Heavy metal football is back. After a month and a half of anemic Bundesliga performances, the Borussia Dortmund that we all know and love came through, putting seven (7!!!) goals past FC Nürnberg. It was a dominating performance from beginning to end. Here are our match ratings:
Roman Bürki: 7
Bürki faced one shot, which he stopped. He was also confident on the ball, and was in position to provide an outlet for Akanji and Zagadou whenever they were under pressure (which, to be fair, was pretty rare).
Marcel Schmelzer: 7
For the first time this season, Schmelzer was allowed some space along the left-hand side. This allowed him to venture forward and help keep Nürnberg pinned into their own half.
Dan-Axel Zagadou: 7
With Abdou Diallo suspended, Dortmund really needed Zagadou to step up. While his performance was crucial to BVB’s victory, it was still very encouraging to see him play well. He looked confident on the ball and, as always, was an imposing presence on defense.
Manuel Akanji: 8
The Swiss center back was fantastic again. He didn’t have to do much on defense, but when called upon he was up to the task. His goal was so well-taken, you could have mistaken him for a center forward.
Achraf Hakimi: 9
I’ve been begging Favre to play Hakimi for weeks. I thought he would be an upgrade over Piszczek, but I had no idea he would be this dominant. His linkage with Christian Pulisic was fantastic, and he terrorized Nürnberg’s defense with his pace and technical ability. His goal was an absolute snipe.
Axel Witsel: 7
Without being pressed, Witsel finally had space to run Dortmund’s midfield at his own tempo, and the results were devastating. He came off for Julian Weigl in the second half, but by then Nürnberg were already on the ropes.
Thomas Delaney: 8
I’ve criticized Delaney for his offensive output over the past couple weeks, but he turned this around in a big way. He was as strong defensively as he has been in the past, but he was also dominant on the ball. He had 3 key passes and an xGChain of 1.36, meaning he was consistently creating chances that led to shots on goal. His long ball to Jadon Sancho was Gerrard-esque.
Marco Reus: 9
Reus has struggled during the early stages of this season, but this was the Marco of old, the one that carried Mönchengladbach during the early 2010s. He scored twice and could have had a third. If he wasn’t shooting, he was dropping deep to help BVB build up and create more chances.
Jacob Bruun-Larsen: 8
His first performance against Club Brugge was sub-par. This time, Jacob made sure to make a better impression. His finish on his first goal was superb, and his give-and-go with Marco on his second goal was worthy of Tiki-Taka.
Maximilian Philipp: 6
Philipp managed to stay off the scoresheet in a match in which his club scored seven goals, and he was the lone center forward. While he was somewhat involved in Dortmund’s buildup, he was not the main catalyst for their offensive output.
Christian Pulisic: 9
The young American might have only registered a single assist, but his performance was even better than this indicates. He carved Nürnberg apart throughout the match, and his combinations with Hakimi made them seem like they had been playing together for years.
Julian Weigl: 7
Weigl came on for Axel Witsel, well after the match’s outcome had already been decided. He scored his customary biannual goal, which was more a result of a lucky deflection than anything else.
Jadon Sancho: 8
The fact that Favre can sub Sancho on and let him loose against tired defenders is almost unfair. The control that he displayed on his goal was superb, and his pass to pick out Weigl was excellent.
Shinji Kagawa: 7
Shinji looked fine in the 28 minutes he was on the pitch. He didn’t get any goals or assists, but he contributed positively to Dortmund’s buildup.