Peter Stoger reportedly said before the game on Sunday against Wolfsburg, “I couldn’t play bad football with this group even if I wanted to.” And he was right. Dortmund played well. But they were plagued by a familiar ailment: not finishing. If the football gods had smiled upon Dortmund, the score would’ve been 3-1. But the football gods rarely smile in winter.
Peter Stoger: 6/10
Everyone’s a general after the battle. One thing Peter Stoger got right was the starting lineup. Jadon Sancho in his full senior debut! Isak up top! But in retrospect bringing Gotze off at 56’ right as Dortmund saw a massive surge of momentum might not’ve been the best decision.
Roman Burki: 8/10
Incredible game from Roman Burki. A spastic left foot saved a sure goal from Didavi at 36’. He then caressed a William strike over the bar at 75’ to save what could’ve been a devastating goal.
Lukasz Piszczek: 7/10
A breath of medical-grade oxygen for Dortmund’s defense. Lukasz Piszczek is decisive. He’s composed. Whereas Bartra and Toljan seem to panic sometimes or forget they’re on the pitch, Piszczek is always cool and collected. His overlapping runs are nice, too.
Usual hustle. Looked like a cantering thoroughbred at 81’ with his run into the box.
Omer Toprak: 7/10
Easily Toprak’s best game of the rückrunde. Had a few key challenges. Looked uncharacteristically solid.
Jeremy Toljan: 6/10
Continues to show surging confidence under Stoger. Still soft at times.
Mario Gotze (off 56’): 6/10
Some gorgeous passes but also struggled at times to get involved. Fitness still an issue, but understandable given absence.
Shinji Kagawa: 5/10
Kagawa took a while to shake off the winter break rust, but then looked his usual self. That said, Dortmund’s midfield seemed disjointed most of the game.
Julian Weigl: 6/10
Here’s what I want to see Julian Weigl do: Go to the ball. Demand the ball. Advance the ball. A good game for Weigl but probably only 30% of what he’s capable of.
Jadon sancho: 8/10
Marking Jadon Sancho is like reaching into a bag of razor blades. He looked dangerous just about every time he touched the ball. Had a few giveaways, but how old is he again?
Alexander Isak (off at 68’): 5/10
Not a bad game for Isak.
But not great?
Andriy Yarmolenko (off at 78’): 3/10
Simultaneously one of the best and worst players on the field. It’s obvious Yarmolenko’s been working on his right foot, but Yarms + right foot = comedy (see: tragedy).
Will he continue to start?
Mahmoud Dahoud (on at 56’): 5/10
He had some beautiful, sweeping passes. Made some poor decisions. Still waiting for Dahoud to show what he’s capable of.
Andre Schurrle (on at 68’) : 6/10
Has Andre Schurrle lost weight? Stoger’s pep-talk to him before he came on was amazing.
Nuri Sahin (on at 78’): NR