Borussia Dortmund fans tuned into today’s match with trepidation. Some reported feelings of anxious nausea mixed with dread and a dash of hopeful optimism. Which version of their beloved BVB would show up today against 12th place FC Augsburg...a team with nothing to lose? BVB fans didn’t have to wait long to find out. When Augsburg midfielder Andre Hahn returned to training following his recovery from COVID-19, his son burst into tears. So too did BVB fans, when he scored against Dortmund in the 10th minute.
An early goal can completely destroy a team and that has certainly happened to BVB on plenty of occasions. Today, however, the boys kept their fighting spirit alive. While they started slow, their play developed and really the entire side put forth a solid effort. Most of the 11 men displayed creative and effective play that put them up for a possible Man of the Match (MOTM) nomination. Others never stood a chance (I’m looking at you Manuel Akanji!).
Before we get to the nominations, one person on the pitch deserves an honorable mention. While referees typically draw the ire of fans, the head referee Patrick Ittrich spotted the handball and went to VAR without any dramatics from BVB calling for it. He kept play moving while keeping it clean. Not many players contested his decisions.
Without further ado, today’s MOTM nominees are:
BVB’s own garçon had a shot on target at the 17th minute that wasn’t too far off and a nice delivery from the corner to Erling Haaland early on. As per usual, he had a foot in most plays on the pitch and provided yet another consistent day at the office for BVB. He delivered a stunning lobbed pass to Jadon Sancho that resulted in a lovely goal in the 63rd minute.
His confidence on the ball is soaring. In the early stages of the match he certainly seemed like a contender for Most Improved, but as the clock kept ticking it became clear he is worthy of a MOTM nom. Balls delivered by his set pieces went right in the box, one leading to a header from Thomas Delaney (though it wasn’t a goal). His bright and scrappy play in the first half and his matchups with Daniel Caligiuri were something to watch. His footwork is a sight to see...when it works, it works even though he is guilty of trying to nutmeg too many times. His game skyrocketed after his goal in the 63rd minute which gave BVB the lead and turned things around for the team. His performance in today’s match is arguably his best all season and, according to Patrick Owomoyela “completes his comeback” and is his choice for MOTM.
The American Dream started causing trouble early on with great game play in the 9th minute. A pass to Guerreiro sent the ball to Haaland for a chance. He’s hungry. He wants to create play. He took the shot which resulted in the handball related penalty. While his presence in the box possibly contributed to Hahn’s goal, Reyna made up for that by remaining active and present on the pitch.
Mr. Delaney’s early header was a good chance and his tackles and fight were a main ingredient that delivered a win for BVB. He was in perfect position to equalize with a header during the 26th minute. He brings a different vibe to the pitch and had Haaland made the penalty, would that delicious goal from Delaney have happened? #butterflyeffect He played great defense with a vital block of Caligiuri in the 71st minute and Owomoyela observes that Delaney is serious competitor with Sancho for MOTM.
Alright, alright, we’re all in a state of euphoria after this win, but take a moment to select your MOTM!
Cast your vote for MOTM!
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