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Match Ratings: Borussia Dortmund 3-0 Club Brugge

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Dortmund victory takes them a step closer to qualifying for knockout stages of the Champions League

Borussia Dortmund v Club Brugge KV: Group F - UEFA Champions League Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund edged one step closer to qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League yesterday, with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Club Brugge. An early opening goal from Haaland was followed by a perfectly placed free kick by Jadon Sancho, before Haaland closed things out with his 2nd goal of the game and 6th goal in the last 4 days.

Dortmund will have a chance to guarantee qualification next week, when they face Lazio at the Westalenstadion. A point would virtually guarantee qualification, and if Brugge fail to beat Zenit, that will also put Dortmund through. It’ll be an opportunity for BVB to make up for the loss earlier in the season, too. Here are some player ratings to quench your football thirst:

Starters

Roman Bürki

Paul: 6

Steve: 6

Burki faced zero shots on target against Brugge, but came out several times to handle dangerous crosses into his area.

Sean: 6

Surely the mere presence of Bürki on the goal line dissuaded Club Brugge from even attempting a shot on target. As Sun Tzu said, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

Manuel Akanji

Paul: 7

Steve: 7.5

Another solid performance and clean sheet. Akanji didn’t have a lot of defensive work to do in this one, but his passing was clean and aggressive, and he even got off a dangerous shot on goal.

Sean: 7

Every one of his solid performances makes me happy I never lost faith in him when he was struggling last summer. I always had faith. I always believed. Eat it, haters.

Mats Hummels

Paul: 7

Steve: 7.5

Hummels stepped up well to win the header that led to the opening goal. Three in the back or four in the back. It doesn’t matter to Hummels.

Sean: 7

Thomas Meunier

Paul: 7

We spend far too much time arguing about Meunier, given what he is. He’s a decent enough full back, that doesn’t seem to be able to cut it at wing back. He was decent yesterday, as he has been every time he plays there.

Steve: 7

But playing a back four really seems to matter to Meunier. I know he plays wing back for Belgium, but all of his good performances for Dortmund have come as a full back.

Sean: 7

He was a serviceable full back, which when the rest of the squad is firing as hot as it is right now, is about all we need from him.

Raphaël Guerreiro

Paul: 7

Steve: 7.5

Guerreiro has really earned Favre’s trust. He led the team in touches, pass attempts and completion percentage. He had eight passes into the final third. The way he roams over the field flinging passes with the outside of his left foot. It’s a joy to watch.

Sean: 7

A completely average performance from our unremarkable left back. Nothing to see here, definitely not a player any other clubs should be trying to poach, no sir.

Jude Bellingham

Paul: 8

Steve: 7.5

Bellingham was doing the work in midfield that made life so easy at the back for the defenders. Only his second game going the full 90, he racked up pressures, tackles, interceptions and blocks. He also drew three fouls, including the one that led to Sancho’s goal.

Sean: 8

Thomas Delaney

Paul: 7

Steve: 7

Feels a bit like I’m in Lake Wobegon, where all the players are above average (and good-looking!). Delaney did his job well yesterday, and had one or two dangerous passes that the forwards couldn’t convert.

Sean: 7

I feel like I’ve been giving out a lot of 7s. This really was a team-wide performance, and Delaney was no exception. Given the upcoming run of English weeks, Delaney could play a vital role in a midfield rotation.

Gio Reyna

Paul: 6

Steve: 6.5

Gio was fine, but wasn’t able to impose himself on this match. In a game with three goals, it’s perhaps odd that there was only one assist and Reyna’s efforts didn’t quite come off. He still had four shot creating actions and two key passes. Fbref says his shot near the end of the first half was blocked, and was only a 0.1 xG chance anyway, but he’ll still want that one back.

Sean: 6

It was a quiet performance from Gio. He’s cooled off a bit since his torrid start to the season. It’s no issue, he’s still got plenty of talent to keep contributing.

Jadon Sancho

Paul: 9

Sancho rounded off an excellent performance with a really good goal from a free kick. I feel like we do not appreciate just how good this kid is, and I don’t really know why.

Steve: 9

Borussia Dortmund v Club Brugge KV: Group F - UEFA Champions League Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

At the start of this season, there were only five players in the world who had averaged over 1.0 non-penalty goals + assists since 2010. Messi, Mbappe, Ronaldo, Suarez and Jadon Sancho. It makes me very happy to see Sancho get back to top form. Aside from his immaculate free kick, he was dangerous every time he touched the ball.

Sean: 9

If this is the Jadon Sancho we get for the rest of the season, I’m serious when I say we could have a serious shot at the Meisterschale and/or the Champions League trophy.

Thorgan Hazard

Paul: 7

Steve: 7

Sean: 7

Erling Haaland

Paul: 9

Steve: 9

Haaland had seven shots and two goals. He converted his first really good chance of the day and then absolutely stole a goal from the Brugge defense. In the second half, it felt like he was somewhat wasteful with his other chances, but statistically, those were all fairly low percentage chances, and he overperformed by a wide margin. He’s on a record shattering run, and you can add him to that very exclusive list of players averaging more than a goal per game since 2010.

Sean: 9

It’s getting to the point where a two-goal performance from Haaland is just expected and not even particularly noteworthy. He’s just unreal, and is probably gonna dominate the sport for the next decade.

Substitutes

Emre Can

N/A

Mateu Morey

N/A

Felix Passlack

N/A

Julian Brandt

N/A

Marco Reus

N/A

Overall

Paul: 8

These victories are becoming a little routine. That’s great news. In some sense, this was no more than was expected from Dortmund, but it’s also worth remembering how much trouble Brugge gave both Zenit and Lazio. BVB are starting to shed their reputation of being a good team that can’t get out of their own way.

Steve: 9

While most of the team didn’t have a ton to do in this game, I think the game plan and the rotation were fantastic. Favre has shown that his team can show up in either the 3-4-3 or the 4-2-3-1 and blow you out of the water. He rotated five midfielders and it’s hard to say which group are the first choice starters. It is the Erling Haaland show right now, but we have an embarrassment of riches waiting to step up and take a turn.

Sean: 9

With every one of these performances, I start to think more and more, “Is this the year that Borussia Dortmund finally break through into the top tier of European clubs? Is this the year we finally get to see Marco Reus lift a major trophy?” Yesterday’s match was as complete a victory as you could conceivably expect, and while Brugge aren’t a difficult opponent, they’re the exact type of opponent that BVB need to beat easily in order to challenge for major trophies. It’s going to be a fun spring.