This is the Dortmund we know and love! The kind that scores in half-dozens and gets opposing managers fired. BVB destroyed Die Werkself this Saturday, collecting their fourth straight win. It wasn’t perfect, but ultimately BVB’s high-octane offense managed to carry the day. To quote Michael Caley:
xG map for Dortmund - Leverkusen. This is the world's most in-form team right now. pic.twitter.com/bFU4V29wV4— Caley Graphics (@Caley_graphics) March 4, 2017
When you beat a club so badly that they fire their manager, you know something is going right. Obviously, Roger Schmidt has been on the hot seat for some time, so it’s not as if this defeat was the only reason he was fired. Either way, TT set up the squad great.
In general, it’s never a good thing when a keeper gets beaten near-post. It was a hard shot from Kevin Volland, but one that I still think Bürki should have stopped. Wendell’s free kick was sublime, so I’m not going to count that against Bürki.
Started at left-wing-back over Marcel Schmelzer, and had himself one heck of a game. He played great defensively, made things happen going forward, and even notched himself a goal.
Who needs Toprak? (see below) Bartra played great, making several key defensive stops and getting involved with the offense. If he can keep this up, we may have at least three solid center-backs next season.
He got owned by Kevin Volland on the first Leverkusen goal, but other than that he played well.
Lukasz Piszczek: 7
A pretty quiet performance from Lukasz, which I suppose is a good thing for a defender. He did help set up Dembélé’s goal.
Erik Durm: 8
Young Erik is making quite a case for himself. He had another strong performance today, assisting on Pulisic’s goal and playing well defensively. As always, +1 for the hair.
Julian Weigl: 7
Julian had another strong performance today. There were times when Leverkusen pressed him with three or four men, yet he was able to play out of pressure. His passing was excellent as always.
Gonzalo Castro: 7
Did Gonzalo Castro have a bone to pick with his former club? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, it was a solid performance from Castro. He had some giveaways, but that’s more or less to be expected against a high-pressing team like Leverkusen.
Marco Reus: NR
Had to come off due to injury in the first half. Get better, Marco!
Ousmane Dembélé: 9
Remember this name, folks. Ousmane showed why many consider him to be the most talented young player in the world. Just look at this cross:
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 8
Nice try, Lewa. Aubameyang struck twice: first to tie the Bundesliga scoring title, second to retake the lead. Neither goal was particularly pretty, but hey, they all count the same.
Christian Pulisic: 9
Dembélé may be more talented than Pulisic, but this American boy really knows how to play football. His decision making is that of a grizzled veteran, rather than an 18 year old teenager. He came on for an injured Marco Reus, and there wasn’t even a slight decrease in quality on the pitch. USMNT fans, count your stars, because you’ve got something special.
Shinji Kagawa: 6
I’ll be honest, I didn’t even remember him coming on until I re-checked the match summary before writing this.
André Schürrle: 6
He came on in the 81st minute, drew and converted a penalty. With Reus being down for at least a month, I suspect he may see more minutes in the near future.
Soon-to-be Dortmund Defender Omer Toprak: 5
Let’s hope that Toprak was trying to give his future teammates an easy day. If Bartra continues to play the way he played today, Toprak’s spot in the starting XI may not be guaranteed next season.