Uncertainty surrounding Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was swiftly brushed aside as he played the full 90 minutes of Borussia Dortmund’s 2-2 draw with Freiburg.
Aubameyang started for coach Peter Stoeger’s side despite fears he could be closing in on a move to Arsenal before the end of the transfer window.
He may have been understandably distracted by the ongoing speculation surround his future and he failed to have an impact Saturday’s draw, which condemned Dortmund to a third consecutive game without a win. But, were it not for Jeremy Toljan’s stoppage time equaliser, it could have been a lot worse.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started for Borussia Dortmund despite fears of his imminent exit
The Gabon striker has been linked with a move to Arsenal this transfer window
Aubameyang’s presence wasn’t enough to keep an unhappy home support from jeering
Borussia Dortmund (4-3-3): Burki; Piszczek, Sokratis, Toprak, Toljan; Castro (Gotze 45), Sahin (Isak 78), Kagawa; Pulisic (Yarmolenko 67), Aubameyang, Sancho
Subs not used: Weidenfeller, Akanji, Schurrle, Weigl
Goals: Kagawa 9; Toljan 90+3
Booked: Castro 26
Freiburg (3-4-3): Gikiewicz; Soyuncu, Gulde, Kempf; Kubler, Koch, Abrashi, Gunter; Holer (Kleindienst 82), Petersen, Haberer (Drager 84)
Subs not used: Terrazzino, Klandt, Schuster, Stanko, Sean, Okoroji
Goals: Petersen 21, 68
The home side were jeered and whistled at throughout the disappointing performance by the watching crowd at the Westfalenstadion, actions sporting director Michael Zorc has defended.
Fans in the east and west stands whistled and jeered as they watched their side put in another luck-lustre performance – a sight that is becoming all too common at the Westfalenstadion this season.
Goalkeeper Roman Buerki criticised the home support after the game, saying they weren’t helping the team by turning against them and encouraged the more disgruntled fans watching on to save themselves the trip and stay at home.
Zorc, however, disapproved of his goalkeeper’s words, who was on the receiving end of a Nils Petersen brace.
‘The statement is inappropriate and wrong,’ Zorc said of Buerki’s comments. ‘I recommend that the players watch the full 90 minutes again. They’ll have to be careful that they don’t whistle themselves.’
Shinji Kagawa volleyed Dortmund into the lead after just nine minutes of play
Freiburg captain Nils Petersen scored twice to put the visitors on the verge of victory
The Freiburg skipper scrambled an equaliser home for the visitors in the first half
Petersen then left goalkeeper Roman Buerki with no chance as he fired Freiburg into the lead
Zorc added that he experienced worse as a player in the same stadium.
‘The fans have the right to show their displeasure when a game is going like that. Everything was within limits,’ Zorc said.
Only Jeremy Toljan’s late strike prevented Dortmund from slipping to their first defeat with Stoeger as coach. Stoeger started with two wins in the league but they have been followed by three draws, seeing Dortmund slip outside of the Champions League places.
‘We were missing everything that’s necessary to play football well,’ said Zorc, who felt three points from three games are too few, even for a Dortmund side that has struggled to perform since the start of the season.
‘Especially because two of those games were at home, where we presume we’ll collect the points we need. Altogether it’s much, much too little.’
Dortmund have fallen 19 points behind Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich, having previously led the defending champions by five earlier in the season.
The German side also crashed out of their Champions League group with just two points to their name, with a Europa League last 32 showdown with Atlanta to look forward to.
Buerki claimed the home supporters whistling and booing should have stayed at home
Sporting director Michael Zorc disagreed with the comments, and backed the fans’ actions
Zorc felt they had a right to express their displeasure at a poor Dortmund performance
Dortmund have slipped out of the Champions League places, 19 points behind Bayern Munich