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Match Ratings: BVB Finish a Not Stylish Champions League Campaign in Style

BVB got some preparations in for their Europa League campaign by battering Besiktas 5-0

Borussia Dortmund vs Besiktas - UEFA Champions League Photo by Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund put a poor Champions League campaign behind them last night, finishing the group stages with an emphatic 5-0 win over a poor Besiktas side. Donyell Malen opened the scoring for BVB, before Mahmoud Dahoud earned Dortmund a penalty (and Welinton a ludicrous red card) for Marco Reus to convert the first of his two goals on the night. Reus got his second in the second half, slotting home after a lovely mazy run, before Erling Haaland came off the bench to really grind Besiktas into a paste, scoring two goals in half an hour.

BVB will now head into the Europa League as favorites to lift the trophy, and you have to think that that is a realistic goal for the club. If they can stay healthy and not do anything stupid (two caveats that don’t fill me with confidence...), then they should have a real shot at walking away as winners of the Europa League this season.

Here’s our ratings from last night’s very, very important and meaningful game:

Starting XI

Gregor Kobel

Paul: 5

I mean, he didn’t really have to do anything at all. So it’s hard to give him any rating at all.

Sean: 10

Sure, he just stood there and did nothing, but he did it so... commandingly.

Nico Schulz

Paul: 8

Plenty has been said about Schulz’s performances for BVB over the last couple seasons, but he was tremendous yesterday. I think he has made some relatively gradual progress under Marco Rose, and this was another positive step, but the reality is that Besiktas weren’t exactly the toughest opponent either.

Sean: 10

The commentator said that BVB fans owe Schulz an apology for all our criticisms of Schulz after all of his bad performances. Well, here you go. Schulz had a decent performance against a team that got 0 points in the group stage. Move over, Guerreiro! There’s a new left back in town.

Mats Hummels

Paul: 7

Sean: 10

Getting a clean sheet with BVB is basically an achievement akin to climbing Mount Everest. He also didn’t make a pass directly into the opponent gifting them a goal, which is a tremendous improvement over his performance on Saturday.

Dan-Axel Zagadou

Paul: 8

Sean: 10

Zagadou finished his shift without needing knee surgery, which is a massive W in my book.

Thomas Meunier

Paul: 6

Sean: 10

I can’t even tell you one thing he did yesterday. Isn’t that what they always say defenders are supposed to do?

Axel Witsel

Paul: 6

Sean: 10

He might be on the wrong side of his age curve, but his hair is still in the prime of its career.

Mahmoud Dahoud

Paul: 8

Dahoud had everything working through him last night. He was pulling the strings and the Besiktas midfield couldn’t get close to him. He contributed two assists, as well as winning the penalty for Reus’s first goal and the atrocious red card for Besiktas defender, Welinton.

Sean: 10

Just giving him a 10 so the very weird Mahmoud Dahoud fan in the comments (you know who you are) doesn’t get mad.

Jude Bellingham

Paul: 7

Bellingham is apparently the youngest Englishman to contribute three assists in a Champions League campaign since Jack Wilshere. I learned this from the BT Sport/Paramount+ commentator, but I think he only brought it up so he could make fun of Wilshere.

Sean: 10

Didn’t get himself fined a week’s wages.

Marius Wolf

Paul: 6

Sean: 10

As always, Wolf was an absolute badass whenever he was within 10 feet of the corner flags.

Marco Reus

Paul: 9

Reus and Dahoud were the thrust of BVB’s offense last night. Both were in great form, though a 10-man Besiktas was totally incapable of stopping them. Reus got two goals; one from the penalty spot and one a lovely run and interplay with Dahoud. He only needed an hour to do the damage. Lovely stuff.

Sean: 10

I’ll have to abandon the bit on this one, because Reus actually did legitimately deserve a 10.

Donyell Malen

Paul: 7

Malen opened the scoring last night, but he wasn’t at his best otherwise. It’s still good to see him keep scoring.

Sean: 10

He scored a goal, what more do you want, Paul? For him to solve world hunger?

Substitutes

Reinier

Paul: 7

Sean: 10

The fact that he managed to contribute nothing, even against lowly Besiktas, might be the most impressive thing he’s done with BVB.

Felix Passlack

Paul: 6

Sean: 10

A 10 just because his presence on the pitch warms my heart.

Erling Haaland

Paul: 9

Haaland definitely should have had a hattrick last night, which is absurd, given that he was only on the pitch for half an hour.

Sean: 10

Bringing on Haaland while leading 3-0 is like activating a killstreak reward in call of duty when you’re already mopping the floor.

Rapha Guerreiro

N/A

Sean: 10

His 17 minutes on the pitch were the 17 most thrilling minutes of my life.

Marin Pongracic

N/A

Sean: 10

N/A? He completed 13 whole passes, what more do you want from him, Paul?

Overall

Paul: 8

Giving out an 8 for a 5-0 win in which BVB only conceded a single shot seems a little bit mean-spirited, but they were playing an already poor Besiktas side that were then shafted by a dodgy red card. They did everything right, but they outclassed a much weaker team that was one man short and the game didn’t matter. Sorry, I’m a misery.

Sean: 10

That win was so exhilarating, I don’t even care that we’re out of the Champions League. Squabble over your tinpot trophy, peasants. After this beatdown, nobody will question who the real champions of Europe are.