Sometimes, you need a hero to step up and take the reins of a listless game. Against Hertha Berlin, Borussia Dortmund had a bit of a slow start during the first 45 minutes. With the added sting of a Matheus Cunha wondergoal, Dortmund found themselves in a 1-0 hole. I’m not sure what was said in the locker-room during half-time, but Erling Haaland stepped back onto the pitch with a vengeance. He and a few others had a standout day after a rockier beginning.
Roman had some work today and did most of what he was asked to do. He really couldn’t do anything on either of Cunha’s goals, but handled the rest of the day solidly.
One easy save, one nearly impossible goal. Would he have had a chance on the goal if he’d been a few steps deeper?
Manny’s return to glory has been a sight to behold. Hertha’s offensive ambitions, while scrappy, did test the backline early. Akanji handled things nicely and even had a monster tackle that likely saved a clear goal. His steadiness on the backline is a welcome addition to this season, and suggests he needs to stick around for a long time.
The penalty called against him was really soft.
I really enjoyed watching Cunha get a yellow card protesting after Hummels stripped him of the ball. Chef’s kiss.
Emre continues to be good at just about everything. Whether you ask him to anchor the defense, or dominate aggressively in the midfield....he’s just plain good! He was more adventurous out of the back against Hertha, and contributed a major assist on Haaland’s first goal.
We started the second half needing someone to assert themselves and change the game. Emre Can did that.
It feels strange to award what looks to be a harsher score after Rapha scored a goal, but this wasn’t one of his better outings. He had some uncharacteristically poor turnovers and bad decisions. While Rapha was (correctly) criticized for passing up one particular goalscoring chance, I did understand the attempt to guarantee it by passing to Haaland. Still though...just shoot it!
I thought Guerreiro was clever and creative as always, and dependable in possession. His goal was a bonus. Maybe the second half goal glut is making me forget something terrible he did in the first half?
Meunier had a bad game after a string of quality outings over the past few weeks. Moving back to RWB in the 3-4-3 is clearly not the best choice. He needs to rock the deeper RB spot in the more traditional back-4, where he seems to be fairly comfortable.
He tried for a repeat of the Lazio disaster. 75% passing isn’t good enough. Frustrating Emre Can until he does your job for you is . . . something, I guess.
Dahoud has had some good performances lately. Today, he had some bright moments, but overall I found his performance to be out of sync with the team, and wasteful.
In the first half, when we were struggling to create chances, Witsel wasn’t offering enough creativity. When we were rampant in the second half, his calmness was welcome.
The captain was industrious today, often looking to lead the charge into the final third and apply offensive pressure. He had some important passes near the box, one of which ended up helping to create a goal. While Reus isn’t as dominant as he used to be, he still has that extra touch to help the team when called upon.
Reus didn’t get on the score sheet today, but he was involved in two of the goals.
Favre keeps moving Brandt all over the pitch, or at least, it feels that way. Julian was asked to play a wider position again, and the results were a bit iffy. As a RW, he doesn’t seem as confident in his decision-making and forced one or two suboptimal passes. He settled in as the match wore on but didn’t have the strongest of performances. The confusion of who needed to be taking which route with Meunier only made it tougher.
No friggin’ words, man.
This one goes to 11.
It’s only a matter of time before he is a first choice starter.
Moukoko could have scored an own goal and I wouldn’t have cared. I’ve been waiting impatiently for this day to come, and we finally got a tiny taste of what’s to come. Moukoko didn’t have too many touches, but his physical dribbling style and agility were apparent when in possession.