Dortmund returned to action after the international break with a performance against VfL Stuttgart that was just good enough to get three points.
After a first half that saw the away team spend a majority of its time bunkering in front of their net, Donyell Malen scored his first Bundesliga goal to get the scoring started. Shortly after, Stuttgart came out of their shell and began to push forward for an equalizer. Fortunately for them, a comedy of errors from Manuel Akanji, Raphael Guerreiro, and Mats Hummels allowed for Roberto Massimo to slide the ball past Gregor Kobel to tie up the game at 1-1. However, BVB still had plenty of time to retake the lead, and in the 85th minute, Marco Reus and Thorgan Hazard linked up on a counter-attack which resulted in the captain slotting home the winner. The match ended 2-1 in favor of the black and yellows.
Kobel’s save against Tanguy Coulibaly was just world-class. He was a match-winner today, and that’s exactly what BVB were looking for when they signed him.
It was an okay return for Guerreiro this weekend. He had a literal slip that helped lead to Stuttgart’s lone goal, but it was fantastic to have him back in the attack.
I think a 5.5 is way too harsh a rating for Guerreiro. He assisted Donyell Malen’s goal, and the slip on Stuttgart’s goal isn’t even the second most disastrous part of that sequence. Overall, it was nice to have a defender who can actually progress the ball back at left back.
Got absolutely embarrassed by Massimo.
If not for his turnover that led to Roberto Massimo’s goal, Akanji would’ve been up there for man of the match. His tackling and defensive awareness were excellent today.
In addition to what Nick said, Akanji struck the post on what would’ve been an absolute banger of a game winning goal.
Witsel missed a few chances to catch Stuttgart on the counter yesterday, but he had an excellent performance other than that.
Witsel should have been there to cover the vacant space left by Akanji, but he had a few other defensive plays that I thought were better.
Brandt continued his pattern of either being the best or worst player on the pitch. Unfortunately, he was the latter against Stuttgart. Several crucial passes from him were off target.
I didn’t think Brandt was that bad. He served a ball on a platter for Donyell Malen that he headed wide
Toto was all over the place, his slick fake-and-shoot move helping to set up the game winning goal. He’s valuable part of BVB’s attack, so of fucking course he tested positive for COVID two days after the game.
My man of the match, Reus was the most consistent contributor on offense. He had a few dangerous looking free kicks, and of course, the game winning goal.
Was his goal today lucky? A bit, but as Marco Rose said after the game, Malen was incredibly “active against and with the ball” on Saturday. He also never let his head drop despite a few missed opportunities. Hopefully, this is a good sign for things to come.
Malen’s best performance by far. In addition to his goal he created two other big opportunities, and was active off the ball.
Emre Can’s versatility is just astounding. Having him back in the side is so valuable.
This was far from a perfect performance, but in the end, Dortmund did enough to get over the line. Against the likes of Wolfsburg and Bayern, our creative players will have to be a lot more precise in dangerous areas, but obviously, those teams won’t be playing with 10 men behind the ball at all times. Regardless, they will need to show my re quality going forward, especially with Erling Haaland still out for another month.
A win is a win is a win is a win. With the amount of injuries that are afflicting BVB, any effort that amounts to three points is one I’m happy with.