Borussia Dortmund are flying high. The black and yellows have now scored five goals in their three consecutive games to start off the Rückrunde, and in doing so have finally managed to keep a clean sheet. BVB scored early and often, with contributions from Axel Witsel, Erling Håland, Jadon Sancho, and Marco Reus. Despite a decent surge from Union Berlin towards the end of the first half, BVB were able to weather the storm and push through for a dominant 5-0 victory. Here are our match ratings:
Sean: Bürki conceded no goals. On the other hand, he didn’t make any saves either. Rather than give him a numerical rating, I’ll be academically rigorous and give him the term “undefined”, which represents his save percentage (0÷0).
Paul: He didn’t do anything wrong, but he also didn’t really do anything. Unlike outfield players, a goalkeeper not doing anything is rarely a negative reflection on their performance though.
Paul: As ever, Hummels was our best defender. But his defensive duties were few and far between. He is always a contributor on the ball though. His ability to create from deep is vital.
Jack: Mats was nothing but calm and composed when defending and on the ball today, albeit he didn’t have to do much in either aspect. What was most nice about his match for me was the encouragement and support he took the time to give to Akanji after some bad passes and less than ideal defending.
Sean: Akanji had a good-enough game, but I’m sure if I dug hard enough I could think of some phantom mistakes to hold over his head. Am I defending him this passionately because I’m a shill for all Swiss players? Of course not. I mean yes, I’m a shill for all Swiss players, but Akanji’s performance was still decent.
Jack: Like Hummels he did not have much to defend today but was nearly at fault for a Union goal. He was caught off guard and lost his man on a sweeping cross from the right wing inside the first 20 minutes.
Sean: I actually forgot that Piszczek played yesterday, which I suppose for a defender isn’t the worst thing in the world. With how Piszczek has been playing lately, any day he isn’t a liability is a victory.
Sean: I’m very pleased with Raphael Guerreiro’s game as of late. He’s not the flashiest player, but he doesn’t make any mistakes and he’s good at moving the ball forward. Having a back three has lessened his defensive responsibilities, and allowed him to roam further up the pitch.
Jack: Quietly had a very good game. Nearly scored a belter of a free kick from the right side of the box if not for a great diving save.
Sean: He didn’t really do much offensively, and proceeded to throw a fit when he was subbed off.
Jack: Wasn’t heavily involved, but he did have a nice dribble in which he was fouled that nearly lead to a Raph free kick goal.
Paul: Just another assured performance by Witsel. He’s incredibly dependable, and he even popped up with a goal to cap off his performance.
Jack: Union sat back to defend for the majority of the match, but when they did have spurts of pressing Witsel and Brandt cycled the ball and retained possession with such ease and calm. Was nice to see him grab a goal on the counter and he could have had two to his name today.
Paul: Brandt was my man of the match, but I don’t think I’ll be alone in that. He didn’t get a goal, but everything stemmed from Brandt’s passing.
Jack: The best player on the field today. He did it all. His passing was excellent and will grab the most attention off the cuff, but most impressive for me was his defending today. His pressing after a loss of possession was phenomenal and he did manage to intercept a few passes today. We will need to see this kind of all around performance from Julian if Favre is to stick to this formation with only him and Witsel in midfield. Assisted Halaand’s goal for the 2-0 and again assisted Halaand to make it 5-0.
Sean: What’s with all these 0.5s? Brandt didn’t put a foot wrong yesterday. I truly believe that we’re witnessing Brandt’s transformation into a truly world-class midfielder, and if he keeps up performances like this, he might eventually be considered one of the best in Europe.
Paul: I thought Reus was fine, but a little quiet at times. He scored the penalty, and had a strop when he was substituted, but otherwise he was just okay.
Jack: A solid performance from the captain but not without some indecisive moments. He should have tried a go at goal deep in the box on the left wing in the 36th minute but choose to square the ball and the chance was squandered. He did score a very nicely taken penalty and was involved in the build up for Witsel’s goal to make it 4-0.
Paul: Sancho is ridiculous. He is averaging a goal and an assist per game right now. That’s absolutely absurd.
Jack: He torched the right side of Union Berlin’s defense all game. Scored the opening goal of the match after a brilliant 1v1 dribble. Played Halaand in on goal in which he drew a penalty and assisted Witsel’s goal. His footprint was imprinted all over this match.
Paul: Is that 7 goals from 8 shots? And in about 180 minutes of football? That’s incredible. It’s also completely unsustainable, so this won’t last forever, but even so, Haaland has shown more than enough to suggest he can be incredibly prolific. With guys like Hazard, Reus, Sancho, and Brandt around him, he is going to get tons of chances too.
Sean: 133 minutes, actually. Håland now has one goal less than Alassane Pléa, despite playing less than one tenth as many minutes as Mönchengladbach’s star striker. I think we have a keeper.
Jack: The desire the young man plays with is remarkable. His hunger for scoring cannot be satisfied despite scoring 7 goals in 3 games since donning a BVB shirt. He has given a lifeline to Dortmund since his inclusion into the team.
Sean: Thorgan came on late, and didn’t have much time to have an impact on the game.
Sean: Big Zag came in just to see the game off by scaring all of Union Berlin’s players out of attempting a comeback. Did this work?The results speak for themselves, wouldn’t you say?
Sean:He played 13 minutes, which isn’t nothing, but considering the fact that the score was already 5-0, he didn’t have to do much of anything. He did set up one shot from Raphael Guerreiro in the penalty area, but his shot went wide.
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