If Borussia Dortmund had come away with all three points they would have guaranteed that they finish top of Group F in the Champions League. Unfortunately, Nico Schulz, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, and Mateu Lahoz conspired to ruin BVB’s day. Despite the penalty, which was converted with ease by Ciro Immobile, Dortmund did hold out for the draw and confirmed their place in the Champions League Round of 16. It was a pretty ugly game, with one or two good performances. Here are our player ratings:
Every so often Bürki puts in an effort that demonstrates his ceiling. Incredible reflexes, quick, assured decision-making, and a commanding presence. When he plays like this, he is tremendous. I thought he was the best player on the pitch yesterday. If only he could make this the norm!
Roman hasn’t had much work throughout most of the season, but the cagey, pesky Lazio forced him into some ten-bell saves. He was my MOTM and put in one of his best games of the season.
5 shots on target, 5 saves. PSxG of 2.6 (includes the penalty). For three years now Bürki has done his best work on Champions League nights.
I feel like I don’t have much in the way of criticism to direct Akanji’s way most days. Another comfortable, quality outing from him.
If Hummels is dead we riot.
Because of the quality of the shots taken against Bürki (see above) I think we all get the impression that the defense was a little bit soft in this game. But the reality is those were great shots taken from low probability situations.
Morey had a quality outing after spending many months on the bench and in training sessions. He’s had to wait a long while to get the start, and while it wasn’t perfect, it was pretty darn good and energetic. Morey looks very good going forward and adds a creative element missing from the flank.
The game plan didn’t send the ball his way very much, but he did well with his opportunities and put in some great work on defense.
Another decent showing from Guerreiro, including a fantastic goal. Over the last two years he has developed into one of BVB’s best players and one of the best full backs in the world. Hopefully he continues to fly under everyone else’s radar.
People are starting to recognize just how important Rapha is to this team. In the absence of Hakimi, his clear quality and skill has begun to take the spotlight. After passing up a clear goal recently, Rapha made no mistake in putting away Thorgan’s pass against Lazio.
What is a wingback doing running through on goal and taking a ball that I originally thought was meant for Reus? Scoring a damn goal, that’s what.
Delaney put in the work, wracking up pressures, tackles, interceptions and blocks. Apparently hurt his back carrying that load.
I thought Bellingham was Dortmund’s best outfield player yesterday, contributing on both ends of the ball. In such a short time he has grown as a player, and surpassed everyone’s expectations, even my own. Bellingham and the rejuvenated Dahoud add a different dynamic to Dortmund’s midfield.
Early in the game, Bellingham blew past Reus to claim a ball that by all rights should have been Marco’s. Many of us have wondered why Reus rarely plays on the wing anymore, and I think this game gave us our answer. He’s lost his burst. He was played out of position as a striker, and on short notice, but he wasn’t able to get on the ball and make an impact.
I guess Schulz’s rating should probably depend on whether you think he was at fault for the penalty or not. I think it’s certainly fair to say that the call was soft, and that Milinkovic-Savic made the most of the contact, but I think there was contact and Schulz gave the Lazio midfielder a chance for some mischief.
Outside of the penalty, I thought he did okay, though he skewed a shot slightly wide later in the game. Unfortunately, it’s a little difficult to discount the biggest moment of the whole game!
Schulz might be the most cursed man in Dortmund, but he did himself no favors with a tough penalty call against and an even tougher missed goalscoring opportunity.
You can’t do much worse than that with a 30 minute run out. I’ll save my 1s or 0s for another day, but I’ve got my eye on you Schulz.
Completely forgot he was in the game.
Job done. I wouldn’t watch it on replay though. The whole game was rubbish. Just go find Bürki and Bellingham’s highlight videos on Twitter.
It wasn’t pretty, but Dortmund are through!
I’ll use this space to tip my cap to Ciro Immobile. He came to play and made this game really difficult. Left a little bit extra on several of our players, but acted like we were all still friends. A tough SOB and an absolute marksman.