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Match Ratings: Dortmund Drop Points to VfL Bochum with a 1-1 Draw

In a game that practically no one saw, Dortmund failed to make the proper impact.

VfL Bochum - Borussia Dortmund Photo by Fabian Strauch/picture alliance via Getty Images

Dortmund faced off against their close neighbors VfL Bochum, and ESPN ensured that no one would get to know much more than that. In a game that was overshadowed (at least for us fans) by an inability to view it, Dortmund were undone by a silly error from Gregor Kobel and a stalwart Bochum defense. Bochum’s in form goalkeeper Manuel Reimann made a tremendous save to deny Jude Bellingham and beyond that Dortmund struggled to test Reimann’s goal due to a disjointed attack. From then on, I could not tell you what happened. Felix Zwayer may have come on the field with a baseball bat and started clocking knee caps. Marco Rose may have tumbled out of the stands in rage and fallen on the fourth official. Maybe Mats Hummels even made a season speed record sprint of 37 km/h!

I will rate our players to the best of my ability based on the first half, and what I can find online about their performances in the second half.

Starting XI

Gregor Kobel

Zac: 3

Kobel has been one of BVB’s most consistent performers this season, so if he is going to have an off game, he is going to have to take a major rating hit. It was his poor timing and decision making which cost Dortmund their only concession of the game.

Nico Schulz

Zac: 5.5

Not as strong as his midweek performance, but in the first half Schulz was nothing if not solid. He made a few successful runs toward the touchline but his delivery was not good enough to fashion a goal. He held his flank down well, but was nearly sent off at the end of the game for a sloppy challenge that should have been a second yellow.

Dan-Axel Zagadou

Zac: 6

Zagadou looked relatively assured in his second start. His towering frame has certainly been missed, but his rust is still showing. He will need some sustained time on the pitch to really resume his development.

Mats Hummels

Zac: 6

You tell me, no idea what he did. I believe he had a header go wide on a corner.

Mahoud Dahoud

Zac: 6

Certainly was on the field. He was replaced by Thorgan Hazard too, saw that on Google. Swung in some decent corners.

Emre Can

Zac: 5, I guess.

We did lose after all.

Jude Bellingham

Zac: 6.5

His effort on goal was BVB’s best chance on goal in the first half, and maybe the second half too.

Marco Reus

Zac: 6

Would have like to see him pull the trigger and try for goal a few more times in the first half. Reus also looks to give, but he needs to remember he is very good at taking too!

Marius Wolf

Zac: 10

Never, EVER, disallow a Wolf goal. Someone is gonna pay. Stay strong, King. 10 for trying.

Erling Haaland

Zac: 4

Needed goals from him and he did not take his chances. Like Kobel, when you are typically playing at a 8.5-9, an average performance has to be punished.


Julian Brandt

Zac: 7

From hospital bed to hero. Dare I say Julian Brandt is finally, officially back?

Thorgan Hazard

Zac: N/A

Do not know if he did anything, but glad he has recovered from his COVID case.


Zac: BVB - 3, Bundesliga - 0

This game was a disaster for Dortmund, plainly put. BVB came into December with a relatively easy string of post-Bayern fixtures to play and no room to drop points. They are now one point from six between this game and Der Klassiker. That is simply not good enough for the black and yellows.

I cite the Bundesliga because I have to gripe about that coverage. The league chose to give their exclusive broadcasting rights in the US (and I believe, Latin America) to ESPN, a subsidiary of Disney and one of the largest sports networks in the world. In the time that I have PAID for ESPN+, all I have seen is that they do not take the Bundesliga seriously or their obligation to provide coverage of it. If this happened once a season, I would be annoyed but nothing more. It is the fact that ESPN consistently drops coverage of Bundesliga games across the board multiple times in a season and seemingly makes no effort to fix their coverage. I am certain that if we were discussing the coverage of a collegiate bowl game or a UFC fight, they would be moving mountains to restore coverage. The Bundesliga has been working for the last decade to bring German football into the homes of American fans on the back of Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams, and Gio Reyna. Now that there is some real momentum, they need a provider who can keep a camera turned on for 90 minutes.