Black and yellow triumphed over green and white on Saturday, as Dortmund defeated Gladbach on the road, 1-3. It was a tight match throughout the first half as both teams spurned chances, but Marco Reus and Henrikh Mkhitaryan goals on either side of half made way for a more open second. But who wants to enjoy a great team win when you can judge individual player performances on the internet?!* Ratings are on a scale from 1-10, with 5 being a decent baseline of a player having a solid and non-special performance. Statistics are taken from the Bundesliga website.
*Kidding. Kind of.
Roman Bürki: 6
Bürki wasn't called upon terribly often. Some poor defending left him helpless as a header bounced off the top of the crossbar in the first half, and a scramble in front of goal resulted in Gladbach's only tally, but the Swiss International was relatively blameless on both accounts. He did make one great save, making himself big to block a Traore 1-v-1 opportunity, and handled the rest of his duties ably and quietly.
Joo-Ho Park: 4
A string of encouraging performances over the winter friendlies (and Marcel Schmelzer's fitness still being in question) led to Thomas Tuchel handing Joo-Ho Park the start at left back. The Korean was scrappy on defense, but frequently looked to be struggling with Traore's pace on the wing. Most of his mistakes led to nothing, but Raffael's simple touch inside the box absolutely undressed the left back, allowing the Gladbach man to fire home his side's only goal. Park was fine in possession, but offered nothing special going forward. He'll need to improve if he expects a consistent spot in Tuchel's XI.
Mats Hummels: 8
The captain turned in an excellent performance Saturday, winning 14 duels and completing 49 out of 56 passes. His calm presence in the back and excellently-timed tackles prevented a normally potent Gladbach offense from ever gaining a true foothold. Also gets points for attempting to dribble from half field to make an attempt on goal himself. Not being Messi, Ronaldo, Maradona, or particularly agile in general, he got dispossessed. But the effort was fun.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos: 7
The big Greek paired well with Hummels all game, and while he didn't influence the game quite as much as his partner, he still handled everything thrown his way admirably. Had one outstanding tackle to prevent a Raffael breakaway in the last quarter of the game.
Lukasz Piszczek: 6
A solid outing for Piszczek, and I'm inclined to think Moenchengladbach would agree with me on that statement, as their most effective attacks often came from Park's left side. While Piszczek doesn't often cover himself in glory, his displays are nonetheless effective.
Julian Weigl: 7
Another very good performance from Weigl that will no doubt leave several Dortmund fans looking nervously at the close of the transfer window. Weigl looked great as a lone holding midfielder, seldom misplacing a pass and shielding the backline well. The only blights on his score come from a yellow card that may or may not have been a necessary foul to commit, and sometimes losing players at the top of the box during several second-half scrambles for Gladbach. Also lost his mark on a first half corner that saw Gladbach glance the crossbar.
İlkay Gündoğan: 9
Man of the match honors go to Gundogan, who ran the show from his box-to-box midfield role. After absolutely painting the crossbar with his effort from distance in the first half, he slipped through Marco Reus for BVB's first goal, crossed through to Reus to begin the move which led to Mkhitaryan's goal, and then scored the third goal for BVB himself. He was was joint leader in duels won with 14, and joint leader in passes completed with 49. It was a great performance on both sides of the ball from the German.
Gonzalo Castro: 5
Castro wasn't awful on the night, but he also wasn't particularly good. He frequently got closed down quickly and couldn't create much chemistry with Aubameyang or either winger, and misplaced several more ambitious passes in the final third. Ultimately, not an awful performance, but not what we've become accustomed to from the midfielder, either, and Shinji Kagawa is waiting in the wings as he comes back from a stomach sickness.
Marco Reus: 7
Reus struggled to be effective throughout a tight opening forty minutes, but ripped the game open in the 41st minute when he finally managed to get behind the Gladbach backline. After the half the game opened up more, and Reus added an assist to his goal. An encouraging display from the Dortmund talisman after struggling to maintain fitness and form in the first half of the season.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan: 8
Everyone's favorite Armenian had himself a banner day as well, scoring and assisting as well as threatening from the left wing throughout the second half. It was a quieter first half from Miki, but as the game continued to open up his incisive runs broke apart the Gladbach defense, allowing BVB to capitalize on the breaks in formation. He was a close second for man of the match, but only completed half of the passes Gundogan managed. Still a wonderful match from him.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 3
On such a good night for the team, Aubameyang's performance was a bit of an outlier. In reality, he should of had three or four goals on the night, but scuffed two chances in the first half, was beaten out to a bouncing ball on the doorstep by the Gladbach defense in the second, and put his finish wide on a 1-v-1 breakaway. The African Player of the Year couldn't buy a goal on the night, but thankfully his team picked up the slack for him.
Erik Durm: 5
Durm's long awaited return came in the 70th minute for Marco Reus, oddly enough. Normally a fullback, Tuchel slotted Durm in on the wing to give Reus a breather and shore up the Dortmund defense. Going forward, the left side of Park and Durm was...interesting, but the pair managed to shut down any Gladbach attacking forays well enough to close the game.
Matthias Ginter: 5
Also normally a defender, Ginter came in for Castro as Tuchel flipped his midfield triangle upside-down, switching to two defensive midfielders with Gundogan taking the sole attacking midfield spot. Gladbach didn't score, so it would seem the ruse worked.
Adrián Ramos: 4
Came in for Aubameyang and won a couple fouls, in addition to holding up the ball alright. Really, the only reason his score is higher than PEA's is because he was only on the pitch for 14 minutes.