With its fast start in Saturday’s Revierderby, Borussia Dortmund appeared to have turned its season around against its local rivals Schalke 04. Instead, Dortmund suffered its most damaging setback of the season, and manager Peter Bosz could be out of a job soon after a stunning 4-4 draw. Dortmund took a four-goal lead into halftime, but gave up four goals in the second half, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was shown a red card.
It only took 12 minutes for Dortmund to take the lead, with Aubameyang turning in the opening goal off a setup by Nuri Sahin. When that swelled to a 4-0 lead at halftime — aided by VAR taking a Schalke goal off the board — Dortmund was already celebrating like the game had been won.
Schalke’s reply certainly wasn’t instant to start the second half — Die Königsblauen took until the 61st minute to score through Guido Bergstaller — but the match snowballed out of control from there. Amine Harit scored in the 65th minute, then Aubameyang was sent off in the 72nd, making a comeback seem realistic.
The third Schalke goal was an absolute stunner. Dortmund fans could hardly believe what they were watching when Daniel Caligiuri curled his perfect shot into the top corner in the 86th minute.
25' Dortmund 4-0 Schalke— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 25, 2017
86' Dortmund 4-3 Schalke
What a game! https://t.co/hnChfcLB4X
And the yellow wall was further displeased when — thanks to time-wasting by Sokratis — the fourth official showed that there would be seven minutes of added time. That announcement seemed to inspire Schalke to push forward even harder, and it found the equalizer on a corner, with 6’6 defender Naldo towering over everyone in a yellow shirt to head into the back of the net.
What drama! Naldo completes Schalke's miraculous comeback in stoppage time.— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 25, 2017
Dortmund blew a 4-0 lead. https://t.co/j2ArKWlat0
Schalke entered the match four points ahead of rivals Borussia Dortmund, with Der BVB having failed to win in its last six Bundesliga matches, on top of getting eliminated from Champions League play. Many felt that Dortmund needed a win — or at least a good performance — for Bosz to avoid getting fired. Dortmund also couldn’t afford to lose any more ground in the title race, with Bayern Munich entering the week eight points ahead of BVB.
The final two goals were a serious indictment of Bosz’s coaching. Primarily at fault for both goals was 18-year-old Dan-Axel Zagadou, who was put in the difficult position of being a defensive substitute for a 10-man team struggling to hold on in a rivalry game. Zagadou looked unprepared for the occasion, which is hardly his own fault — he’s only played 14 professional first team matches.
Losing a four-goal lead against your rivals in any context is embarrassing and demoralizing. In this context, it’s even worse. Dortmund is now facing the prospect of a lost season and a complete revamp in November, after starting the season looking capable of challenging in all competitions.