We’re only a few weeks in to the new season and top teams all over Europe are dropping points. That includes Bayern Munich, who had their winning streak put to an abrupt end by Hoffenheim, beating them 4-1. That might make you feel a little bit better about the incredibly drab BVB performance in a 2-0 loss to Augsburg. Dortmund managed to completely dominate the game while also never really looking that dangerous. They had ~80% possession, 18 shots on target, and FB Ref’s xG for the game had Dortmund winning 1.7 to Augsburg’s 0.9. To some extent you could argue Dortmund were unlucky, which is probably true with regard to the Augsburg goals, but BVB’s xG was more the result of accumulation than any big chances.
Burki could have done better with both goals. The cross and Akanji’s lax marking made Burki’s life a little difficult for the first goal, and it felt like he could have made things harder on Caligiuri for the second, but 1v1s are hard. He also had a couple shaky moments coming off his line. For a game that Dortmund dominated, and in which he faced very few shots, he seemed to have a surprising number of issues. It’s not that Burki made any huge mistakes, but he never felt secure.
Until the final minute of stoppage time, Burki faced two shots on target, and both shots went in. Neither goal was particularly soft, although I think he could have done better on the second goal by coming a bit further off his line.
Can put up three tackles, two interceptions, two blocks, and twelve pressures. Comparing CBs based on their defensive stats is incredibly limited, but as an active defender, Can did make plenty of contributions. He also had the most touches, and put up the most progressive yards in both passing and ball-carrying. Can was one of Dortmund’s best players, but it’s still hard to pinpoint any great moments. He just did his job pretty well, and made mostly positive contributions, which can’t be said about many others!
Can’s defensive numbers were actually pretty impressive, but I thought his ball distribution and progression was poor. BVB had trouble
Hummels wasn’t the presence we’ve come to expect. He didn’t do anything terrible, but he also didn’t really do anything good either. Hopefully he picks things up in the next game.
He did have one sweet long ball that Jude Bellingham almost capitalized on, but Gikiewicz made a strong save. Defensively he was fine.
After showing so much promise last week, this was a little more of the Akanji we got used to last season. I think he takes the majority share of the blame on the first goal, as he failed to follow his man, was the wrong side of the ball when it came in, nor was he goal-side, and he didn’t really contest the header. He was solid enough the rest of the game, but his error on the header put Dortmund in a hole they couldn’t climb out of.
I thought he was fine. He wasn’t at fault for either goal (he could’ve done better by getting in front of his man on the first goal, but it was really just an excellent delivery) and he was mostly solid in other aspects of his game.
Meunier’s defensive efforts were solid, but they didn’t really make up for his consistently poor showing offensively. So we have gone from Hakimi, who was good in one phase of the game, and poor in the other... to Meunier, who is good in one phase of the game, and poor in the other.
That said, I think we should pump the brakes on the anti-Meunier sentiment that is steadily building. He is new to the team and the short preseason means he is probably still adapting to the playing style, and developing a connection with his teammates. If we’re still in the same position six months later, then we have problems, but lets give him a chance.
I’m tempted to cut Meunier some slack. BVB were effectively stymied down the middle of the pitch, and Meunier’s runs down the right side of the pitch were the only method BVB had for moving the ball forward. As a result, he led the squad in touches for much of the game. Unfortunately, what he did with these touches was not great. He attempted six crosses, none of which found their target.
Did... Rapha actually touch the ball? I don’t remember him doing anything of real note.
He did, 80 times. Unfortunately, the vast majority of those touches were either backwards passes. He did have a few successful dribbles but none of them ever amounted to anything significant in terms of offense.
I thought Witsel was pretty ineffective. He contributed very little offensively, though he did plenty of recycling, which was valuable. Defensively, he seemed a little isolated, and when it mattered, Augsburg were able to play through him.
Apparently Witsel had a 100% pass accuracy rate? While this would normally be very impressive, the vast majority of these passes were, just like Raphael Guerreiro, useless back passes among the defensive line that didn’t contribute to any offensive activity.
I thought Bellingham was a little wasteful. He got himself in some good positions, but the execution wasn’t good enough. That’s the risk you take with kids! I’m giving Bellingham a little bit of credit for popping up in dangerous positions, which couldn’t be said for anyone else in the first half. But I wouldn’t argue with a lower rating for his wastefulness.
Jude had a good shot saved by Gikiewicz off a long ball from Mats Hummels, but outside of that, he had quiet performance.
Gio needs to stay on his feet. A less generous assessment of his performance might give him a poor rating just for that ridiculous dive, and I can’t say I’d strongly disagree. That is twice in two weeks. It’s not something you want to see from your players, but it’s also counter-productive. Let the contact come to you. Stop trying to anticipate it. He’ll end up with a reputation if he keeps this up.
Beyond the irritating theatrics, I actually thought he was one of the brighter sparks offensively. He was one of few players that felt like they might make something happen. He was dispossessed five times, which he needs to improve, but that is also the consequence of trying to make things happen.
I’ll be a bit harsher towards Gio. His habit of diving has come back to bite him. If he had simply stayed on his feet, the foul would have come naturally and he likely would have been awarded a penalty, but instead he let his legs flop early before contact was made. The ref was having none of it. I absolutely hate diving and it really infuriates me to see one of our players do it so often. I hope he cuts it out immediately.
He wasn’t much better outside of this either. He was dispossessed a team-leading five times, and of his ten attempted crosses, only three were successful.
I think I’m probably giving Sancho more credit than he necessarily deserves here. But I think the reasoning is sound. In a game littered with poor performances and important players disappearing, Sancho was the only player that ever really made things happen. Every time Dortmund had even a shred of threat, it was with Sancho in possession.
By all means, that doesn’t mean he was creating clear chances very often, but with Augsburg pinned back, and the rest of the team looking lackluster, I think Sancho deserves a little credit.
I think Sancho was... okay? Augsburg did such a great job clogging up the center of the pitch that when Jadon did receive the ball, it was invariably in an unthreatening position along the touchline (see the heat map below).
Beyond getting slapped, I’m not actually sure what Haaland did? Had a good chance late on, but I wouldn’t blame him for not finishing, as the keeper had it easily covered.
It feels a little harsh to give Haaland a poor grade for the one week that he didn’t really do anything, when he has overperformed expectations consistently. But I’ll add the caveat that this is a 4 given the very high standards that Haaland has set.
Other than a single quality shot from the edge of the 6-yard line in the final minutes of the match, Haaland was pretty quiet. He whiffed on a header off a cross from Julian Brandt and had some characteristically heavy touches in the final third. I’ll give him props for some decent hold up play, and because the service to his feet was poor.
Reus was okay, but he didn’t look as threatening as Brandt did, and he struggled to make things happen.
Came on as an impact sub, but had no impact.
He came on with 18 minutes left in the match, and other than a few misplaced backheels and fancy dribbles, was inconsequential.
I thought Brandt was pretty good when he came on. Unfortunately Dortmund were already two goals down by the time Brandt entered the game, and it was always going to be an uphill struggle trying to play through the congestion in Augsburg’s half.
He actually looked bright a few times, but he was tasked with dribbling through wave after wave of Augsburg defenders, and he just wasn’t up for it. He ha some heavy touches that let him down in key moments, but also had a few good balls into the box, including one that Erling Haaland had a decent chance of scoring on.
Dahoud Fever is coming, but not this week.
Didn’t single-handedly change the match in 8 minutes. Shameful.