After stringing together a handful of good results, Borussia Dortmund had the opportunity to really test their form against the best team in the world right now, Bayern Munich. The outcome suggests they didn’t pass that test, having lost 3-2, but the performance gives a little more reason for optimism. BVB were arguably the better team, but Bayern had a little luck with deflections, and Dortmund were let down by some uncharacteristically poor finishing from Erling Haaland. Nonetheless, BVB proved they can go toe-to-toe with the very best. They have just got to be a little more clinical. Here are our player ratings from yesterday’s game:
Burki conceded three (plus two that were called offside), but I’m not sure he could have done much about any of them.
For once, Roman actually had work to do. And for the most part, he handled it pretty well! Bayern clearly thought the Kimmich wonder goal from a few months ago was repeatable, because they tried some similar shots today. Can’t really fault Bürki for any of the goals against today.
I know they were mostly deflections, but the ball hit the net 5 times. Even ignoring the offsides, you have 3 goals on 1.5 xG.
Hummels was definitely a step behind after the injury earlier this week. His man-marking wasn’t as sharp and he struggled to track back on Bayern’s counters. We’ll need him at full health going forward if this team is to make a real title run.
He was a step slow on the Lewandowski header.
Meunier was responsible for 724 progressive yards (passes and carries combined), more than any other BVB player yesterday.
He was fine. He got bailed out by VAR on the first called back goal.
Arguably the best player on the pitch, and based on the voting in yesterday’s MOTM poll, he was definitely BVB’s best player.
Guerreiro handled a ton of ball progression responsibility and got both Dortmund assists. He’s my man of the match, without a doubt.
Delaney’s foul on Gnabry may have prevented a goal, but it definitely conceded one. Favre chose to sacrifice the possession and passing of Bellingham or Dahoud for the defensive solidity of Delaney, and it didn’t work out.
Witsel was solid, but a touch slow and he faded in the second half. We failed to control the center of the pitch and gave up some important Bayern chances in that area. He could have offered more, and Dortmund needed more.
Sancho has been disappointing so far this year, although brilliant in spells. We are still waiting for him to start making the level of contributions that we’ve come to expect. There are still questions about whether he can be relied on in the biggest games. Sometimes he’s been brilliant, other times, less so. He’ll have to wait for his next chance.
Though Reyna has been excellent so far this season, he struggled to make a significant impact yesterday.
I thought Reyna was dangerous. His shot through Boateng’s legs was well-taken but Neuer saw it coming. Haaland squandered what could have easily been an assist in the early going.
Reus is still looking a bit rusty, but he found a few shooting lanes that led to an early goal for Dortmund. There was a later chance to tie the game, though, that went terribly awry on a volleyed attempt. Hopefully, Marco returns to form soon because he can be such a lethal creator at his best.
I’m giving him a point for that goal, but I thought that otherwise he had a bad night, losing possession in bad spots on several occasions. I was genuinely surprised when Brandt subbed on and Reus wasn’t the one leaving. Sometimes in the biggest games, you have to back your captain, but it didn’t work out.
Outside of the finishing, he was doing a lot right. But the finishing was really poor.
Haaland has been scuffling over the past few weeks. I’m not sure if an earlier injury from several matches ago is still bothering him, but he’s struggled to put away opportunities he usually never misses. The Bayern match was probably his worst outing thus far, with several clear chances passed up.
I really disagree with Paul and Harrison. Erling Haaland was at the center of every threat tonight. He proved time and again that Bayern couldn’t control him. I thought he showed too much respect to Neuer, and was uncharacteristically hesitant in front of goal. He needed to be more ruthless, and less respectful.
I thought Bellingham was one of the best players during his short cameo. He was very active, on both sides of the ball, and his energy (and discipline) were exactly what Dortmund needed.
Bellingham was brilliant when he came on, and created questions about whether he should have started.
It was a solid performance, but BVB failed to capitalize on their best moments, and ultimately came away disappointed. On another day, they might have claimed a victory. Maybe that day will come soon?
This is a tough game for me to rate. Is it possible for Dortmund to be both great and terrible? We saw some of the youth and inexperience lead to missed opportunities that Bayern had no qualms capitalizing on. That said...there are positive signs for the future.
Bayern scored on deflections, but we also could have done more. We will need Reus and Sancho to reach top form if we are going to sustain a title challenge.
What do you guys think? Who was your man of the match? How would you rate the individual performances?