Well, that was painful, but sadly, like in 2014/15, not unexpected. As soon as we saw the tactics, proof positive that smart trainers like Niko Kovaĉ do their homework, the high-press giving Julien Weigl no time on the ball, we knew it was going to be a long day. Sure enough, the match plans of RB Leipzig, SC Freiburg, Bayer Leverkusen, and FC Ingolstadt were emulated by SG Eintracht Frankfurt. Successful 3.5 out of 5 times attempted. Only Ingolstadt and Freiburg were unable to take wins off Dortmund. Fresh off from my sadnap that did no good, here are the player ratings from today’s let down at the Waldstadion.
Ramos looked lively again. … Auba had a decent header… Anything else? Can’t think of much.
Well, where to start? Let’s start with mentality. The first half went largely to plan and expectation. The second half started and the boys were still in the training room… goal. Then, they scrapped back into the match, equalized and … goal. The mentality of an immature team.
Cannot really fault Tuchel’s plan at all. His lineup looked up to the challenge and selection good. He even made the timely substitution decision at the right moment. Obviously, Rode is a disaster, but aside from that, Reus and Dembélé changed the match positively for the club. He really needs the winter break to work with his team.
Roman is just too old and slow. It is so awful to see heroic figures age poorly at a big club. Hearing of Steven Gerrard’s three-years-too-late retirement brings this to mind. How do you let a club legend go? Certainly not the Mourinho way, shipping Iker Casillas off like yesterday’s Tortilla Española to the rubbish bin. Certainly, though, not like Brendan Rodgers keeping Steven Slippy Gerrard in matches just for his penchant for key set pieces. Yes, Roman had no help from Rode on the second goal, but virtually any young shot-stopper could have reached that slow roller. Sorry Roman, we love you, but it’s time.
I cannot begin to describe how big of a drop-off there is from Burki to Weidenfeller at the moment.— Adam W Snavely (@Snaves) November 26, 2016
Did a decent job defensively, but struggled to provide width in first phase of the match offensively. When Dembélé came on, struggled to synch together.
Man of the match (for Dortmund at least). Papa is BVB’s most important player. An absolute rock on defense and now even a decent distributor of the ball. Absorbed all the physical games a tough Frankfurt could throw at him and rose above it all.
You do not want to pick a fight with Papa dude.— Fear The Wall (@FearTheWall) November 26, 2016
Ginter had a bit of an off day. Never playing truly bad, but did not dominate like he had against Bayern.
Schmelle had a match to forget. His was the mental lapse that allowed Chandler to get open behind him, forcing Ginter to choose between markers. Should have seen red in charging Wolfgang Stark at the end of the match for a no-call penalty decision. An unusual day for the team leader and usually-calm captain. Must bounce back.
Completely shut down. He was marked so tightly he had about a quarter of a second on the ball before feeling pressure. Rarely, if ever had time to turn. Chose wrong footwear because was on his backside about as much as upright. A match to forget.
If any casual fan caught the Bayern match last week, they could be forgiven for not even recognizing our number 10. Götze was pretty much anonymous the entire first half given Weigl’s and Castro’s inability to get him the ball. Was forced to retreat all the way into the backfield to collect passes like at Bayern, but lacked the energy and drive to force his way in. Had little help when on the ball as he was immediately double-teamed.
Castro was a wreck this match too. The only midfielder to be given time on the ball (aside from Rode in the second half), he rewarded that Kovaĉ decision by driving into double-teams and making risky, error-strewn passes that stopped what little penetration we had going forward.
Schürrle started the game very lively and was threatening from the get-go, but after two glorious chances that he struck directly at Hradecky, he all but disappeared. Was substituted for Dembélé in the second half.
Ramos did what he was supposed to do as a target striker. Because of the inability to move the ball on the ground, the Dortmund defense provided quite a few long balls toward Ramos. Quite frequently he would win them and make the right pass, or knock it on to the path of a streaking Aubameyang or Schürrle, but the quality of Frankfurt’s center-backs cannot be discounted.
Auba came five inches from scoring the goal of the season and it would have likely changed the entire match. He won a ball sent to him with his back against the goal, then with two defenders draped off his shoulder, chipped the ball over said shoulder as well as his marks, sprinted around them toward the penalty spot, and sent a first-time strike, beating Hradecky, but rolling wide of the left post by inches. Scored the equalizer off a fine header. Had one more fine chance from Reus that went begging in second half as well.
Hot and cold from the French teenager. Had his moments of head-scratching madness including dribbling into three defenders at once and sending a cross into the Nordcurve, but balanced it with his beauty of a cross onto Aubameyang’s head that equalized the score, as well as a curler that Hradecky just managed to fingertip into the bottom of the crossbar.
Changed the game. Positively drove at the defense and provided penetrating passes like only he can. Vintage Marco, to include being charged for rent by living in an offside position.
Why he came on I will never know. His best position is as a right back or destroyer midfielder to defend leads. Why Tuchel sent him on when we NEEDED penetration and build-up play is a mystery. Typified his play by getting the ball in the left wing, and PROMPTLY losing it to his defender who looked genuinely mystified and surprised to have so easily stripped it from him. Rode may be a wonderful kid and fun to be in the dressing room, but the less we see of him on the pitch in these matches, the better.