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Match Ratings: A Host of Satisfactory Performances Let Borussia Dortmund Walkaway with Three Points

Seventy-five minutes of delight followed by twenty minutes of dread.

Sean Keyser

It’s the Bundesliga b*tch, and it’s back this weekend in addition to notable Borussia Dortmund figures in the starting lineup. How did the boys do after the second international break of the season? Read on for our take on how the squad stacked up.

Starting XI

Gregor Kobel

Sarah: 4.5

Kobel’s message to the team and fans today is to “stay humble.” I mean, what else could explain his sloppy clearance which ultimately killed his chance at a clean sheet?

Sean: 5

Kobel looked good for the first 85 minutes, then had a gigantic “you f-ing donkey” moment and erased all the good will he had built up.

Mats Hummels

Sarah: 7

I’m sure I wasn’t the only wanting to cry out “a header from Hummels” but, alas it was not to be. Nonetheless, Hummels was solid and creative at the backline today.

Sean: 6

Manuel Akanji

Sarah: 7

I freaking love Akanji right now. Whatever he’s doing is working as his efforts directly contributed to minimal threats from the FSV Mainz offensive side.

Sean: 7

While his incredible sprint and last-minute tackle were ultimately rendered inconsequential by the VAR decision that awarded BVB a penalty, they were still emblematic of how much Akanji has developed into a stud center back.

Nico Schulz

Sarah: 5

Sean: 5

I miss Guerreiro.

Emre Can

Sarah: 6

My boy was back in the starting lineup today and I sure did miss his on-pitch passion! His fiery challenges coupled with conciseness reminded us of what we’ve been missing. He did start to tire, but that’s to be expected after being out of rotation.

Sean: 6

Can looked much better sitting in front of the back line than Axel Witsel, because he could actually cover a decent amount of ground.

Thomas Meunier

Sarah: 7.5

I am loving, loving, loving Meunier right now. I simply can’t say enough good things about him. Well deserved rating today.

Sean: 8

He was a deserved candidate for MOTM yesterday. He looked comfortable defensively with reduced offensive responsibilities, and his chemistry with Brandt was excellent.

Julian Brandt

Sarah: 7.5

Brandt is part of this trifecta I’m obsessed with at the moment (see Meunier gushing above and Marco Reus accolades below). I’ve personally followed Brandt since his time with Bayer Leverkusen so I’m pleased as punch to see him hitting a stride of sorts with this BVB side.

Sean: 6

I thought Brandt looked really bright at the start of the match and started to fade a little as the game went on.

Marco Reus

Sarah: 7.5

I used to always joke that this man’s bones are made of glass and I still don’t breathe quite right when he’s called up to Die Mannschaft, but man...everyone keeps talking about his fitness levels and how he’s playing pain-free and it is evident. I enjoy watching his precise, intelligent play, on display again today.

Sean: 7

His goal was extremely well-taken. He was pretty quiet otherwise on offense, but it’s hard to criticize him too much after such an incredible banger. He also led the team in pressures with 20.

Jude Bellingham

Sarah: 7.5

Bellingham was in tangle after tangle; he was unrelenting. His ability to switch between offensive and defensive play is so seamless. I was not surprised when all of his efforts paid off with a glorious assist to Erling Haaland’s second goal of the match.

Sean: 8

Jude created Haaland’s second goal through sheer force of will. I also loved him pumping up the crowd after winning a corner in the first half.

Donyell Malen

Sarah: 5

Sean: 6

He really should have had an assist when he played a clever through ball into Erling Haaland, but the Norwegian striker couldn’t finish the play.

Erling Haaland

Sarah: 8

Technically, Haaland did what’s expected of a striker today which might warrant an average rating. What elevated his game was his presence in the box. He was in Tim Tebow...I mean, Robin Zentner’s space, repeatedly putting himself in position. This setup the penalty perfectly and opened his score sheet! A brace is icing on the cake...welcome back Haaland.

Sean: 7.5

If I were an idiot in a Twitter reply section I’d call him a tap-in/penalty merchant for his performance but I’m not, and Haaland isn’t. He’s now tied with Robert Lewandowski in the chase for the Torjägerkanone.

Substitutions

Marin Pongračić

Sarah: 7

Pongračić officially set the bar for defensive substitution performances. He did exactly what was asked of him efficiently, effectively and (dare I say it) beautifully.

Sean: 7

Pongo hardly set a foot wrong in his substitute performance. BVB need to sign him permanently, ASAP.

Thorgan Hazard

Sarah: 5

Sean: 5

Marius Wolf

N/R

Axel Witsel

N/R

Reinier Jesus

N/R

Overall

Sarah: 7.5

I am quite satisfied with the squad as a whole. Excepting that Kobel blunder, everyone played effectively...even the quieter players (Malen!) didn’t detract from the team. I’m happy when I get to dish out higher ratings to both offensive and defensive players alike...again, excepting the Kobel blunder, our defense was above average today! This match was an excellent restart to the season.

Sean: 7

It would have been an eight or a nine if it hadn’t been for the goal that Kobel conceded, but this error just leaves a sour taste in my mouth. These are the types of mistakes you can’t make against better teams that are actually capable of punishing you for them.