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Player Ratings: BVB 1:3 Real Madrid

Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images

Let’s get this over with.


Peter Bosz: 4

To many, Bosz’s decision to play with such a high line was suicidal. After the match, Bosz asserted that it wasn’t the high line that caused Dortmund’s defeat, but the lack of the ability to defend “at all points on the pitch.” If the midfield had prevented Real Madrid from taking their long passes, then many of Real Madrid’s chances would have been averted. The problem is that his squad selection didn’t reflect his philosophy. If he planned on shielding the back line by using pace to press in midfield, then surely he should have played Dahoud and Kagawa, rather than his two slowest players in Götze and Castro.

I will give him credit, though, for going all-in by bringing on Dahoud for Toljan. It was a ballsy move, and it almost paid off.

Starting XI

Roman Bürki: 6

While Bürki probably should have stopped Ronaldo’s second goal, he was more than up to the task for the rest of the match. He made key saves throughout the night.

Lukasz Piszczek: 3

While Piszczek really didn’t play well, part of me thinks that he was set up to fail with the way the squad was organized. It was always going to be tough for him to deal with Gareth Bale, especially when he was playing so far up the pitch.

Sokratis: 5

None of the goals were explicitly his fault, but he still could have done better. +1 for that tackle on Bale, which was awesome.

Toprak: 4

Switched off and let Ronaldo get in front of Toljan on his first goal. Lost a step to Ronaldo and allowed him to get a shot off, which beat Bürki near post.

Jeremy Toljan: 4

Considering he had to deal with one of the best players of all time, I’ll give him some slack. None of the goals were his fault, but he was still caught too high up the pitch repeatedly.

Nuri Sahin: 4

Went unnoticed for most of the first half. There was a noticeable increase in quality when he was replaced by Julian Weigl.

Gonzalo Castro: 5

Castro-o-Meter™: 50% certified #MixedCastro

He got an assist on Aubameyang’s goal, and that was about it. It was a great cross so I have to give him credit for it, but other than that he didn’t really add anything, and did a poor job of pressing in midfield. There was a marked improvement when Dahoud came on.

Mario Götze: 3

Looked slow and behind the play for the entire game. I can’t remember anything significant he added.

Andriy Yarmolenko: 4

Had some nice moves, but ultimately created nothing. He didn’t track back defensively when it was clear that Piszczek needed his help.

Pierre Emerick Aubameyang: 7

I may be in the minority, but I actually thought he played pretty well. He got his goal and several other key chances as well. He made several dangerous runs that forced excellent defensive plays from Varane and Ramos.

Maximillian Philipp: 4

I would have preferred Pulisic, because Philipp was not fast enough to threaten Real Madrid, and was outmuscled by Carvajal for most of the match.


Mahmoud Dahoud: 6

I thought he looked pretty good when he came on. He was unable to create anything offensively, but by then Real Madrid were putting most of their men behind the ball. I would have liked him to start.

Julian Weigl: 7

Dortmund looked like a different side when he came on. His creativity in midfield completely changed the game and allowed Dortmund to hold onto the ball better.

Christian Pulisic: NR

Only came on with about 10 minutes left, not enough time to make an impact on the game.

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below. Heja BVB!