Match rating for a game which lives to its name as a mother of all derby’s. A match which has written another chapter in its rich history. A chapter which Dortmund fans would like to forget very soon. But something which should be there in the mind of everyone to remember the work required to be done.
“I think it’s very disgusting that a penalty like this has been given”
-Huub Stevens on the penalty decision
This would be a rare sight when two coaches of the clubs who are involved in the most fierce rivalry agree on a same thing just after the game. It shows the impact the decision had and the consequences both the clubs faced. The refereeing was below par to say the least. It was not for the fact that the decisions were given against Dortmund, but it was about the quality of the decisions.
Withstanding the controversial penalty decision, which has come into limelight a lot in this year across tournaments, there were other instances in yesterday’s match where the refereeing was very poor, for instance when Sancho was hit by the fans the referee did not notice and did not even take any action. When Matija Nastasić intentionally committed a hand ball all Dortmund got was a free kick no card was given, but Weigl got a penalty decision. Rudy was involved in three instances where none of the time he received a yellow card. Caligiuri committed foul against Dortmund players and all he got at the end was a warning.
Yesterday’s display was a question for the organizers on the level of referees appointed for the crucial matches and if any action would be taken against them. Just few days back DFB had accepted in the lapse of refereeing decision in the match which costed Bremen its place in the final. The teams are punished for something which is not their fault or is in their hands but will referees be questioned.
Lucian Favre 6
Started the game with 4-2-3-1 by putting the best available back four available right now. Considering the form both the teams were in it was natural to go with a settled side, it paid off well as Dortmund took the lead and was in control until the dreadful penalty which just spiraled down to uncontrolled situations on the ground which kept changing very dramatically. It forced Favre to bring Paco against struggling Delaney in the second half, which changed the formation to 4-1-4-1. This exposed to counter attacks which also lead to two red cards. After that he just couldn’t make any other decision which had any impact. Keeping all this in mind the other side is the fact that this is the second time Dortmund did not turn up when it was required the most. Despite dominating the possession with 81% Favre’s men could not create much impact with merely 2 shots on target. Defending set pieces has been one of the biggest weakness in Dortmund right now, which has to be solved quickly. Also, Favre needs to make changes according to the opponents and realize there is a bigger thing in the team which is required to be changed, and it has to start with him realizing it.
At the end all Favre was left with was an acceptance of the fate with frustrating words such as “It’s ridiculous. Football is making itself ridiculous”
Roman Burki 5
Burki has been one of the best performing player for the team this season. One player who has had to turn around his game is Burki, who’s saves in this season has kept Dortmund alive in the title race on many occasions. In this game he did not have much to do in the first 25 minutes of the game. And it just went down when the mayhem began. He was pitted against a penalty, a once in a life time shot by Caligiuri and a blistering shot by Embolo at the end of the game.
Abdou Diallo 6
Being a CB Diallo has been playing in the LB position very effectively. He has been able to justify the role in the presence of veteran Lukasz Piszczek or Hakimi. Despite not being a natural LB he was able to make some good runs, and made himself available in the attacking position regularly in the first half of the game. The second half was a challenge considering the red cards which the team got, he was playing as a CB for the remainder of the game. But could not be effective.
Manuel Akanji 5
Was impressive throughout the first half. And has shown leadership skills to lead the team as well. Although not much was there to be tested as majority of the goals came from the set pieces or long range shots. Exception being the Penalty kick. Set piece is something which has to be worked upon by everyone in the defense including Akanji.
Julian Weigl 5
Julian Weigl has been doing someone’s else job very efficiently this season. Although for this match one has to feel for him, considering the harshness of the decision which lead to the equalizer and the beginning of the mayhem. In the second half two red cards did not help his cause, and he was not able to be very effective.
Marius Wolf 4
Another player who has been playing in a position which is not natural to him. Due to his defensive traits he has been able to justify the RB role but he hasn’t been an effective one. While defending he used his body smartly to cover players, but while attacking he was not effective at all. His crosses were nowhere to be seen, he was in good positions to feed the his teammates but chose not to play the ball. Considering the confidence he has in that position it was natural. The tackle which lead to his red card summed up the game for him.
Axel Witsel 6
The engine room of the team, Witsel was out there doing what he does the best, keeping a lid on the midfield for Dortmund and even scoring a goal which gave us some hope for few minutes. Witsel was the only defender once Paco came into play as the formation changed to 4-1-4-1.
Thomas Delaney 5
Thomas Delaney was the goal scorer in the first derby of the season, and was very effective in that match against Schalke. In this match he could not repeat that performance. He had a couple of chances where he should have at least hit the ball on target. There were many instances where he was over powered by Sane in the counter. Was subbed off for Paco in the second half
Jadon Sancho 7
Jadon Sancho continued his form in this game. Kept Schalke’s defense on their toes, baring a few instances he was very successful in one on one situations. His presence of mind to lob the ball to Götze for his 17th assist of the season was just beautiful. This also made him the first English player after Lampard to register over 14 assists in top five European leagues. He was a constant threat for Schalke and kept pushing the defense with his runs in the dangerous positions.
Marco Reus 6
It was a day to forget for Marco Reus. The captain was effective in the first half. His one of the set piece also lead to the opener for Dortmund. He had some good touches in the Schalke’s half in the first 45’. He also had some good combination with Guerreiro and Götze but it just went down the lane when the team got exposed to the counter attacks when the strategy was changed to 4-1-4-1. This lead to Reus receiving red card for tackling down Serdar in the 60th minute of the game, which lead to a crazy goal by Caligiuri. And after that there was no coming back for Dortmund. Being a Dortmund boy one can understand how he would have felt specially after the decision.
Raphaël Guerreiro 6
Just like Reus, Geurreiro also made an impact in the first half, when Dortmund was controlling the game. He was very effective on the flanks and was a constant threat with his runs. He kept swapping the flanks with Sancho to keep the FB’s of Schalke busy. It was a different game when Dortmund was two men down. He was not effective and was eventually subbed off for Pulisic
Mario Götze 7
Perhaps one of the effective players other than Sancho was Götze, Playing as a striker in his new position, Götze opened the account for Dortmund with a brilliant run which lead to the goal. The rest of the game he kept coming down to create spaces and make runs in the center.
Paco Alcacer 5
Came in the second half as a substitute for Delaney. Was not effective as he could not play his natural game due to the two red cards Dortmund received. Was forced to play the catch up
Christian Pulisic NA
Playing his last derby Pulisic came at the time when Dortmund was two men down. Due to the very reason he could not be effective in the game.
Jacob Bruun Larsen NA
Came in the last minutes of the game. Assisted Witsel in the goal which gave some hope.