When you’re facing a strong defensive team like Christian Streich’s SC Freiburg, you can’t afford to give away cheap goals, and you need to be clinical and efficient on attack. Unfortunately, Borussia Dortmund failed in both regards today. Goalkeeper Marwin Hitz conceded on two long shots, including one he absolutely should have saved from Jonathan Schmid, allowing Freiburg to take a 2-0 lead right at the start of the second half. While BVB eventually clawed back with a goal by Youssoufa Moukoko, it ultimately wasn’t enough. The final whistle blew with Freiburg in the lead, enough for their first victory against BVB in the Bundesliga in almost 11 years.
Although the defeat was frustrating and has put BVB further behind in the race for a Champions League spot, it’s important not to react with blind fury, but to instead try to isolate what went well and what went wrong. I’m sure Paul will have more to say on this in his observations, but this result could have been avoided if it weren’t for some poor goalkeeping, sloppy turnovers, and some bad luck. BVB struck the post twice today: if Moukoko and Can had both scored on their respective shots, we likely wouldn’t be talking about the game in the same manner.
Here are four players I’d nominate for Man of the Match:
As usual, Edin Terzic only subbed Moukoko on once he was desperate and needed a game changer. Moukoko came on in the 60th minute and was instantly BVB’s most dangerous attacker. He quickly struck the post on a shot from the top of the box, and eventually scored off an assist from Erling Haaland.
Dahoud also arrived off the bench in the 60th minute, and he added a bit more fluidity in midfield for BVB. Julian Brandt and Thomas Delaney both had difficulty progressing the ball in the first half, and the midfield pairing of Dahoud and Jude Bellingham was much better. While I thought Jude struggled a bit and was bullied off the ball a few times, Dahoud looked much more dangerous. I’d like to see him get more time in the coming weeks.
With no other quality right back available, Emre Can was shoehorned in at right back. Frequently he would turn into a quasi-right center back as Guerreiro would push forward in possession. He wasn’t necessarily amazing, but he was serviceable, which is honestly more than you can say for either Mateu Morey or Felix Passlack. I’d still like to see Thorgan Hazard as a wing back once he is healthy, or for Thomas Meunier to return at right back once he is healthy, but until then Can may be our best option. He also struck the post on a long shot, which is more of an offensive contribution than most other players had today.
Erling Haaland? I guess?
Three players in, and I’m having trouble thinking of another candidate. Haaland didn’t get on the score sheet but he did have a decent chance in the opening minutes off a cross from Gio Reyna. He also formed the nice combination that assisted Moukoko’s goal.
Cast your vote for MOTM!
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