Dortmund starlet Ousmane Dembele says referees aren't treating BVB fairly
Borussia Dortmund winger Ousmane Dembele has sounded off on a perceived injustice in the Bundesliga. The rising star believes BVB aren't receiving fair treatment from referees in the league and relayed as much in an interview with Sport Bild.
"It annoys me that in the last five or six games, the opponents have looked to stop our flow with tactical fouls that go unpunished," Dembele said, via Goal.com.
High-flying Dortmund are second only to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga with 35 goals scored in 16 matches. Thomas Tuchel's team is designed to utilize the speed present in the attack. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marco Reus, Andre Schurrle and Mario Goetze form a devastating punch alongside Dembele. But teams are throwing a wrench into the works by cynically fouling, Dembele said, and referees aren't dishing out punishment for the fouls.
"I'd really like the referees to act earlier and harder. There are players who have fouled me five or six times in a game without getting a card, and when they do it's often very late," Dembele said.
With 291 fouls committed against them, Dortmund are the most fouled team in the league, per whoscored.com. On the flip side, BVB are second in the league with 186 fouls committed, with Bayern doling out just 162. Despite the 19-year-old Dembele's breakout season, Dortmund's year hasn't gone according to plan.
They're sixth in the Bundesliga with 27 points, far beyond the reaches of claiming the title. A Champions League spot is still very much in play, though. It's impossible to know if Dembele's comments about the referees will wind up helping or harming the cause, but surely he hopes it's the former.