Mario Götze fears that history may be repeating itself as German title holders Borussia Dortmund find themselves edging towards an early European exit for the second season in succession.
Despite dazzling their countrymen with some sparkling attacking football in the Bundesliga last year, Jürgen Klopp's side fell short of a place in the UEFA Europa League round of 32, finishing behind Paris Saint-Germain FC and Sevilla FC in their group. Back then, Dortmund showed plenty of offensive vim, but were punished for their lapses at the other end. In this season's UEFA Champions League, they have once more shone in patches, but one point from three Group F games tells its own story.
"Last year, we were in a similar situation in the Europa League; we didn't get the results that our performances deserved or the points that we wanted," said the 19-year-old Götze as he pondered Tuesday's must-win fixture at home against Olympiacos FC. "It's even more annoying that this year the same thing seems to be happening in the Champions League. We have played games which have infuriated us."
Two points adrift of Olympiacos at the foot of the section, Dortmund must raise their game immediately if they are to challenge Arsenal FC and Olympique de Marseille for a top-two finish. "We know very well the situation we are in right now," the German international explained. "
We have stop making the kind of mistakes we have made, in this season and the last, and play more intelligently."
Coach Klopp expressed concern in recent weeks that his young side wanted too much too quickly in Europe, with counterattacking sides having proved only too eager to exploit their bravado. Ahead of this week's game, he noted: "Anyone expecting us to go into all-out attack mode against Olympiacos and give them more chances on the break should think again. We have 90 minutes to win this game and we need to use them wisely."
Götze hopes that sense of urgency will bring the best out of the yellow wall of Dortmund fans. "There is always a great atmosphere in this stadium," he said. "We always feel great when we see the yellow wall." However, having hopefully shaken off a groin problem, Götze knows it will take cool heads as well as passionate fans to get this campaign back on track. "I think we will win tomorrow," he said. "We just need to get three points and take it from there."
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