Having struggled in recent weeks, Borussia Dortmund finally broke out of their funk in a strong display against Sevilla FC. Going into yesterday’s game, few were feeling optimistic about BVB’s chances, but much to our surprise, Dortmund were brilliant, even holding their nerve despite conceding early on. Some brilliant finishing from Mahmoud Dahoud and Erling Haaland gave BVB a 3-1 lead at half-time, and while it was disappointing to concede late on, leaving Andalusia with a 3-2 victory is an excellent position to be in. Hopefully we see more of the same in the second leg.
Here are our ratings from yesterday’s game:
I don’t think Hitz was responsible for either of Sevilla’s goals. The first was terrible luck, and while I understand the view that he should have done better with the second, I disagree.
The bounce of the ball puts it in one of the goalkeeper “black hole” areas (a term taken from Matt Pyzdrowski in this article). The above screenshot is slightly before it reaches Hitz, and the trajectory of the ball takes it slightly higher and closer to his leg. It ends up slightly above the range where his foot could kick out and get something on it (perhaps he was a little flat-footed, and this limited his range too), and just out of reach for his right hand (though he gets his fingertips to it). It looks like the kind of shot that should be saved, but I think it was a lot harder than people realize.
Sean M: 5
The guy doesn't exude confidence at the moment. He was shaking so much it looked like his skeleton was going to wiggle its way out of his skin near the end of the game. I think a keeper with a moderate level of confidence stops Luuk de Jong's goal. That slipup could prove costly in the return leg.
Sean M: 5
The days of Mats Hummels venturing forward need to be over. He lost the ball far too often when advancing the ball and his lack of pace once again almost cost BVB. If it weren't for a lucky bounce off of the post his stupid foul would have put Sevilla back in the match much earlier, and we would be talking about a draw instead of a big road win.
Sean M: 7
He did a great job covering for Hummels today. When he did move forward he drew smart fouls or moved the ball along in an intelligent way. I thought he did a nice job snuffing out Sevilla’s attempts to break on the counter.
Meunier’s recent injury might be the best possible thing to happen to him, as far as changing perceptions of him among BVB fans. A short stretch without Meunier has shown that he is clearly the best option at right back. Morey is young, so it’s possible he grows into a more dependable option, but right now he isn’t up to the standard.
Sean M: 4
This dude is a liability all over the pitch. He leaves his feet far too often and spends too much time bellyaching on the ground for my liking, especially when he should be getting back on defense.
Sean M: 7
A solid all-around performance from Guerreiro today. He linked up well with Sancho in the attacking third without neglecting his defensive duties. We all know he is a dynamic attacking threat but, if he is going to play in a back four he needs to put in the effort on the backend. Today he did that and the team's defensive performance showed.
Sean M: 7
This was a trademark Emre Can performance. I love his desire and lack of fear when it comes to going into challenges. Yes, that comes with a fair share of yellow cards, which he was teetering on all night, but successful teams have strong midfielders who aren’t afraid of a challenge. Let’s hope the knock he took to his knee at the end of the match isn’t too serious.
If the 4-3-3 is here to stay, Bellingham may be the player that benefits the most. Playing in a midfield three, with a DM in behind him acting as cover, allows him a little more freedom to seek and destroy when BVB don’t have the ball, and find space and wreak havoc when they do. I thought he did both very well yesterday.
Sean M: 7
The situational awareness he has at his age continues to amaze me. If it wasn’t for the announcers constantly mentioning his age I would forget that he was still only 17. He linked up play well and helped Reus cover up Morey’s mistakes. All in all a solid match.
This is almost certainly giving Dahoud more credit than he really deserves, but I don’t care. Our beautiful baby boy got some playing time and scored a worldy in the first 20 minutes! He was quality throughout the game, and surely deserves to start against Schalke.
Sean M: 9
Put some respect on his name! A lot of attention will be given to his goal today but that wasn’t even close to his best moment on the pitch. His tenacious defensive effort gave Sevilla fits the entire match, while his intelligent passing decisions routinely unlocked the defense. If he is not consistently in the starting line-up the rest of the season we need to riot. IMO he was the Man of the Match.
Sean M: 7
A solid composed shift from the captain today. His pressing caused the turnover that led to Haaland’s second goal. While his assist on that goal will be what makes the highlight reels, his biggest contribution was on the defensive end. He made some important clearances and his leadership while playing on the right side helped cover for Morey’s mistakes.
Sean M: 8
Jadon went through what many believe to be one of the better defenses in Europe like a hot knife through butter. This caused Sevilla to commit an extra defender to him, allowing his teammates to make free runs toward the goal. His ability to draw attention alone makes his teammates’ jobs easier. He also did well as a safety valve for the backline. Each time they were under pressure and sent him a 50/50 ball he was able to control it and retain possession.
Some brilliant finishing, accompanied by some really effective holdup play too. Haaland was playing with the kind of swagger that helps lift the whole team. If it wasn’t for the existence of the World’s Greatest Player Mahmoud Dahoud, he would have been a worthy man of the match.
Sean M: 9
It looks like Erling is officially out of his “slump.” Today he went back to driving at the defense and shooting with confidence. When he strikes the ball with authority, it is almost impossible for it to not end up in the back of the net. If his link-up play with Reus was a little cleaner he might have added a second assist to his tally but, in the end, that is just me nitpicking at what was an outstanding game on his part.
The late Sevilla goal threatened to put a dampener on yesterday’s game, but they managed to see the game out and claim an important victory. A 3-2 victory over a very good Sevilla side, in their backyard, is nothing to be sniffed at, and hopefully it will give BVB the boost they need to get their season back on track.
Sean M: 8
I would have liked to have finished with a two goal lead going into the second leg but a win is a win, especially after another rough start. I was happy to see the team pick themselves up after a bit of adversity and take control of the match. I think this is the best midfield combination at the moment. Dahoud, Can, and Bellingham offer the right mixture of creativity and grit. Hopefully, we see more of Mo and less of Brandt in the future.
Do you agree with our ratings? Leave your thoughts below.