Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels admits they were not at their best against 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Sunday but was happy to pick up a hard-fought 2-0 win.
The Nullfünfer came into the match full of confidence having beaten Bundesliga-leading FC Bayern München just two weeks before, and made life very difficult for Dortmund.
“Just as the coach told us beforehand, we had to stay patient because Mainz worked really hard,” he told the official Bundesliga website.
“We kept calm though, and apart from one opportunity they had from a corner, we gave away very few chances. After the interval, we took advantage of the spaces which began to appear more regularly.”
The Borussen were wasteful in front of goal and perhaps should have put the game to bed in the second half, but Mainz clung on until the end.
“We used them to create a huge number of chances. It was absurd that we were only 1-0 up after 65 minutes. The game should have been over by then and we should have had four or five goals. We won in the end, but perhaps the goals will be important again,” he explained.
“We controlled things and we worked hard, in particular our attackers. It may not have been perfect in front of goal, and so we had to go the extra mile. To find Marco Reus in our own penalty area at the end was an example of that.
“And that sort of display also means that we win our games. Marco played very well. Apart from when he shot over an open goal and one sloppy pass in the 86th minute – when I had to shout at him for a second – it was a really impressive display,” he concluded.