For the first time in a 12 matches, Borussia Dortmund suffered a defeat against Borussia Monchengladbach. It was a 4-2 decision against Dortmund as their defense failed them against a very feisty Monchengladbach, who nearly took a 1-0 lead in the first minute as Florian Neuhaus forced a turnover by Jude Bellingham and fired past Roman Burki. Fortunately for Dortmund, the goal was called back thanks to VAR after Neuhaus was judged to have fouled Bellingham.
Gladbach would only have to wait 10 minutes, however, as Nico Elvedi headed in a free kick from Jonas Hoffman for the opener. There were some shouts for offside on Elvedi, but VAR determined that he was just onside thanks to the outstretched arm of Mats Hummels. VAR taketh, VAR giveth away I suppose.
Dortmund roared back thanks to the silky-smooth play of Jadon Sancho and the lethal finishing of Erling Haaland. Sancho’s first assist, where it looked like he would pick out Raphael Guerreiro, was a perfectly-taken pass that allowed Haaland to finish from an impossible angle over Yann Sommer. On Dortmund’s second goal, Sancho’s footwork and ball control were simply unreal, and his vision to find an unmarked Haaland was vintage Sancho.
It’s too bad the defending let us down today, because it could have been a great showing from the attack if the defense was at least average. Following a foul near the top of Dortmund’s box, Oscar Weldt fired a free kick low and through the wall that Burki managed to save. Unfortunately, he decided to parry the ball and it bounced straight to Elvedi and he finished for his second goal.
The second half was all Monchengladbach as they were able to make excellent use of possession and capitalize on Dortmund’s mistakes… and were there mistakes! Gladbach took the lead in the 49th minute when Hoffman drew Mateu Morey and Brandt, leaving Ramy Bensebaini wide open on the left flank. Brandt made a valiant effort to track back to defend him, but Bensebaini simply skated by Brandt and unleashed a fantastic goal through the crowded defense and into the back of the net.
Gladbach put the dagger to Dortmund in the 78th minute off another #sadpiece when Neuhaus lofted a corner kick into the center of the box and Marcus Thuram – who had been subbed on maybe 13 minutes earlier – was unmarked and headed the goal into the top corner for the fourth and final goal.
Honestly, there wasn’t much to choose from over a below average collective performance. The defending was absolutely shambolic today, and Burki didn’t do much to cover himself in glory. Still there were some decent to great performances by Dortmund’s non-defenders. Here are my picks for Dortmund’s Man of the Match:
I thought Sancho put on a fine performance in the first half. His ball handling was spot on, especially on his second assist to Erling Haaland. In fact, both of his assists were simply outstanding examples of vision and passing touch, and he was unlucky to find the back of the net himself.
When you score two goals – two fantastic goals – six minutes apart, you deserve a shout for MOTM. His finishing was absolutely on point today, and he was always a threat to score or do something with the ball throughout the match.
Brandt played well tonight and was unlucky to get on the scoresheet. He did get fooled on Bensebaini’s goal, leaving his feet as he bought the Gladbach player’s fake cross, so it wasn’t all sunshine for Brandt, but he made up for that at the end to deny Breel Embolo a goal-scoring opportunity in a stoppage time counterattack.
The youngster got lucky in the first minute when his giveaway that led to a Gladbach goal was (correctly) taken away thanks to a foul. Made the breakup that directly led to Dortmund’s second goal, and even had a good display of footwork in tight spaces. It was a solid display from Bellingham today.
Vote below for your Man of the Match from today’s match against Borussia Monchengladbach:
Who was your MOTM today?
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