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Match Ratings: Borussia Dortmund 4-0 Freiburg

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Dortmund return to winning ways

Borussia Dortmund v Sport-Club Freiburg - Bundesliga Photo by Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images

Having lost two on the trot in the last week, it was important that Dortmund came away with something from yesterday’s game against Freiburg, to get things back on track. The performance against Bayern was relatively encouraging, but given the drab display against Augsburg, Dortmund had something to prove. The response was emphatic.

BVB started slowly, with Freiburg giving them some trouble in the first 30 minutes, but they made the most of a break in the 31st minute and from that point on they never looked back. Marco Reus forced a turnover to Reyna, who put Haaland through, to bury a shot into the opposite corner with a lovely finish across his body. The goal wasn’t exactly against the run of play, but the performance up to that point hadn’t exactly warranted a 1-0 lead. Following Haaland’s goal, Dortmund kicked into another gear and Freiburg were left holding on for the ride. Haaland, Can, and Passlack contributed another goal each, to end the game 4-0 to BVB.

This was the best Dortmund have played all season, and there really wasn’t a single bad performance from anyone, which always makes writing these ratings a lot more fun. Enjoy!

Starters

Marwin Hitz

Paul: 5

I always feel bad giving players an average rating when they didn’t have anything to do all game long, but Hitz simply didn’t have the opportunity to put his mark on the game.

Harrison: 5

Like Paul, I really can’t give much of a rating to Hitz. He was there as a safety net in case anything went terribly wrong but was (mercifully) short of work.

Sean: 5

He didn’t stop a single shot. Terrible performance.

Emre Can

Paul: 7

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-DORTMUND-FREIBURG
Can putting in another solid performance at center back
Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

Harrison: 8

I’ll give Can some notable marks here. Aside from his solid defensive work and cheeky header, I felt he took a notable role in transitioning the team up the pitch. His fiery personality also seemed to ignite a bit of a spark during the first half, after a fairly listless start.

Sean: 8

Mats Hummels

Paul: 7

Harrison: 7

Still not sure how that shot from Mats didn’t go in, but all in all, a smooth and comfortable performance from him.

Sean: 7

Believe it or not, Hummels’ scoring chance was such a high-danger chance that it singlehandedly made him lead the team in expected goals. Otherwise, he was very good.

Manuel Akanji

Paul: 7

Harrison: 7

I’ve been a bit of a harsh critic of Akanji in previous seasons. He’s been a lot better in the back 3, though, and his defensive work yesterday was mostly tidy. He had some bad passes and one or two risky turnovers, but otherwise, not bad at all.

Sean: 6

One of the most optimistic signs early this season is the apparent reemergence of Manuel Akanji as a legitimate center back. Other than a few errant passes he was solid once again.

Thomas Meunier

Paul: 6

Looked better than in previous games. Almost scored. Could have put Haaland through for his hat trick, and held onto it a little too long. But otherwise, I thought he was solid.

Harrison: 6

Sean: 5

I’m not gonna lie, I was absolutely infuriated when he didn’t play a through ball into Erling Haaland. I thought he was fine otherwise, but in the future when he’s going forward he needs to be more clinical with his passing.

Raphael Guerreiro

Paul: 7

Harrison: 7.5

Guerreiro wasn’t used enough against Augsburg and it showed. This team is far better when he’s an active participant in pushing the ball upfield and creating opportunities near the box. While he was outshined by Reus and a few others, that’s owing more to how outstanding the forwards were than Rapha’s own performance.

Sean: 6

Axel Witsel

Paul: 8

Harrison: 7

Axel’s taken a nice, comfortable role as a pressure-defusing expert. He was notably more involved in the build-up play yesterday and very nearly had himself a goal. When Axel’s having fun, the team is likely playing well.

Sean: 8

Witsel was the absolute man. While sometimes his passing is what’s most impressive, today it was his tackling. Any time Freiburg tried to advance the ball into Dortmund’s half, Axel Witsel was there to break it up with a well-timed challenge.

Jude Bellingham

Paul: 7

Looked really good in possession, and chose his moments better in this game than in previous weeks, though his passing was sloppy in the first half, something he cleaned up after the break. He was more consistent defensively. He looks like he’s starting to adjust to the speed of the Bundesliga.

Harrison: 7.5

Jude continues to improve as he grows accustomed to the timing and space you get in Bundesliga. He’s picking his runs a bit more intelligently and trying to utilize his teammates more effectively. While Bellingham’s distribution (especially while in-stride) is still a work-in-progress, he’s growing week by week. You’d have to think he’ll be an unbenchable regular by the end of the season.

Sean: 7

Marco Reus

Paul: 9

Throughout the first half Reus was our best player. Everything was running through him when the rest of the team was struggling to get going. He made the team tick when they were at their best, and he was working hard when out of possession too. Also made the tackle to kick off Haaland’s opener.

Harrison: 9.5

Sean: 8

The exact type of performance you want out of your captain. He worked his behind off for 70 minutes straight. Dortmund’s first goal wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for him throwing himself into a challenge he had no business winning. He unfortunately couldn’t find the scoresheet, but it was still a fantastic day at the office for him.

Gio Reyna

Paul: 9.5

Took a moment to get into the game but was impeccable for about an hour, and in that time, he picked up three assists from four key passes, showing great vision and a ton of chemistry with Reus and Haaland. The three of them were virtually unplayable at times, and any one of them could have been man of the match, but I think Reyna edged it.

Borussia Dortmund v Sport-Club Freiburg - Bundesliga
Reyna delivering the cross for Dortmund’s second goal
Photo by Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images

Harrison: 9.5

Like Paul said, Reus and Reyna were nearly neck-and-neck for man of the match. Gio has had a habit of going to ground near the box, but resisted the urge to do so yesterday. Some of his best opportunities came from him effectively shielding the ball while moving towards the final third. Reyna’s hat trick of assists tells you the kind of day he had in servicing his teammates. He nearly potted a far corner goal too.

Sean: 9.5

Erling Haaland

Paul: 9

Picked up a brace with two really nice finishes, plus a very wholesome and selfless assist to Passlack for the fourth goal. He could have had a hat trick too, coming close with a couple efforts, and being overlooked in good positions once or twice. He was really hungry all game long, his hold-up play was brilliant, and he seemed to be really enjoying himself the whole time.

Harrison: 9

When Haaland’s feeling it, he’s virtually unstoppable. Many of his runs, especially as the game opened up, were comically dangerous. The scariest thing is that Haaland really doesn’t need to close the distance towards the net to score. He can elevate and accelerate the ball from great distances, but loves getting in close for that ruthless finish. The hand-off to Passlack was so unbelievably wholesome.

Sean: 9

Subs

Borussia Dortmund v Sport-Club Freiburg -Bundesliga
Erling and his son Felix in a loving embrace
Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Felix Passlack

Paul: 6

Harrison: 5.5

Passlack didn’t play much but still earned a nice goal from Haaland. It’s truly something that he left after seeming like a disappointment, only to return as one of Dortmund’s best RBs. I know the right side defensive depth is a little questionable, but Passlack is starting to look legitimate. He needs additional work in his own half, but all in all, a pleasant return to the Bundesliga.

Julian Brandt

Paul: 6

Harrison: 6.5

Brandt off the bench has been pretty decent. I do wish he’d get more opportunities to start, but Favre looks to be favoring Reyna at the moment. All that said, he’s continued to show his creativity and space creation in limited minutes.

Thomas Delaney

Paul: 5

Harrison: N/A

He was definitely there for a few minutes.

Nico Schulz

Paul: N/A

Harrison: N/A

Yep, still just there.


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