A selection of Borussia Dortmund supporters were left questioning Lucien Favre’s decision to take Julian Brandt off late on against SC Freiburg on Saturday, and hand Marcel Schmelzer his season debut from the bench.
Brandt had started Saturday’s clash with Christian Streich’s Schwarzwald-Stadion natives among Favre’s substitutes, but entered the action after just 14 minutes when Lukasz Piszczek was unable to continue through injury (ESPN).
The German midfielder was soon involved in the action as he fashioned a left-footed shot across Alexander Schwolow’s goal after Achraf Hakimi crossed the ball in, but his effort fired wide to the left and the score remained level until Axel Witsel broke the goal line moments later.
Brandt again spurned a chance to add to his sole goal in Black and Yellow (TransferMarkt) as the first-half rolled on, before forcing Schwolow into action in the second-half with a testing drive from outside the box, but to no avail.
In total, the 23-year-old would unfurl three shots on goal before his late departure, but would not couple his efforts with any key balls, successful tackles or interceptions, according to data collected by WhoScored.
Schmelzer’s entrance in the 87th minute as the replacement for Brandt was the 31-year-old’s first outing of the term across all competitions, having failed to leave the dugout in his seven prior chances for a maiden appearance of the term (TransferMarkt).
Once on the field, Schmelzer enjoyed just three touches and made one pass, while winning an aerial duel.
The veteran left-back could not partner his outing with a win, though, as an own goal by Manuel Akanji would see that Dortmund failed to convert their lead into the three points, and ended matchday seven of the Bundesliga season seventh in the table, four points behind joint-leaders Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, Freiburg and Bayer Leverkusen, who can only be separated by goal difference.
Favre’s decision to replace Brandt with Schmelzer also left some Dortmund fans questioning his tactics, and a few calling for his departure from the dugout.
Here are some of the messages shared…
what the Hell..
— dιхcee (@kingdixcee) October 5, 2019
— #FavreOUT (@NWVCH_) October 5, 2019
SCHMELZER !!!!!!???? Favre I thought we buddies
— Ujjwal (@Ujjwal981) October 5, 2019
The sub gets subbed
— Ben Daniels (@Ben84Daniels) October 5, 2019
Favre needs to go
— Behvaubeh (@Frebirge) October 5, 2019
— Joel (@jm327plays) October 5, 2019
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— Ryan (@Ryan13i) October 5, 2019
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