Huge victories to stay up: VfL Bochum shakes BVB and the league

The area is experiencing one of the most spectacular derbies in recent years. In the end, VfL Bochum triumphed and celebrated their relegation miracle, while Dortmund and triple goal scorer Erling Haaland picked up the equalizer in front of the south stand.

VfL Bochum celebrates its football miracle. In the neighbourhood. In Dortmund. In Borussia. The promoted team wins 4: 3 (2: 2) in second place in the Bundesliga and celebrates staying up in the league on the 32nd day of play. A crazy story served in a crazy game. After eight minutes, VfL led 2-0. Sebastian Polter and Gerrit Holtmann shocked the sold-out Westfalenstadion with 81,365 spectators. With your head and with your art. Erling Haaland turned the match around. He lowered two hand penalties and shot himself with profit once. When everything seemed to go as the power of these clubs had predicted, substitute Jürgen Locadia placed the next double shock in the country’s highest temple with a very smooth move and Milos Pantovic (per hand penalty).

Westfalenstadion was boiling. However, it boiled down to the “wrong” side. In the North Grandstand. Where Bochum’s fans had crowded, at least 8,000 had gotten tickets to the long-missed little Revierderby. In the south, on the other hand, where the black and yellow wall is, first silence, then whistles. It aroused anger. “I can understand people’s anger, but the boys do not deserve to be offended,” BVB coach Marco Rose told Sky. “One thing is to lose the fight, the other is to get bubbly,” BVB professional Julian Brandt said. “The two goals conceded in the end were extremely unlucky.”

BVB, who were not in full possession of their forces in terms of personnel, had made fun of the poisonous dwarf next door. The Borussia footballers had added yet another bitter suffering to their fickle season. However, the Dortmunds have nothing to fear anymore, as the second place can only be taken from them by Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig. And then BVB staggers from this season, again with the hope that everything will get better next season. Probably without the goal giant Haaland, who on Saturday afternoon had to deal with the death of his adviser Mino Raiola, with a major staff change and the longing for football players who carry the black-yellow feeling deep inside them. They saw what such a squad might look like this Saturday. At least on a passionate level.

The builder is in demand


(Photo: IMAGO / Nordphoto)

It could also exist on VfL. But the motives are completely different. This year one without the eternal sports director Michael Zorc, BVB needs fresh energy for new successes, guys with mentality and strength, guys who really want this club. Bochum, on the other hand, will need new people because some players may have gotten a little too big for VfL this season. Central defenders Maxim Leitsch and Armel Bella-Kotschap, for example. Or Milos Pantovic, the expert in art shot. Or Holtmann, who is no longer just fast but also scores goals and provides assists. And then there are loaners like Elvis Rexhbecaj (of VfL Wolfsburg), who is a leader – but also expensive. A lot of work for builder Sebastian Schindzielorz, who already this season had succeeded in strengthening the promotions well at the top and bottom and among other things to compensate for Robert Zulj, the excellent playmaker’s departure. However, the work was to become even more challenging this summer.

How Union? Or like Bielefeld?

thoughts for tomorrow. Not for today. It was reserved for a blue and white dance into May. Completely uninhibited, totally euphoric. Like coach Thomas Reis. In the seconds before the final whistle, he was only able to hide his laughter with a lot of body control. And like the whistle of redemption. whistled for the “miracle” when they had always proclaimed relegation, sounded after 94 minutes because it broke out of him. He ran to the fans with clenched fists, and the rest of Bochum followed. A party leading Anthony Losilla, the team’s biggest phenomenon, followed shirtless in the block. Like goalkeeper Manuel Riemann, also one of the legends on this team. The 34-year-old, who had previously kept VfL inside the match with excellent saves against Marco Reus and Haaland, got the supporters to hand him sunglasses and a megaphone, then they sang together: “We are number one in the pool”, while next to , at Westfalenhallen, Maydays beats knocked gently hot for the restart.

Judging by the results against BVB (first half of the season 1-1) – and FC Schalke 04’s second division affiliation – it is a correct assessment. Measured on the requirements, past performances and the charisma of the clubs, however not. Dortmund will finally challenge FC Bayern again and secure magical nights in Europe, while Bochum will establish himself in the league. There’s plenty of evidence in House of Lords’ history of how difficult it will be in another season. Arminia Bielefeld delivers the latest. Union Berlin explains how things can be different. With a good plan, the team plays for Europe again in their third season. And is number one in the capital.


Elvis Rexhbecaj enriched VfL with his passionate play.

(Photo: IMAGO / Nordphoto)

But the wonders of others interest no one in the bars and drinking halls between Castroper Strasse and the Bermuda Triangle. Here they tell the stories of their main characters. From Coach Reis, who inherited Robin Dutt in September 2019, who was long wondered about and then only wondered about. Until the Corona break in the spring of 2020, there was a big question mark over his work. So an even bigger exclamation point. He had formed a collective of a cadre of individuals and small groups. And he had got a smart idea. With fast wings and a compact center. This idea accelerated the pace of the game. The speed of the resurgence of the club, which was equipped in the second division and still hung on the longing for the long-outdated myth of actually being “undelegated”.

Suddenly everything went and goes with rice. Corona championship, promotion, relegation. At the great territorial rival. An extremely delicious taste triumph – which is officially poured over. “It’s the culmination of the season. If you make it clear by winning in BVB – it will be celebrated,” Reis promised, letting the journey of the last two and a half years pass him by again: “When I came back to Bochum, the club was “in a difficult situation. We found each other again and showed that you have to stick together to achieve something. It will take me a few days to realize that. I’m just proud to be able to train this team.” Incidentally, the celebrations took place in the legendary bar district of the Bermuda Triangle. In the middle of the city, in the middle of the fans. With iconic ugly jerseys from the club’s motto box, which is actually forbidden.

A greed eats away at the team

Reis, who played 199 games for the “vonne Castroper” club and was active as a coach for the VfL youth team before switching to the U19s at VfL Wolfsburg, gave the team of complicated characters a common feeling. Like the region’s miners once carried it underground. Sometimes tough on each other, but always honest. Verbal hard, physically hard too. Like the ultra-ambitious goalkeeper Riemann or captain Losilla, who played in the Bundesliga for the first time at the age of 36 and did so in an excellent way. These two mentality giants and the strict coach Reis, who met and drove negligence or exaggerated fantasies from his players out with time-outs on the bench and even a short-term team ban, had eaten a greed in this team that not only overwhelmed BVB was but also FC Bayern (4: 2) in February.

In the first half of the season, Munich had shown VfL the right path on the unknown first division terrain. After a great 7-0, when Bochum had already been relegated, this team was stuck in the upper house. Reis again relied on a very brave pressure, on lightning-fast-changing football via Riemann, who with his opening of the game is a fantastic weapon in the action of the promoted team. Reis relied on greed, hard work, discipline – and team spirit. Taming the egos in the team is perhaps the greatest achievement of his work to date, which contractually lasts until the summer of 2023. An extension from both sides, certainly desired. But there are also changed expectations.

The team achieved good results, confidence – and then a madness that wrote several smaller and larger hero stories. In the league. In the cup. There are stories about dream solos (Holtmann already on match day 2), about 50 and more meter goals (Pantovic), about giant rescues and converted penalties (Riemann), about passionate fighters like Christian Gamboa or comebacks of long-deprecated football unique like the penalty kick tanker Sebastian Polter as well as exciting victories and an unshakable mentality to stand up after setbacks as recently against SC Freiburg and FC Augsburg.

On April 30, 2022, VfL will no longer commute between the worlds. He remains a football team in the first division, powerful, loud and proud that night. Proud of (his) little football miracle between the A40, the Ruhr area’s always congested social equator, and Krummede, the old prison. Herbert Grönemeyer sang in the pubs, in the garden and in the apartments. City hymn. United as “you and your VfL …”

Leave a Comment