensive, both found a good balance. When one intervened in the attack, the other kept his colleague’s back free – and vice versa. A defensive gap should not arise, that was Can’s main focus. 

Restrained Dortmunders

Above all, the unusually open words of Cans seemed to have borne fruit among his colleagues after the spectacular 3: 4 bankruptcy the previous week. After the game, Can had been rather disillusioned with his new team’s defensive behavior. His team would have to “defend dirtier overall”, said the international and said: “It was exactly the game that you say about Dortmund: you lead, you play nice attacking football, but defensively we all have to be better together. I mean the whole Team, from front to back. We have to learn that. ”   

And in fact the Dortmund approached the game much more cautiously than in previous weeks. The focus of the Dortmund efforts was not the offensive but the defensive. The offensive game was unusually tough in the first half. And Can paid almost as much attention as a teacher in the Abitur exam that this time nobody really neglected his defense tasks. 

Can is making great efforts

This approach should pay off for BVB against Frankfurt: The spectacle took a back seat in favor of effectiveness in duels and cool pragmatism on the defensive. The club managers around sports director Michael Zorc and club boss Hans-Joachim “Aki” Watzke brought the national player from Juventus to Dortmund at the end of January for an initial rental fee of EUR 1 million – with a subsequent purchase commitment of EUR 25 million – to Dortmund.

Can is supposed to bring this dose of determination and fighting strength to the Dortmund game. Against Frankfurt, at his home premiere in black and yellow, Can already showed that he is the one who can fix this Dortmund weakness this season. With 15 duels won, he led this category until his substitution. After an hour, Can had already completed about eight kilometers on the field. Can led the way, followed by his teammates. The Frankfurt team did not even manage to get a measly shot at the BVB goal on this cool evening.


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