Borussia Dortmund dropped two points against visiting Wolfsburg in a disappointing 0-0 draw to start the Rückrunde. With an opportunity to jump into second place, BVB instead remains in fourth behind Leipzig and Schalke.
Dortmund brought out as strong a squad as possible, minus two of their best players. Aubamayeng keeps being a diva and was suspended for missing a team meeting, while Pulisic was out with a small muscle injury. However, these losses allowed Alexander Isak and Jadon Sancho to get their first Bundesliga starts for the club.
Dortmund were flying in this match, getting the first chance of the day in the 22nd minute when Yarmolenko (more on him in a minute) sent in a cross that failed to find the head of Isak and Sancho couldn’t finish. They had several more chances throughout the first half, with Sancho and Götze both providing filthy passes into the box that unfortunately weren’t finished.
Speaking of Yarmolenko, man did he have a game to forget. I counted at least three chances throughout the day where he had the Wolfsburg goalie dead to rights and just couldn’t hit the net. His most egregious miss came in the 48th minute, when he was gifted a sitter after a great Dortmund counter attack led by Sancho and Kagawa. Götze threaded a beautiful pass that the Ukrainian winger took to his weaker foot and blasted to the moon. He was mercifully taken off for Sahin, but he was the biggest disappointment from today’s game.
My MOTM was without a doubt Roman Bürki. He made plenty of world-class saves today, with two that stood out to me in particular. The first was in the 37th minute when Wolfsburg’s Daniel Didavi had a clean path to the goal after a slick backheel just outside the box and tried to fit it through Bürki’s five-hole, but our Swiss savior did well to position himself and use his thigh to stop the shot. He outdid himself in the 77th minute when a Wolfsburg player (his name escapes me) blasted a beautiful, dipping shot towards the goal, and Bürki just got his hand to it to force it over the bar. Bürki has had his scary moments this season, but he’s a still a terrific goalkeeper and the reason why we’re still in a position for 2018-19 Champions League.
Another couple of players I was impressed with was Sancho and Lukasz Piszczek. I’ve only seen a couple brief appearances by Sancho this season, so today’s showing really opened my eyes to just what the English teenager can do with the ball at his feet and off the ball. I was high on him in my Hinründe review, so things can only get better for him. As for Piszczek, he was quietly great on offense and defense. He might be getting up there in age, but he’s still the best left back we have on the squad and I for one couldn’t be happier to have him healthy and starting for BVB.
On to next week against Hertha Berlin. Hopefully by the time Pulisic fully recovers and Aubamayeng gets his head out of his ass, because he’s clearly the best attacking option for Dortmund.