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Player Ratings: Dortmund Lay an Egg Against the Winged Bovines

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RB Leipzig Player Ratings

RB Leipzig v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

While watching this match, my six-year old daughter said it was the worst game ever. She only said that because of the 0-0 score line at the start of the second half. By the time the match was over, I told her that she was more right than she realized. As the Tweet of the night quoting an unidentified Redditor stated, Dortmund’s squad decided to protest alongside their Ultras by refusing to play football. Germany’s second most hated team (honor of the first still belongs to the Evil Empire) played toe-to-toe with their first actual quality competition in the Bundesliga. Nothing against the actual play from the 15-member, multimillionaire strong Verein owned and operated by the fuel of their millennial fan-base, whose collective memories, incidentally coincide with the birth of their marketing… uh, sporting tool, I mean club, but Dortmund laid an absolute egg. Now the ratings. As always, flame on in the comments.

Manager: 2

Tuchel probably most at fault for this loss than anyone else involved. I’m not a tactician but I know better than trying to field four center midfielders at a time. The combination of Götze, Rode, Weigl, and Castro combined for the worst performance I have ever seen from a Dortmund midfield. Piszczek was a dreadful choice and showed absolutely no synchronicity with the midfield. The decision Tuchel made to drop Rode back into a back three in possession made no sense unless Passlack was on the pitch. Tuchel made one positive change with Guerrero, but it was far too late. His other changes were terrible. Dembélé is a promising young player, but his decision making and liability when out of possession should have made Pulisic the far wiser choice. Ramos’ inclusion at the end is just the icing on the cake for headscratchers. Clearly Ramos has some dirty secrets to keep sneaking on the pitch late in key matches for no apparent purpose than to be on the pitch. Also, clearly did not adequately prepare his squad for this match mentally.

RB Leipzig v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

Bürki: 6

As typical in close matches in which Dortmund dominate possession, the Swiss goalkeeper had to stay mentally sharp the entire time. Was not at fault for the goal and made several good saves. Had a Neuer moment in the first half making the Silberdosen (Silver Cans to the non-German speakers) striker look silly. Had an anxious moment of miscommunication with Sokratis late on.

Piszczek: 4

Piszczek is clearly out of match form. Had many bad touches, poor passes, and was completely isolated when in possession. Had one good moment that reminded many of his former brilliance in attack.

Sokratis: 6

Papa had a pretty decent match. No mistakes in possession and made big plays on defense when he had to. Was caught out of position a bit on the goal.

Bartra: 5

An up and down performance. Had some really good defensive plays and had some pretty lousy passes and even a few stupid low-chance long balls.

Schmelzer: 6

A decent job. Was Dortmund’s only link to the midfield from the back for most of the match. Showed his typical desire to get into decent offensive positions.

Weigl: 3

Some of my notes: Uncharacteristically muscled off the ball in first two minutes. Didn’t drop back between CBs to pick up ball. When given the time to turn, managed to escape two or three markers on the dribble. Uncharacteristic poor first touch 23rd min. After that, I just sat back and marveled at how atypically lousy he was in just about every aspect of the game. To their credit, Lawn Bowling did not give him any room on the ball. A truly forgettable performance from normally Mr. Reliable.

Rode: 5

An off game for him. The Bocce Ballers pressured him as well as Weigl, forcing most of his passes back to the center backs. When given the space, he used it well, but the dreadful midfield selection gave him no options in attack. I think he was to blame for not winning the ball that led to the goal. That was a typical Rode win that was left begging and Dortmund paid for it.

Castro: 3

Where to begin? Lost from the get-go. Awful first touches. His high-energy became a liability as he recklessly flew into challenges to salvage his touches. Was completely discombobulated as a winger (not completely his fault as Tuchel placed him there). Was such a liability, Tuchel actually forced Götze to the wing in order to get some use out of Castro in the middle of the pitch. Gonzo is far too inconsistent to be the Gündoğan replacement we hoped he could be.

Götze: 6

Very decent first start for the Prodigal Son of Dortmund. Sadly, the wreckage of the midfield around him degraded his performance. With virtually no one around to assist, his brilliance, though evident, came to nothing when double and triple teamed by the Winged Bovines. Was inexplicably pulled for Guerrero.

Schürrle: 5

Had a dreadful free kick as well as some awful first touches in the first half. Grew into the match a bit and became Dortmund’s only source of attack for much of the game. Trouble was, André is a bit one-dimensional in attack and not speedy enough to outrun a quick fullback. When he did get lose on the flank, his crossing left a lot to be desired. Was severely hampered and slowed by incessant fouling. Decided to crush a shot towards goal rather than pass or place in BVB’s really only decent chance.

Aubameyang: 5

Didn’t really do anything wrong. The lack of any congruity in the center midfield made his presence practically superfluous throughout the first half. Grew bored at times and aped Wayne Rooney in dropping into the midfield to try to get some touches. Was inexplicably pulled for Ramos late when the game was salvageable.

Substitutes

Dembélé: 5

The young Frenchman is good. He is fast. He can dribble. But he has a very immature footballing mind. He was not the correct call to bring on in a match that screamed for composure and control. Yes, he caused some mayhem once on the pitch, but with the all-flash, little-substance approach we have all seen over the past month, each dizzying drive down the pitch came to naught.

Guerrero: 7

Likely the best player on the pitch. Trouble is, he came on far too late and with more than three line-up mistakes, his presence only slightly improved the side. Brought composure and possession up the middle of the field. Castro is finding his position in the center mid less tenable as the Portuguese demonstrates more and more consistency and rhythm that is essential in Tuchel’s game plans.

Ramos: NR

Again, nothing against the Colombian, but to replace the best striker on the side with a less-able like-for-like striker when there was nothing wrong with the starting striker to begin with is inexplicable. But, at least Tuchel did not put him on the wing.