For the second time in a row, Borussia Dortmund faced Peter Bosz’s Bayer Leverkusen and were thoroughly played off the pitch, with a 2-1 victory for Die Werkself that was nothing less than fully deserved. Other than a few scant passages of play here and there, Leverkusen were the better side from the first minute to the last. They were rewarded with an early goal when Leon Bailey launched a superb lobbed pass that cut open BVB’s back line. Moussa Diaby did well to bring the ball down and slot it between Roman Bürki’s legs.
Despite continuing to look lethargic as the match wore on, BVB managed to equalize when Julian Brandt received the ball at the top of the box and curled a shot just off the outstretched fingertips of Lukas Hradecky and into the net. Although Dortmund upped their intensity for the next five minutes, it quickly faded, and Leverkusen eventually took the lead once against off a clinical counterattack that saw nothing less than an ugly turnover from Thomas Meunier, a lost challenge by Manuel Akanji, a missed tackle by Mats Hummels, and Raphael Guerreiro completely voiding his defensive positioning, leaving Florian Wirtz completely free to run in on goal.
This is one of those days where the concept for these articles really collapses. To be perfectly honest, there weren’t any players who were good today, only those who weren’t quite as bad as others. Even Julian Brandt, the lone goalscorer, had an otherwise brutal night. Here are my picks for BVB’s man of the match:
The captain had another frustrating night. While he was un-clinical in front of goal, passing when he should have shot and ball watching on occasion, he still pressed high and created a few turnovers that eventually led to good scoring chances for Borussia Dortmund.
Even though his turnover helped lead to Bayer Leverkusen’s game winning goal, I thought he was probably BVB’s best player the rest of the evening. He made several key tackles including a crucial one that stripped Leon Bailey of the ball in a dangerous area.
The young English midfielder had another decent performance. While it wasn’t the masterclass that we saw in the first half against Mainz, Bellingham still managed to progress the ball a few times and beat Leverkusen midfielders with dribbles. As bad as BVB were today, things would have been much worse without Bellingham stemming the tide in midfield.
Yes, Bürki was nutmegged on Diaby’s goal and probably could have stopped Wirtz’s goal if he had reacted sooner, but let’s remember that 1) pretty much every BVB player was also terrible today and 2) he also made 11 saves, including a pair of point-blank saves on Moussa Diaby.
So without further ado, here’s your MOTM poll:
Who was your MOTM today?
This poll is closed