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Player Ratings: TSG 1899 Hoffenheim vs Borussia Dortmund

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Some good, some bad, some ugly.

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images

With another disappointing result, but a very tense and ultimately not too unsuccessful game, Dortmund leaves its fans baffled again, wondering how strong we really are.

Positives

We were behind two times and equalized both times to end the game with a draw. We did all that while being a man down.

This shows the strength of mentality that lives inside this team. When push comes to shove, we can man up and get back into the fight no matter who we play and which way the game goes.

Negatives

We were behind two times and equalized both times to end the game with a draw. We did all that while being a man down.

This shows that we are still a bit of a mess in every game, conceding goals that are highly unnecessary and manage to get people sent off - we need to stop doing that, especially when it happens in such a stupid way. Also, we need to work on defending set pieces - or capitalizing on them.

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga
Grim look after a grim game
Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images

Manager: 7

With 10 men missing from his selection, Tuchel set up with Bartra, Bender and Ginter as a back 3, with Schmelzer and Pulisic acting as wingbacks. Not the best idea Tuchel ever had, because Pulisic really isn't made for that job. Good on Tuchel, though, to quickly realize that and change into a regular four back.

Other than that, the offense looked spectacularly dangerous on paper with Reus, Götze, Dembélé and Auba completing the line-up. Dayum, hot salsa!

Further notice goes to setting the team up properly after the send-off to be strong defensively while still being able to penetrate the Hoffenheim D on offense. The substitutions were okayish. Mor for an injured Dembélé was more or less mandatory, but bringing Ramos to offer more offensive power after an exhausted Pulisic left the pitch and Merino for Auba in the final moments to hold the line were not the strongest decisions.

Overall, I think the coaching today was not a problem.

Weidenfeller: 6.5

While the entire back line was in disarray for the first goal concession, I mostly blame Weidenfeller, here. There still was a defender with Uth, so in my opinion, Roman should have stayed on the line. Going all out like that was an unnecessary gamble.

The second goal bears no blame for him; Wagner deflected the ball maybe half a meter in front of our keeper, noone has reflexes like that. Also, Weide kept a few very good attempts from Hoffenheim out. Overall, apart from that one fumble, I'd rate Roman Weidenfeller a solid-good 6.5 ...

Schmelzer: 7

Relentless on his side of the pitch, a few shaky moments, but mostly very solid, even with at least two attempts at goal, I'd say the captain held his ship together and had a strong influence on the outcome.

Bartra: 5

I keep being slightly disappointed by Marc Bartra. He is displacing some easy passes, he sometimes gets shredded by his opponents and his offensive passing is still not up to par. Then again, he is very observant, pacey and has a good timing on his tackles. If only he kept his highs a little more consistently, I'd be a happy little salmon.

Bender: 7

After a long break, his first few minutes were a bit insecure and he really didn't look good on the first goal against us, but over the game he improved a lot and came close to his regular standard of 'no bullshit, no mercy' defending. Two more games and he'll be as reliable as ever. I'll rate him a seven (with a slight welcome-back-bonus).

Ginter: 5/6

He started out as a third centerback. After an early head-on crash, which left him stunned and shaken for minutes, he kind of started (as in 'the absence of stopped') Hoffenheim's first goal. I will blame this on the aftereffects of the crash, though, so I can't be too harsh. Later on, especially once we were a man down, he got slightly more comfortable on the right side, the rightback position still suits him best, I think. Overall, though, he will not get better than a six today.

Weigl: 7

I rate him quite good today, he was very reliable (as usual) and not under THAT MUCH pressure today (not that usual as of late), so I think that suited him well. He did a lot of defensive work through the second half, closing spaces and helping stop Hoffenheim before they even knew that could have had something going there. Offensively, he sent Dembélé to serve Auba for his goal, so there's that.

Pulisic: 6

Christian Pulisic's talents are manyfold, but being a good wingback is not among them. Initially started on the right to act as the wide runner of our defensive five, he just went too far ahead, often leaving our defense hanging when Hoffenheim counterattacked. Once he was put further up front, with Ginter being a proper right back and us having a four back, he looked better. Still, today was not his day - Schwamm drüber, morgen ist auch noch ein Tag!

Götze: 7

First goal in Bundesliga, solid game, working hard and giving some highly necessary structure while a man down. Apart from his goal, nothing much spectacular, but .. solid. Yeah, that's the word. Not his best game, but he fought for it.

Reus: 4

I'm sorry. As much as everyone screams that that double yellow was outrageous and too much and not justified and bogus and everything ... you cannot just run into your man like that when you got the first yellow just fifteen minutes before. You. Just. Can't.

It wasn't a bad foul, but it was a STUPID foul. And that's what I'll hold Marco responsible for. This game was winnable. I have consulted my magic scrying ball and it told me that we would have won the game, had Marco stayed on.

Goddammit.

Dembélé: 8

"If the other guys don't help, I'm just gonna beat up Hoffenheim on my own!"

At times it seemed as if that was the inner monologue of DemBAElé yesterday. He was magnificent. Taking on two, three, sometimes four Hoffenheim guys and STILL having the eye for a sublime assist for Götze - that man is a monster. It's a rare day when a Bundesliga defense collectively shits their pants when a man (of just nineteen years!) gets to the ball. If Dembélé wouldn't have had to be substituted in the 70th minute, he would have scored at least one goal. My scrying ball told me so.

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga
Catch me if you can!
Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images

Aubameyang: 7.8

100th goal for Dortmund, yet another one of his trademark chips after leaving a defender in the dust, this man is at 16 league goals now, leading the Torjägerliste by four goals now. The Man, the Machine, the Masterscorer.

Substitutes

Mor: 6

Making a lot of wind in his twenty minutes on the pitch, unfortunately without any countable results. Fast feet, fast speed, but just not effective. Gets bonus points for effort, though.

Ramos: 5

He didn't make much of his time on the pitch. He helped defend, though, so that is a bonus. Overall, not making a difference.

Merino: NR

Came on in overtime. Collecting his bonus pay for ticking off another appearance on his attendance sheet.

Thanks for Reading!