The masters of wasting time
FC Sevilla irritates BVB to absolute madness
By Stephan Uersfeld
10/12/2022 10:52 am
The Champions League match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Sevilla has been a beautiful spectacle in the last few minutes. The guests from Andalusia perfect the art of wasting time. They are already masters of their craft in the Westfalenstadion. Even Niklas Sule is amazed.
Niklas Sule had a gamble. The national defender was in the mixed zone of Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion after the 1-1 draw against Sevilla. “We didn’t have our best day today, but we got more out of the game, especially in the second half. I had the feeling that Sevilla didn’t really want to score anymore. We fell to the ground quite often then.” , said Sule: “Without wanting to insinuate anything. But those are just facts!”
Just a few days after the change of coach from Julen Lopetegui to Jorge Sampaoli, a 1.72m short Argentine ribbon full of tattoos, the Andalusians were in their element at the Westfalenstadion. They are the masters of wasting time. Hardly any other club has been able to counter more opponents over the years. And enjoy it so successfully.
Because time stalling is the most basic of all forms of play to get results over time. Once mastered, the seconds on the clock will disappear without the ball being able to move across the court. There is always something. The kick-off run-up must be re-measured, noted and registered with the responsible authorities. Briefly touching the ankle translates into a brutal attack on the knee. Big toe spasms evolve into full-body spasms that require intensive treatment on the field.
Attrition blows mow seasoned players several times within a few minutes. Plagued by shortness of breath and dizziness, they can only be transported to the edge of the field on a stretcher. Sometimes they tumble down and break all their bones, which a witch doctor on the sidelines heals with some magic spells. It is a spectacle that makes the referees and opponents powerless and drives the spectators in the stands to madness.
All this waste of time, performed with a slight inclination towards peasant theatre, turned the last minutes of the match in the Westfalenstadion into a never-ending spectacle, which at the same time nips in the bud any attempt at good attacking play. The Brazilian Marcão, who still seemed wooden at the start of the 90 minutes, stood out in particular.
The 26-year-old Andalusian defender was only lured to Spain for €14 million in the summer from Galatasaray, but then dropped out due to injury. During his first appearance in the premier class, his exhausted body fell to the ground several times and had to be treated for minutes. His injury history, his performance in the nearly 90 minutes before, gave credence to his lightning fatigue.
Serbian referee Srdjan Jovanović was also deeply impressed. He pointed to the clock to indicate a four-minute stoppage time extension. But it stayed that way. He didn’t hang around for a second. In the few minutes that followed goalkeeper Bono also took a free kick with the halftime of his 31 years and took the yellow card for that.
Seville are the uncrowned kings
Sevilla became so intoxicated with the art form of wasting time that they completely forgot the orderly transfer of the ball to the Dortmund half. An away win for progress in the Champions League would have had a certain urgency. They are two points behind Borussia Dortmund with just two games left. In addition, BVB won the direct comparison and only needs one point from the remaining matches against Manchester City and Copenhagen, which also have two draws.
But maybe Sevilla didn’t want to win at all, as Niklas Sule initially suspected. The Andalusians are the champions of the Europa League. There they are regularly in the final and can also participate in the Champions League in the 2023/2024 season. The winner of the Europa League, asks Eintracht Frankfurt, is known for qualifying for the premier class. So maybe this 1-1 draw in Dortmund was perfect enough, maybe they wanted to hang this draw against the wall, sneak up on it, light it up and not run the risk of suddenly being a hopeless knockout round entrant to the Champions League.
But none of that mattered in those wonderfully painful minutes in Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion. The masters of wasting time took the art form to a new level. Because of the initial situation, that might not even make sense and was therefore close to perfection. Long live the waste of time!