In many ways, yesterday’s Revierderby was exactly as you might expect. Domenico Tedesco set his players up to defend, frustrate, and slow down Borussia Dortmund’s attack. While Schalke managed to keep the game close, Lucien Favre’s men controlled the game and got the goals they needed to come away from the Veltins Arena with three points.
Here are our match ratings:
Lucien Favre: 6
Favre fielded a strong lineup, with Paco Alcacer starting, Sancho, Reus, and Bruun Larsen in attack, and Witsel and Delaney in midfield. The decision to include Delaney was a good one, as the Danish midfielder scored Dortmund’s first goal, and was a force to be reckoned with in Dortmund’s midfield for the rest of the game.
Tedesco’s tactics complicated any Dortmund plans to play an open, free-flowing style. While Dortmund were mostly able to control the game, they still didn’t create many chances, and looked uncoordinated at times. What matters, however, is that Dortmund beat Schalke for the first time in several years, and maintained their lead in the Bundesliga.
Roman Bürki: 7
He made the one save that he needed to make, a point-blank range shot from Guido Burgstaller. His ball distribution was also excellent.
Achraf Hakimi: 8
The entire back-line was solid yesterday, and Hakimi was no exception. His pace allowed him to regularly move forward along with wings, while also sprinting back to contribute defensively.
Manuel Akanji: 8
Akanji didn’t have to play defensively too often, but when he did, he was outstanding. The highlight of his night was a thunderous tackle on Weston McKennie, which simultaneously leveled the young American and won the ball.
Abdou Diallo: 7
Diallo had another strong performance, even though it wasn’t the busiest of nights for the young center back.
Lukasz Piszczek: 6
Piszczek had a solid defensive performance, but his service in the attacking half could have been better. He was 0/1 on crosses, 1/3 on long balls, and didn’t have any key passes or shot attempts.
Axel Witsel: 6
Witsel’s performance was a bit quiet yesterday. While his passing was again superb with a 95% success rate, most of them were directed backwards. Schalke were so compact that Witsel had a difficult time controlling the fluidity in midfield like he’s used to.
Thomas Delaney: 9 (MOTM)
Thomas Delaney was made for chippy, physical games like this one. He was a beast in midfield, with 4 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 2 clearances. He also got the all-important first goal, a perfectly-placed header off a set-piece that gave Dortmund the lead.
Marco Reus: 6
His set-piece delivery on Thomas Delaney’s goal was perfect. Unfortunately, he looked pretty sluggish the rest of the evening; while he frequently looked to link up with Sancho and Paco Alcacer, the final touch was just not there. He also conceded the penalty that allowed Schalke to draw level.
Jacob Bruun Larsen: 5
He had some bright moments, including a couple tantalizing balls into the box, but he also had a lot of turnovers. It might be time for the young Dane to get some rest. Favre should consider starting Pulisic or Guerreiro in his place against Monaco in the Champions League this week.
Jadon Sancho: 7
It’s been a very difficult week for Sancho, who recently had a death in his family. While he started a bit slowly, he made up for it with the game-winning goal, a clinical finish off of a brilliant passing combination with Raphael Guerreiro. After scoring, he pointed to the skies, a clear sign of reverence to his lost family member.
Paco Alcacer: 6
He did have one curling effort from outside the box that went just wide, but other than that, Alcacer was pretty quiet. He was eventually subbed off for Mario Götze.
Raphael Guerreiro: 7
He assisted Sancho’s game-winning goal, and almost scored himself when he struck the post in the 84th minute.
Mario Götze: N/A
Götze didn’t have enough time to have an impact, with only 13 touches.
Christian Pulisic: N/A
Pulisic only had a brief, one-minute cameo, and didn’t have enough time to accomplish much.