November 2013: Onwards and Upwards
Captain Fantastic: Bregerie Was Dresden's Rock On Return From Injury
v Braunschweig (3-0)
Dedic, Kempe, Corradi
v Kaiserslautern (3-2)
Bregerie, Trojan, Kempe
v Cottbus (2-0)
v Sanhausen (2-0)
After five weeks watching his team from the sidelines as he recovered from a Sports Hernia he sustained in training, Dresden's captain Roman Bregerie finally made his return this month, shoring up a defence which, since the last time he started a game, had conceded 7 goals in as many games (Accounting for 38% of all the goals Dresden have conceded this season)
Bregerie's impact was immediate; in the first game of the month against Braunschweig, he was a key cog in the Dresden system. His tackling success rate was in the region of 80-85%, and his interceptions were of the highest quality, often allowing his side to then build an attack.
Against Braunschweig, Dresden started brightly, but were held back by the Die Lowen defence. That is, until the 35th minute, when Zlatko Dedic spun his man in the box, and fired home past Davari. Dresden's opponents fought back; and were almost level - Leon Balogun's slip on the edge of his area allowed Orhan Ademi to steal the ball from him, but Kirsten got down well to his right to hold the Swiss striker's snap shot.
Loan signing Johannes Wurtz was taken off injured just before half-time, and early reports are suggesting he could be out for up to 7 weeks, just as Dresden approach the key point in their season. He was replaced by Tobias Kempe, who only had a minute on the pitch before the sides went in for half-time, with Dresden still 1-0 ahead.
Pained: Schuppan looks on as Wurtz is stretchered off
As the second half kicked off, Kempe was an immediate thorn in the side of Die Lowen, harrassing defenders on the edge of their own box, and drawing some terse fouls. His efforts soon paid off though - a fluffed clearance was chased down on the edge of the box by Cristian Fiel, who squared the ball for Kempe, and the big playmaker wasted no time in rifling the ball into the net to double his side's lead.
Baunschweig were visibl frustrated by this point, and silly foul after silly foul were beign awarded against them; and Bernardo Corradi was only too happy to oblige when he was pulled down on the edge of the box by a frustrated Deniz Dogan, dusting himself off to fire the free-kick home from the edge of the area, and seal the 3-0 victory.
Marching Orders: Dogan sees red for his challenge on Corradi
What follwed was a tense game against Kaiserslautern, who are currently sitting in 6th place in the league, despite many believing they would be title contenders. Dresden started as they meant to go on, with Captain Bregerie leaping above Marc Torrejon to head home after just two minutes.
That goal though, woke up the sleeping Kaiserslautern attack, and they were relentless: Kirsten in the Dresden goal made no less than 6 saves in the space of ten minutes, as the home side looked to salvage some pride, lost early on. Their saving grace came in the form of a mazy run from Marcel Gaus, who kept his composure to lift the ball over Kirsten, and level the scoreline at 1-1 after 31 minutes.
After half-time, it was Dresden who came out stronger, Filip Trojan at the heart of several slick passing moves as the Dynamo attack pressed deep into enemy territory. Eventually, his tenacity paid off, as he netted his first goal of the season in spectacular fashion: a 30-yard volley which crashed off the underside of the crossbar before nestling in the goal.
A careless tackle from Schuppan after 75 minutes meant that Kaiserslautern were back in the game; Simon Zoller sent Kirsten the wrong way from the Penalty spot to seemingly secure a point, and he celebrated as if his goal had just rescued a league title.
Elated: Zoller Celebrates what he thinks is a point-winning goal
It wasn't to be though; Tobias Kempe's late winner was the epitome of goal-mouth scramble: his shot from 6 yards crashed off the crossbar and the far post before trickling over the line to send Dyanmo back to Dresden with a valuable three points.
Next up was a home tie against Cottbus, which was navigated without any real difficulties: Bregerie again scored an early goal, heading home after just 3 minutes to put Dresden ahead, and only 2 points off of top spot in the league. Cottbus, who had just suffered a heavy 4-1 loss to Aalen, seemingly had nothing to offer to the game, and a Zlatko Dedic strike just after half-time put the game to bed.
Against Sandhausen, Dresden knew that a win would be enough to put them top of the league, and in the driving seat going into December. Their travelling fans knew it too, and a 25th minute strike from Tobias Kempe sent them into raptures: the midfielder's daisy cutter from just outside the box was too much for the goalkeeper to handle as it pushed past his flailing arms, and into the back of the net.
Kempe turned creator for Dresden's second goal, as Sandhausen struggled to have any real impact on the game: a quick switch of play from the 24 year old found Dedic lurking just inside the area, and the prolific striker wasted no time in scoring his 11th goal in 17 games this season, smashing the ball into the roof of the net to seal top spot, the game, and an unbeaten month for his club.
With 17 games still to play, we are officially at the half-way point of the season, and Dresden fans will be delighted with the clubs performances, especially as they were touted as favourites for relegation, not the title, at the start of the season.
2. Bundesliga Table
Player of the Month: Romain Bregerie