Borussia Dortmund came into yesterday’s game on a rough run of form, desperately needing to pick up some points and put in the kind of display that would help turn things round and get the team back on track. Instead, they added to their woes with an infuriating loss. BVB showed both their best and worst sides yesterday. They showed their blistering offense, and their capacity to collapse at a moment’s notice and concede stupid goals. If Marco Rose was auditioning for the role of Borussia Dortmund manager, he certainly passed with flying colors. The biggest issue might be whether he really wants the job anymore.
Here are our ratings from yesterday’s game:
This entire loss cannot be blamed on Burki, but there are certainly moments where he he could have done more to keep the team in the game. Burki was mostly helpless on the first goal, but he the second came from Burki spilling a shot back in to Nico Elvedi’s path. He also could have done more on Ramy Bensebaini’s goal but stood flatfooted as it curled around him.
Morey had a pretty uneventful performance. In his return to the side he was no more or less impactful than Meunier has been recently, but he should have offered more to close down Bensebaini, leaving Brandt to fend for himself.
While I thought Morey could have been a lot better, I think he still offered a decent amount going forward. He lost a lot of points for his defensive contributions though.
While it would be harsh to blame the entire loss on Mats Hummels, he is the leader of the defense, and against Gladbach his defense failed. Hummels was cooked by Nico Elvedi for the first goal and was also distracted by Breel Embolo for Marcus Thuram’s goal, giving him a nearly free shot at the ball. Hummels is one of the most important players on the pitch every week for Dortmund, but this week we have seen some of his faults outshine his usual defensive soundness.
Guerreiro’s performance matched the rest of the defense. He did little to coat himself in glory but was not exactly the culprit for any of the goals conceded. Still, his defensive positioning has been suspect in this English week and he has failed to smooth over that fact with stellar attacking displays.
Rapha has had a string of rough outings lately. It seems that when Rapha plays bad, Dortmund plays bad too. I really can’t think of many positive things he did yesterday, on either side of the ball.
Bellingham’s performance was a bit of a mixed bag. He was struggling to have a significant defensive impact, but he was effective in possession, and linked up brilliantly with Sancho for BVB’s second goal. Unfortunately, he was mostly missing in the second half.
I would add to Paul’s comment that despite Bellingham going missing in the second half, we still looked much worse without than with him, as was the case against Mainz.
Bellingham is starting to become a very important figure in the midfield picture. His press directly led to Dortmund’s second goal, and the performance of the central midfield dropped when he was subbed out.
Pushed, shoved, and ran hard. Can gave us what we have come to expect from him, but he was bullied by Thuram for the final goal of the game, and allowed the midfield to fall into disarray in the final 15 minutes of the game.
Didn’t have as many forward runs that stood out, and he wasn’t the organizer of the midfield like Witsel was.
I was actually really impressed with what I saw from Brandt yesterday. He did not play a perfect game, but in a full 90 minute appearance he was active in the buildup and showed tremendous energy, two things we have not regularly seen from the German this season. Hopefully he can replicate this again next week and improve further.
I thought Sancho was tremendous in the first half. He notched up two assists, came very close to grabbing a goal of his own, and was busy creating throughout. He went a little quiet in the second half, but this was as much the result of the team collapsing around him.
Agree with Paul. Sancho looked like the player of old in the first half, picking out two *exceptional* assists for Erling Haaland. In a more confident run of form he may have been able to carry the team through the second half, but alas, he faltered as much as the team around him.
A great first half followed by a not great second half. His first assist was sublime, and his footwork on the second goal was something else. More of this Sancho moving forward would be a great benefit for the squad.
I think Reus was one of the small handful of players that were not terrible. He had some really good moments in the first half, but he didn’t impose himself on the game in the way BVB desperately needed.
Wasn’t awful but didn’t make enough of an impact to separate himself from those that underperformed.
Haaland and Sancho were much better than anyone else in the team yesterday. They did everything they could to drag this team through the game, and for a while it seemed like they might succeed.
Went missing somewhat like Sancho in the second half, but there is a growing tendency for Dortmund’s fullbacks and midfield to just slam the ball into Haaland’s chest/head when things are not going right and expect him to save the day and, often to his own detriment. The lack of chemistry here needs to change to help Haaland better serve the team in tightly contested games.
After a spectacular first half, his second half left a lot to be desired. Maybe it was the condensed week of preparation and recovery from the Leverkusen match, or maybe it was Marco Rose adjusting at halftime to mark him out of the game. Whatever the reason, he was largely absent from the second half. While he’s still one of the top emerging forwards in the world, there are still pieces of his game that he needs to improve on to truly become that unstoppable machine, à la Robert Lewandowski.
The offense was well in disarray by the time he arrived. He tried, credit to him.
This game wasn’t quite as painful to watch as the Bayer Leverkusen game (at least there were lots of goals), but it was still very poor. There were some positives in the offense, but those were cancelled out, and then some, by the absolutely dire defensive effort.
Zac: 3 (This game), 0.01 (This week)
Since Paul covered this game, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad English week. Dortmund’s title hopes turned into top-4 hopes this week, with 8 points dropped from a possible 9 against Mainz, Bayer Leverkusen, and Borussia Mönchengladbach. Dortmund’s mentality and defensive stability have come into question in the last seven days, and the task for Edin Terzic in the coming weeks is massive. The caretaker manager needs to right the ship before Dortmund face Augsburg.
For neutrals and Gladbach fans, this was an incredibly fun game, but if you’re a BVB supporter, this was yet another frustratingly inconsistent performance. An exceptionally bad defensive performance outshined what was a very encouraging first half from the offense, but once the attack stuttered it was all over. Something needs to be done to stabilize the squad and improve morale, and I don’t know if Terzic is capable of doing that.
What do you think of our ratings? Please leave your thoughts below.