What a difference 45 minutes can make. After a supremely lackluster first half that saw Borussia Dortmund fall a goal down to Hertha Berlin, the Black-and-Yellows stormed out of the gate in the second half and completely overwhelmed Hertha Berlin. Within the first four minutes of the second half, Borussia Dortmund had taken the lead through a pair of goals from the man of the hour, Erling Haaland. The goals didn’t stop there: Haaland grabbed another two as the night went on, and Raphael Guerreiro snatched another to propel BVB to a well-deserved 5-2 win.
Here are a few observations from today’s match:
A Ballon d’Or Performance from Golden Boy Erling Haaland
Forget players under 21. Erling Haaland is one of the top players in the world, period, and if today’s performance doesn’t demonstrate that, I don’t know what will. Like the rest of the squad he was a bit quiet during the first half, but he came charging out during the second half and grabbed four goals. The first showed his awareness as he finished off a beautiful team play by tapping in a cross:
Named Golden Boy— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 21, 2020
⚽️⚽️ Two goals in two minutes
Just another day for Erling Haaland ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/DdioEoNAzV
The second showed his ability to stick to the opposition back line and latch onto a through ball. His third goal was sheer pace and determination. As Hertha midfielder Marvin Plattenhardt played an errant back pass in the direction of Omar Alderete, Haaland steamed past him, picked up the loose ball, and laced it past Alexander Schwolow. He’s so dangerous, and all he needs is a loose ball in an inch of space for him to capitalize and score.
Another Slow Start for BVB
While I’d love nothing more than to focus on the positives from today’s match, it would be inappropriate for me to ignore the first half. Borussia Dortmund looked very rusty, especially during the opening 20 minutes. Favre reverted to a 3-4-3 with Mahmoud Dahoud and Axel Witsel in midfield and Julian Brandt on the right wing. Both wing backs, Raphael Guerreiro and Thomas Meunier, were poor during the first half. Brandt and Meunier didn’t seem to understand who would have the outside or inside on overlap plays, and Reus and Guerreiro had a similar problem on the other side. The goal from Cunha was just a golazo that nobody should be blamed for.
Overall, I’m not too concerned by BVB’s first half performance. Dortmund were just coming back from an international break and a formation change, so some rust was understandable. Furthermore, during the second half BVB were easily able to shake off their rust and tear Hertha apart.
The Moukoko Era Begins
Congratulations to Youssoufa Moukoko for becoming the youngest player in Bundesliga history at the tender age of sixteen years and one day. Borussia Dortmund’s record-breaking youngster made a brief cameo in the final five minutes of today’s match, and immediately had a few chances to show off his skill with a few neat dribbles and an attempted back heel that was just too brilliant for Thomas Meunier to read. Moukoko obviously didn’t have enough time to significantly impact the game, but it was still great to see the youngster storm around the pitch. Hopefully this is the start of a long, productive career at Borussia Dortmund for Moukoko.
What did you think of today’s match? Let me know your thoughts below.