Borussia Dortmund opened 2021 with a victory in a tough match against a solid Wolfsburg side. It was a pretty even affair, with both sides dominating for stretches of the game, but BVB were probably the better team over the full 90 minutes. Nice finishes from Manuel Akanji and Jadon Sancho gave Borussia all three points, putting them in 4th place, 8 points off top.
Here is how we rated the individual performances from the game:
Bürki made some great saves to keep his clean sheet.
Was vulnerable against Wolfsburg’s press and was offered little support in those situations, putting BVB’s backline under more pressure than necessary. Was not offensively incisive over the course of the match, and Wolfsburg attempted to take advantage of him on the counter.
He didn’t look like the player we’ve been used to seeing this season. Wolfsburg effectively marked him out of the game in the attack.
Saved a definite goal in the first half with a needed deflection. While less impressive than his backline partner on the day, Hummels came up big time and time again in situations to maintain BVB’s clean sheet.
Had a great goal-line clearance in the first half. He came up big when it mattered the most throughout the match, including late in the second half when Wolfsburg were sending everyone forward looking for the equalizer.
Akanji is man of the match for me. Other than scoring the winning goal, Akanji saved Dortmund countless times, on the defensive side of the ball, over the course of the match.
That big, beautiful Swiss man did it again. He was excellent in defense and of course had the set-piece goal that gave Dortmund the lead.
Solid, but had a mostly uneventful outing.
Didn’t really do much, which, in this case, is a good thing.
Delaney contributed little defensively over the course of the match. On the other side of the ball, he did even less. Would rather have had a more creative player like Dahoud or Brandt next to Witsel, especially to deal with Wolfsburg’s vigorous press in the first half.
Was very secure on the ball. Unable to create clear opportunities for his teammates.
He played better than in his recent outing against Union Berlin. It’s a step in the right direction for Witsel, who has played far below his standard this season.
Was a non-factor over the course of the match. It is more and more clear that Reyna should not be playing on the wing, and should instead be playing centrally. When on the wing, he tends to drift centrally anyway.
He was poor on Sunday. He’s not a winger, so I don’t understand why Terzic is playing him in that position. Hopefully when Hazard comes back he can play more centrally.
One of BVB’s best performers on the evening. Made some very good runs and had a fantastic opportunity in the first half.
Top notch performance from Reus. He was very deserving of a goal on the day, but unfortunately didn’t find the back of the net. Next time, Marco!
Looked frustrated and struggling with confidence at times, and mishit that sitter for a clear opportunity to put BVB ahead. It’s awesome for Sancho to finally score this season, and hopefully he’s able to maintain some momentum next weekend.
He finally broke through with his amazing run and score, but other than that he didn’t look great. The missed sitter was shocking. Hopefully that goal will be the spark to regain his confidence moving forward.
Did very well to put himself in goal scoring positions multiple times. Unable to put those chances away, but it made enough of a difference that he was actually playing yesterday.
He may not have scored, but he put himself in scoring positions, and that’s half of what you ask for as a coach. He also didn’t re-injure himself, which is a nice bonus for a team that always seems to be injury-riddled.
Another strong showing for the former BVB II center forward. Had one chance on net, almost resulting in a goal immediately after he came on for Erling Haaland.
I’m really liking what I’ve seen from Tigges since he was brought up. He nearly scored on his first touch of the ball yesterday. Keep playing him, please, even after Moukoko comes back from injury.