This game was not easy. Injury crisis, a physically and emotionally draining midweek game, a physical, defensively sound, stuck in side like Hertha just three days later. Sometimes, the game just does not go in a favorable fashion, and it is up to the players to stay mentally strong, and power through the exhaustion and fatigue they already walked into this game with.
Lucien Favre: 7
Started with the same lineup that finished the Atletico Madrid game. He did not have many options to change the lineup, as Schmelzer, Akanji, Alcacer, Toljan, and Delaney were all ruled out with injuries. The lineup worked, and most alternative lineups would have played in an almost identical manner. His substitutions were a bit odd, taking out the probably tired Sancho, but with his 2 goals (and one disallowed one), one could wonder if he would have made the difference down the stretch. Throwing on Toprak for Piszczek in the 92nd minute was due to Piszczek picking up a knock, which is not great heading into 4 games in the next two weeks.
Roman Bürki: 7
Ran into Hakimi during the first half and looked a bit shaken up because of that. Hopefully, he did not pick up a concussion. The two Hertha goals were not his fault, and thought that he played alright. Bürki was saved late in the second half by Diallo taking a shot to the face, after dropping the ball while being table-topped by Zagadou. Made a class save to prevent Selke from scoring.
Lukasz Piszczek: 5
The old man in BVB’s back line looked fatigued during the game. At times, Berlin looked to expose his side of the pitch, but he made up for his lack of pace with intelligent positioning. Piszczek was arguably at fault for Berlin’s first goal. Dahoud’s square ball was pounced on by a Hertha player, and Piszczek failed to step towards the ball to prevent the interception. After that, Berlin countered effectively and efficiently, as BVB defenders were mere steps behind. Was substituted for Toprak after picking up a knock late in the game.
Abdou Diallo: 8
Did not put a foot wrong all game. BVB’s defensive rock in Akanji’s absence. Made a goal saving clearance by taking a ball to his face without flinching - that is some impressive stuff right there. He even smiled afterwards.
Dan-Axel Zagadou: 7
Was absolutely immense, and nearly did everything right. He made one mistake all game, and Hertha equalized off of the resulting penalty kick. Stuff happens, he is still 19 years old, and everyone makes mistakes. Game should have been killed off before anything like that can even happen.
Achraf Hakimi: 6
Failed to give Dortmund the lead again in the 57th minute. Played well, but Favre needs to reign in on how offensive Hakimi is allowed to be. As the match wore on, his defensive duties became less of a priority, leaving Zagadou and Diallo more exposed to Hertha’s dangerous counters.
Axel Witsel: 8
Solid game, but was nothing special. He was, yet again, the rock of Dortmund’s midfield.
Mahmoud Dahoud: 7
Played really well at times. Made some really decisive passes, but that pass to Piszczek for Berlin’s first goal was a bit on the sketchy side. Looked composed on the ball and added a dimension of attack through BVB’s middle. Showed, once again, the quality and potential that he does have. But his tendency to shoot when outside the box, with 3 defenders in-front of him, and 4 BVB players making runs next to him has to end. Please.
Jadon Sancho: 8
Played well, made some excellent runs, but finished two chances that were pretty much tap-ins, and had a pretty nice goal disallowed. Was substituted for Pulisic.
Marco Reus: 9 (MOTM)
Marco Reus is, simply put, the heart and soul of this side. His movement is excellent, he creates chances for others, and he punishes the opponent’s back line. It is a shame that despite his excellent showing, the game only resulted in a draw.
Raphael Guerrero: 7
He played alright, offering a quality outlet down the left. He did, on the other hand, fail to kill the game by missing a more than capable chance versus the keeper. Was substituted for JBL.
Mario Götze: 9
Was Dortmund’s second best attacking player on the day. His movement, dribbling, composure on the ball made a lot of things tick offensively. Götze had a really nice assist to Jadon Sancho, who he played into space when a lot of his other options were no longer viable. I do not think that I would ever say this because of how he evolved under Tuchel, but Mario Götze might just be our backup striker going forward. Excellent display.
Christian Pulisic: 6
Felt his presence only by sensing how much Jadon Sancho’s presence lacked.
Jacob Bruun Larsen: 5
Made one really good run down the side, and improved BVB’s left side going forward with some fresh legs, but he bottled a quality chance to kill the game.
Ömer Toprak: -
N/A; He was on the pitch for less than a minute
The game was disappointing, but I do not personally remember the last time we played anywhere remotely as close as well in a match following an exhausting midweek fixture. Dortmund played well, but that clinical nature and being in a slightly fatigued state were the difference between the 2:2 draw that disappointed us, with a 4:1 bashing. Favre’s side has played worse several times this season and walked away victorious. Bayern lost against this physical, chippy, stuck in, defensively sound Hertha side several weeks ago. A draw might not be the best result, and it is disappointing considering the amount of chances BVB had, but sometimes half of the battle is just staying afloat during the tough weeks.
What are your thoughts on the game?