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Match Ratings: Hoffenheim 0-1 Borussia Dortmund

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BVB beat Hoffenheim away for the first time in eight years!

TSG Hoffenheim v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga
“But then Erling Haaland and Marco Reus came ...”
Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund broke their recent duck against Hoffenheim, who have become something of a bogey team in recent seasons, claiming all three points away from home in a 1-0 win. We now sit 2nd in the league, just one point behind RB Leipzig, and ahead of Bayern Munich on goal difference. Yesterday’s performance wasn’t vintage, but it was a solid display for a team that lacked many of the regular starters. Here are our ratings for the players’ individual efforts:

Starters

Marwin Hitz

Paul: 6

He didn’t have a whole lot to do, but for the most part he looked solid when called upon.

Steve: 6

Had a nervy moment right at the start, but settled in fine and got the clean sheet.

Emre Can

Paul: 8

Of the players that played significant minutes, I thought Can was easily the brightest. He had a really good game, both offensively and defensively.

Paris Saint-Germain v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg
Neymar deserves his reputation
Photo by UEFA - Handout/UEFA via Getty Images

Steve: 9

Man of the match for me. Emre Can gives you that safe feeling at the back, that you know he’s going to make his tackle, and nobody is getting anything for free from him. Too bad he’ll have to miss the game on Tuesday for this piece of acting.

Mats Hummels

Paul: 6

Steve: 6

A few uncharacteristic slips and misses today for Hummels.

Lukasz Piszczek

Paul: N/A

The old man took a tumble and will need to spend the night in hospital for observation. These kinds of falls are so dangerous at his age. Imagine if no one had been around to see it? I think it’s time to start thinking about putting Lukasz in a care home, or assisted living, at the very least.

Steve: N/A

If anyone reading this missed the game, it looked like he got poked in the eye while tussling with an attacker on a set piece. I hope the injury is nothing serious and he is able to play on Tuesday.

Thomas Meunier

Paul: 6

Meunier was pretty solid yesterday. He did well defensively, and was a lot better going forward than he has been in earlier games. He also came very close to grabbing a goal, with a lovely header that came back off the bar. He’s gradually growing into his role at BVB.

Steve: 6

Meunier was fine, but it wasn’t a surprise when he came off before Passlack.

Felix Passlack

Paul: 6

I love a full back that can slot in on either side with relative ease, and Passlack seems to be able to do so. He’s primarily a right back, but has seen more time on the left for BVB this season. It does seem to blunt the threat he poses going forward, at times, but he was still pretty solid.

Steve: 7

A Dortmund player since 2012, Felix Passlack is an unexpected flag bearer for the academy this year. He provided energy and good passing.

Axel Witsel

Paul: 6

Steve: 7

Calm on the ball, positionally sound, 95% passing, job done.

Mo Dahoud

Paul: 7

Dahoud started in place of Jude Bellingham, who was given a rest, and had a pretty good game. He was lively and he was moving the ball well. Unfortunately he was unable to get a chance to fire a shot off from 30 yards, only to watch the ball’s infinite rise into space.

Steve: 6

I see it the other way. Where Witsel was safe, Dahoud took more risks with his passing, but didn’t offer anything really incisive to make up for the additional waste.

Jadon Sancho

Paul: 6

Sancho was relatively quiet yesterday. He had a couple nice moments, but he never really got a hold of the game like Dortmund needed. This seems to be the one part of Sancho’s game that is a little lacking, and which has so far stopped him becoming a truly elite-level player. He is a facilitator that will give the great players around him every chance they need to succeed, but when the team is struggling a bit, and they need someone to turn the game around? He doesn’t seem entirely comfortable in that role.

Steve: 6

He was anonymous. I was hoping for a statement game after all the transfer rumors and quarantine drama, but we didn’t get that.

Gio Reyna

Paul: 7

Steve: 7.5

Reyna created several good chances but didn’t have his finishing boots. I’ll give Reyna credit for getting the flick on for the only goal of the day, but that’s just the breaks of being an attacking player. Some days you head a ball into space and it leads to a goal, and you get credit for it. Some days that doesn’t happen.

Julian Brandt

Paul: 5

It just wasn’t Brandt’s day, but it’s hard to blame him too much, given that he was playing out of position. Brandt has been asked to lead the line on a couple occasions, when Haaland has been injured or in need of a rest, and he has never really looked comfortable doing so.

Steve: 5

I don’t remember him making any runs in behind. I just watched the highlights back and he wasn’t in them. Has anyone ever coached him on how to play striker?

Subs

Thomas Delaney

Paul: 6

It didn’t fill me with excitement to see Thomas Delaney coming off the bench early in the game, to slot in at center back, but he handled his responsibilities pretty well.

Steve: 7

TSG Hoffenheim v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga
This is legal right?
Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Oh come on, did you see this one? He was great!

Marco Reus

Paul: 8

Reus was the best player on the pitch, and he only needed 25 minutes. Dortmund came alive from the moment he ran on to the pitch, and every play seemed to be running through BVB’s captain. He deserved the goal, and he surely deserves to start pretty soon too.

Steve: 8.5

I absolutely expect him to start on Tuesday. We need our captain for the big games.

Erling Haaland

Paul: 7

Though Reus claimed all the headlines, Haaland was vitally important in shocking this game to life as well. He was Reus’s partner in crime, providing the assist for his goal, linking up well in the final third, and coming close to getting a goal of his own on two separate occasions. More than anything, Haaland changed the game by driving the Hoffenheim defense deeper and deeper, by getting in behind them and causing havoc. His runs in behind the defense provided Reus with the space to do some damage.

Steve: 8

I agree, I think Haaland completely changed the game. It was a calculated risk to leave him on the bench and rest him for Tuesday, but it worked out.

Jude Bellingham

Paul: 6

Despite only being on the field for 15 minutes, Bellingham managed to stamp his authority on the game. He made 3 tackles and one clearance, and touched the ball 13 times, which is a pretty solid return for just 15 minutes of football.

Steve: 6.5

I just don’t understand why you don’t rate Bellingham. Do you have something against him because he’s English?

Rapha Guerreiro

Paul: 6

Guerreiro came on at the same time as Bellingham, and was equally as lively. Often players that come on late in the game won’t receive a rating, because they just didn’t get enough time to make an impression, but I thought both were immediately effective when they came on.

Steve: 7

The subs really improved the game today. Rapha added a lot of creativity in his minutes and deserved an assist.

Overall

Paul: 6

If I could split the game in to two parts, pre-subs and post-subs, I would give pre-subs performance a 5 and the post-subs performance an 8. In total, I thought it was an okay performance with something to be excited about at the end. I’ll take that against Hoffenheim!

Steve: 7

I’ll be interested to see the starting lineup against Lazio. I think Favre managed to give some rest to most of our starters today and we still squeaked out a win. It wasn’t dominant, and it wasn’t pretty, but we also could have easily ended up with two or three goals.


What do you guys think? Who was your man of the match? How would you rate the individual performances?