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Borussia Mönchengladbach 2:3 Borussia Dortmund - Player Ratings

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Battle of the Borussias Entertaining but Clumsy

Ruhr Nachrichten - http://www.ruhrnachrichten.de/sport/bvb/bilder/cme201278,6121405

Borussia Dortmund went to Borussia Park to take on the Foals and showed great spirit coming back from a 2-1 deficit, snatching three valuable points in the closing minutes of the match.

Positives

As we continue to witness through social media and Tuchel’s very candid and emotional interviews, the fact that the players are able to put in a decent, let alone good performance is something simply to be respected. Roman Bürki this week mentioned that with the arrest of the suspected attacker this week, he finally allowed himself to think about and enjoy football again. I think that showed for some of the players. And for those still struggling, it was nice to hear Gladbach’s sporting director say this.

Negatives

Not so much negative as down to bad luck, and the obvious recent trauma, but Dortmund have shipped two own goals, and three goals from direct give-aways in the past five matches.

Manager: 7

Perhaps Tuchel has clairvoyance and intercepted Dieter Hecking’s game plan because I do not believe anyone expected this lineup to work. But it did, and it did extremely well… in the first half at least. Obviously with this being the EIGHTH match in the past 23 days, a Cup semi-final against Bayern on Wednesday still to play, an attempted murder on all squad-members eleven days before, the two starting center-backs out with injury (or wounds suffered from aforementioned terrorist attack), a BIT of rotation was to be expected. But, again, we can’t please the Tuchel-out squad much these days with logic and reasoning. Also, Merino’s disastrous start when subbing on for the again-injured Nuri Şahin should at least give pause to we arm-chair critics who don’t have the luxury of watching all the boys in training week in and week out as we scream, “Why?!?!?” to his choices.

Bürki: 8

Could have done better on the first Gladbach goal as Stindl’s shot came tantalizing close to his hand. More than made up for it with his explosive runs off the line to shut down multiple Gladbach breakaways.

Ginter: 7

Played far better than recent form. It helped that much of Gladbach’s game plan went to his strengths in the air.

Bender: 7

Had a decent match. The back three allowed him to use his defensive midfield skills to venture forward a bit every so often, filling the Weigl-shaped hole in that area.

Schmelzer: 6

The captain finally scored in the league with a fantastic finish… but not in the way he’d hoped. Horribly unlucky, he tried to intercept a pull-back pass on the ground from the corner of the goal-box and clipped it perfectly wrong into the far corner of the net. Poor Schmele could tell the error from the moment it left his foot. Gary Cahill approved. Otherwise put in a fantastic performance in his usual counter-pressing.

Durm: 5

A decent athlete did some pretty good athletic stuff athletically… and looked pretty while doing it. That’s pretty much all that can be said. Didn’t do much positive or negative.

Castro: 3

Not even going to pull out the hashtags on this one. He pretty much disappeared the entire match. Zero impact offensively and barely noticeable defensively

Şahin: NR

Poor Nuri doesn’t get a ranking due to the fact that Strobl ended his already injury-cursed season by cruelly treading on his ankle very early in the first half. Had a bright start.

Guerreiro: 8

Guerreiro put in a brilliant performance and was the key figure in buildup play. Came millimeters from caroming a beautiful free kick in off the post. Was very justly rewarded with the game winner off a perfectly placed dinked header to Sommer’s far post in the 87th minute.

Dembélé: 7

We are by now used to the frustrating figure that Ousmane cuts. His moments of brilliance are as frequent and as breathtaking as his moments of childish decision-making. His perfect pass to Aubameyang to spring him on the equalizer in the second half was only minutes removed from a fifty yard shot from distance and angle during a break-away.

Reus: 8

Marco led the line very well. The top three of him, Dembélé, and Pulisic had a truly sumptuous start. Took his penalty with imperiousness and did his typical brilliant job in counter-pressing.

Pulisic: 8

The American was very unlucky to not find the scoresheet and was consistently the largest threat going forward. Combined very well with Guerreiro in using the half-space to their benefit. Did not have the most consistent crosses and became a bit predictable as the match grew.

Substitutes

Merino: 6

Had a nightmare of a start, giving away a casual pass to Gladbach. Grew into the match a bit more and had a fine second half as much of the Foal’s attack switched to long balls.

Aubameyang: 7

Took his chance very well. Did not do too much later in the game. Did ok as a ‘target’ forward when both sides resorted to hoofing it.

Mor: NR

Came on for Dembélé to give him rest for Wednesday. Not really a factor.