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Match Ratings: Erling Haaland and Julian Brandt Help BVB Scrape by Greuther Fürth

Genuine question: Should we call him Ronyell or Donaldo from now on? It’s all I can think about at the moment.

Borussia Dortmund v SpVgg Greuther Fürth - Bundesliga Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund won 3-0 on Wednesday despite a relatively unimpressive performance against a Greuther Fürth side that has only managed 4 points through 16 games in the Bundesliga. Despite their record, Fürth managed to present a real challenge to BVB for the majority of the match yesterday. The green and whites employed an intense press that led to several turnovers in key scoring areas, but Stefan Leitl's side ultimately lacked the quality to finish their chances against a Dortmund side that really should've been punished for all of their defensive miscues.

Fortunately, for Marco Rose's side, Erling Haaland was in fine form on the other side of the ball. The Norwegian drew and converted a penalty in the 33rd minute to make it 1-0, and after an agonizing 49 minutes of football, he headed home a cross from Julian Brandt in the 82nd minute to put the game to bed. After an impressive bit of dribbling, Donyell Malen added another in the 89th minute to make the score 3-0 and send Dortmund fans home happy. Ultimately, the scoreline isn't a fair representation of what a messy game this was from a BVB perspective, but it's safe to say that Dortmund still deserved the three points yesterday.

Starting XI

Gregor Kobel

Nick: 6

Sean: 5

Kobel didn’t have to do much.

Nico Schulz

Nick: 4.5

Schulz is either terrified of heading the ball or just incredibly bad at it. Every time he tries to, it finds an opponent in stride. I know it's almost cliche to hate on Schulz for turning the ball over, but man, it was incredibly frustrating to watch yesterday.

Sean: 4

Schulz in possession is such a downgrade from Guerreiro it’s almost comical.

Dan-Axel Zagadou

Nick: 6

Zagadou had a solid performance on Wednesday. His long-range passing was slightly off, but other than that, he did well enough.

Sean: 6

Despite looking very shaky at times, the actual results of Zagadou’s passing seemed to be mostly effective.

Mats Hummels

Nick: 8

Hummels cleaned up a lot of messes towards the end of the first half and at the beginning of the second. Besides one clumsy tackle, which he got a yellow card for, his tackling was nearly perfect.

Sean: 7

Concur with Nick.

Thomas Meunier

Nick: 6

Meunier had some awkward turnovers yesterday, but his linkup play with Brandt and Reus was special at times.

Sean: 7

I think Meunier was the most consistent player on the back line.

Axel Witsel

Nick: 6

Sean: 5

I thought Witsel really struggled breaking down Furth’s rigid defending. He completed a lot of passes, but most of them were backwards or lateral.

Jude Bellingham

Nick: 5.5

Jude wasn't up to his best today. He had a wild turnover in our own final third in the first half, and his yellow card for descent means he won't be able to play against Hertha this weekend.

Sean: 4.5

Jude might be getting a little frustrated with how things have gone over the past few weeks. He needed to be subbed off at the half, because his positioning was very disjointed and he had a few careless turnovers.

Marco Reus

Nick: 7

Sean: 6

He looked dangerous, but his finishing wasn’t the best.

Thorgan Hazard

Nick: 6.5

Thorgan was so unlucky to have had his goal ruled out for offside. His run was so close to being perfectly timed.

Sean: 6

Julian Brandt

Nick: 8.5

Brandt was my man of the match today. He's been a creative force for Dortmund over the past month or so, and today, he was excellent.

Sean: 8

Easy MOTM. His incisive passing, dribbling, crossing, and vision were all excellent. It was everything BVB initially hoped for when the club signed him.

Erling Haaland

Nick: 8

It was a typical Haaland performance. He's amazing. Not much more to be said.

Sean: 7

I thought Haaland was actually pretty quiet outside of his two goals. That reads like a ridiculous statement, but it just shows how high our expectations have gotten for him.

Substitutes

Mahmoud Dahoud

Nick: 6.5

Dahoud had some really nice passes today that didn't turn into goals for one reason or another. I felt he was a bit unlucky.

Sean: 6

Donyell Malen

Nick: 7

Donyell Malen looked more confident on the ball in this match than he has been in the past. The hair was clearly holding him back.

Sean: 7

His goal was gorgeous. The only reason his rating isn’t higher is because he didn’t see a lot of time on the pitch.

Emre Can

Nick: 6

Sean: 6

Steffen Tigges

N/A

Reinier Jesus

N/A (Had no idea he got subbed on, but apparently it happened)

Overall

Nick: 6

It wasn't pretty, but this is clearly a Dortmund side in dire need of the winter break, so I think this performance is acceptable given the circumstances. Also, whether it was deserved or not, we got a clean sheet out of this match, so that should definitely be celebrated.

Sean: 5

Whatever. I’ll take the three points, and a 3-0 scoreline shouldn’t be anything to complain about, but I was not happy with how the club looked in the first half.