Well here we are again. Everyone had reached peak optimism. People were starting to believe Dortmund might do something right. And instead they dashed our hopes with an incredibly lackluster performance. Will we never learn?
Here’s the ratings from an incredibly frustrating game:
Bürki can’t be blamed for anything that happened yesterday. He made some good saves, and he kept it at 2-0 in the first half. It wasn’t his finest performance, but I don’t think he was in any way a negative.
Really poor performance by Piszczek. He constantly looked exposed against Neymar, Cavani, and later Mbappe. PSG’s second was the product of poor marking on his part (though the goal itself was a hell of a finish). I feel particularly harsh giving out this rating because I don’t really think this is his fault. How are we running a 34-year old with no hips into the ground? What does Favre expect to happen?
In addition, Piszczek wasn’t really helped by some of the performances in front of, and around him, and this also seemed like it was driven by fatigue. I’m giving Piszczek a 3, but I’m blaming Favre for putting him in that position.
Guerreiro was mostly missing on offense, though he had a couple nice moments, and he was pretty poor on defense. This was not his best game, and he only avoids a worse rating because his defensive lapses were not exploited. It could have been even worse.
Hakimi was poor on defense throughout the game, and he gave up marking to let Neymar through for PSG’s first. I thought he did okay going forward in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to make up for a pretty poor game on defense, and one which ended up costing Dortmund big time.
Witsel looked incredibly tired yesterday. For a player that we generally expect to be involved in every phase of the game, and to dictate the tempo of Dortmund’s offense, he was virtually absent. He managed only 35 touches (2nd lowest of BVB’s outfield players), and made a total of 28 passes (4th lowest). For comparison, Paredes and Gueye had 77 and 73 touches and attempted 68 and 56 passes respectively.
Why do we keep rolling out the same players week-in, week-out, despite a wealth of scientific research that tells us this is a bad plan that produces diminishing results, and despite the data to back that up in football, and even anecdotal evidence in the form of numerous players struggling at this stage of the season because Favre won’t rest them?
What more does Favre need in order to learn this lesson? Players suffer the kind of injuries that come from fatigue, performances markedly decline, substitutes can’t impact games because they don’t have the kind of playing time that helps them stay sharp... How much clearer does it need to be?
The red card was ridiculous, so I’m not gonna blame Can for getting sent off. But he wasn’t particularly good before that point either.
I honestly thought Sancho looked good throughout the game, but he was fighting a losing battle. The rest of the team looked so poor that there was only so much he could do to change anything. Still, he was constantly involved in the game, and managed 3 shots on goal and made 2 key passes. He also attempted 7 dribbles and was successful with 5 of them. It’s a shame that he was going it alone for much of the game.
I initially felt that Hazard was one of the better players yesterday, which isn’t to say that he was good, but I thought he was okay. Having looked over the event data from yesterday’s game, I now retract that statement. Hazard had very few touches but managed to be dispossessed three times. He also attempted 5 dribbles and was successful only once. Finally, Hazard took 2 of Dortmund’s 11 shots, and registered an xG of 0. I was wrong. He had a bad game.
Håland was virtually absent throughout the game. This wasn’t his best work, but given the lack of control Dortmund had on the game. There wasn’t a ton he could do.
I don’t think Brandt would have fixed things in the first half, given that much of the problem was a lack of control in possession, and some really, really lazy defending, but he was exactly what was needed once we were chasing the game.
He looked bright when he came on, and he did everything he could to try and correct course. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done.
Do you agree with our ratings? Leave your thoughts below.