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Match Ratings: Borussia Dortmund 3-0 Schalke

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BVB claim all three points against their bitter rivals

Borussia Dortmund v FC Schalke 04 - Bundesliga Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images

It is always nice to get a win over your rivals, even when they are rubbish. I say this as someone that took great pleasure in watching Southampton thump Portsmouth 4-0 last season, in the EFL Cup, despite Pompey being in the third tier of English football. BVB and Schalke’s league positions might not be quite so far apart, but the quality on the pitch certainly was. BVB were the better team throughout, and though it took until the second half to open the scoring, it never really seemed like Schalke would give Dortmund too much to worry about.

Having put in a poor performance against Lazio in the week, it was important for BVB to put on a good display against Schalke, and they did exactly that. Hopefully we see more of the same against Zenit on Wednesday.

Starters

Roman Burki

Paul: 5

Can’t say for certain that Burki did anything at all yesterday.

Steve: 5

Sean: 5

Um, AcTualLy, BuRkI hAd 26 tOuCheS. FaCtS dOn’T cArE aBoUt yoUr FeElinGs PauL.

Manuel Akanji

Borussia Dortmund v FC Schalke 04 - Bundesliga for DFL
Man of the Match
Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images

Paul: 9

I am rarely willing to dish out 9s or 10s in these ratings, and I think this is probably slightly generous, but I like Akanji, and he hasn’t always had it easy here, so I’m willing to be a little generous. He was brilliant yesterday, and to top off a fine performance, he also gave a great interview after the game, in which he demonstrated his perfect English.

Steve: 9

These ranking aren’t scientific. I just go with how I felt about a player’s performance. And Akanji coming through felt amazing, partially because the defense felt like such a problem just yesterday, and partially because Akanji struggled so much after Hummels joined. If he and Hummels can finally form a partnership, it will be huge for BvB.

Sean: 9

I agree with Paul. Akanji is steadily working his way up my “Players I Stan” rankings. He struggled quite a lot in the first half of last season, and a lot of fans turned on him almost immediately. I always had faith that he would be able to turn it around, so his play is making me feel quite vindicated. His goal aside, he was an absolute rock on defense, hardly putting a foot wrong in the full 90 minutes.

Mats Hummels

Paul: 7

Steve: 8

Solid performance with a +1 for scoring a very nice header.

Sean: 8

Put in a solid defensive performance and even managed a goal off a corner. +1 for the post-match hype on Twitter:

Thomas Meunier

Paul: 7

I’d give him an 8 for his first half performance, and I thought he was one of the best players on the pitch. He made a little less noise in the second half, but he was solid nonetheless. Amazing what a difference shifting him from wing back to full back can make.

Steve: 6

He played well yesterday in a simplified role. It was important for Meunier to have a game like this and I expect him to build on this performance.

Sean: 7.5

Thomas got one over on the haters yesterday. Many will say that his performance shouldn’t matter because Schalke aren’t very good. While this may be partially true, I still think that it will boost his confidence and will hopefully lead to more consistent performances in the future.

Rapha Guerreiro

Paul: 7

Steve: 8

The biggest potential loser from a switch to a back four. He had a great game, handled a ton of the passing, got a “hockey assist” on the first goal (so sweet!) and then an official assist on the third. He’s never been extremely durable, so I hope we develop a solid rotation option because we are really relying on him.

Sean: 8

Not only did Rapha get that hockey assist and an official assist, but he also had what, 15 nutmegs throughout the course of the game? In all seriousness, I counted at least three, including this glorious one on Amine Harit:

Thomas Delaney

Paul: 6

Steve: 6

Sean: 6

Delaney didn’t exactly have the heaviest workload as Schalke could barely get the ball in to the center of the pitch, but whenever they did, Delaney was there to get in the way.

Mo Dahoud

Paul: 8

I thought Dahoud and Akanji were the two best players on the pitch yesterday. Dahoud was everywhere, and I thought he did a tremendous job of pushing the tempo of the game when BVB needed.

Borussia Dortmund v FC Schalke 04 - Bundesliga
Dahoud was all up in everyone’s business yesterday
Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images

Steve: 7

Sean: 7.5

Dahoud almost... almost... scored on one of his trademarked longshots, but the ball glanced off the crossbar. If that shot had gone in, it would’ve been the greatest goal of all time and I would’ve given Dahoud an infinity. I agree with Paul that he was involved throughout BVB’s midfield. He seemed to understand that it was a derby game and brought that extra edge in response.

Julian Brandt

Paul: 7

Steve: 7

His contribution to the first goal was nice. I expect him to be an important player for us going forward.

Sean: 8

As I said in my Match Observations, Brandt was one of my candidates for MotM. He was doing a great job wiggling his way into tight spaces, forming quick combinations and dribbling past defenders. If Raphael Guerreiro had scored off his back-heel key pass, it might’ve been a candidate for goal of the season.

Jadon Sancho

Paul: 6

Sancho provided a nice assist for Haaland’s goal, and his performance was pretty solid, but he wasn’t a standout.

Steve: 7.5

Sancho was dangerous again, and reminded us all that before Haaland and Reyna, there was Haaland and Sancho. It’s going to be a fun year.

Sean: 7

I thought he was a bit quiet during the first half, but just like most elite players, he was able to make his mark with an assist nonetheless.

Gio Reyna

Paul: 7

Steve: 6

He’s been so good lately that it’s mildly surprising he didn’t get on the score sheet. He still had some dangerous moments and drew a lot of fouls.

Sean: 7

Some of his offensive stats were pretty good (four dribbles, fouled five times, three shots) but he couldn’t find his way onto the scoresheet.

Erling Haaland

Paul: 7

I thought Haaland was pretty poor in the first half, but he made up for it in the second half, especially with his goal. He did a lot of the work on the goal, and he had a couple good chances to add to his tally.

Steve: 8

After the first goal, the game opened up and bit and Haaland was unstoppable.

Sean: 7

Subs

Felix Passlack

Paul: 6

Steve: N/A

Sean: N/A

Axel Witsel

Paul: 6

The subs didn’t have a whole lot to do when they came into the game, so it’s hard to say a great deal about them. But I thought Passlack and Witsel brought a little energy when the game was dying down, which was good.

Steve: N/A

Sean: N/A

Marco Reus

Paul: N/A

Steve: N/A

It will be important for Reus and Witsel to get rest throughout the season. I just didn’t expect it against Schalke.

Sean: N/A

Thorgan Hazard

Paul: N/A

Steve: N/A

Sean: N/A

Mateu Morey

Paul: N/A

Steve: N/A

Sean: N/A

Overall

Paul: 8

A comprehensive win against your archrivals is a good way to respond after a poor performance in the Champions League, so it’s hard to complain. The first half was a little quieter, and Schalke had one or two chances, but in the second half, BVB were incredibly dominant. More of the same on Wednesday please.

Steve: 8

Favre is actually rotating and making changes. I don’t know how to feel about it. The switch to the back four was partially forced, but the players who came in performed well. Even with Schalke at the bottom of the table, that was a real risk for a rivalry game.

Sean: 8

It never really looked like Schalke would seriously threaten BVB, so I wasn’t too concerned with Dortmund not scoring until the hour mark. It was a team performance that showed that we can win without relying on all of our star players. Any day you can get three points and a clean sheet from a derby is a good one in my book.


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