Jürgen Klopp insisted his Borussia Dortmund side have not struggled to get out of the blocks this season despite another setback, conceding twice in the last three minutes as a 1-0 lead at Hannover 96 became a 2-1 defeat.
It took 26 rounds for Klopp's side to pick up three Bundesliga losses last term; this time they have done it in six, Sunday's reverse following slip-ups against Hertha BSC Berlin and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. "We are not satisfied and we have not gained enough points but this is not a false start," Klopp said.
There is truth in the assertion: it is not Dortmund's start that has been causing them problems. The glitch has been wayward finishing; not something apparently afflicting their opponents, with the slightest error duly punished.
It was cruelly illustrated at Hannover, where Dortmund dominated throughout and looked to be headed for a deserved win when Shinji Kagawa put them in front just after the hour; Karim Haggui (87) and Didier Konan Ya (89) delivered a painful sting in the tail. "This defeat is very nasty," Klopp added. "From the 75th minute on we gave up control of a very good game.
It was our own fault, and a defeat never makes much sense, it merely gives you something you can learn from. We gave away a game in which we did several things very well, save for our finishing. Then we conceded too many set pieces and became inactive. That led to the equaliser.
"Before the second goal we went through two on one; then they came back, crossed and [Neven Subotić] slipped in the centre. At some point we stopped playing football. We just kicked the ball away too often, so we had no counterattacking situations. We have only ourselves to blame."
For the moment, though, this remains a results crisis, not a problem of performance. With Lucas Barrios, their most potent goal getter, yet to feature this season after a severe thigh injury, there is a lack of sharpness up front. But Dortmund's fighting spirit remains; Kagawa speaks for the team when he says "we will get back on track."
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