That was the palette cleanser we all needed after losing to Bayern at the weekend. Borussia Dortmund went into yesterday’s Champions League tie knowing that they needed to hold a 3-1 lead to progress to the quarter finals, and with the away goal advantage, this looked very doable. But this is BVB, and we know better than to rely on this team to do the normal things and make steady progress.
Sure enough, the early goings were pretty nervy. Sevilla came out aggressive and looking to get an early goal and mount a comeback. Dortmund struggled to get a foothold but they did a good job of soaking up the pressure without conceding too many clear chances. But BVB put the game further out of reach when Sevilla’s goalkeeper, Bono, played a lazy pass out of the back, and Nico Schulz, Thomas Delaney, and Marco Reus forced a turnover, for Dahoud to make a lovely pass to put Reus through, who cut it back for England Haaland to put BVB ahead on the night.
From that point on, the game descended into chaos. In the second half, Haaland scored a great individual goal that became a penalty, and then another penalty, which was eventually a goal. Sevilla were also leaning into their role as the villain, with some borderline tackles and some flared tempers. But they were also fighting for their place in the Champions League right to the very end, even managing to pull two back. But it wasn’t to be. Borussia Dortmund held on to make it to the quarter finals!
Here are our ratings from yesterday’s game:
Another nervy moment that didn’t end up hurting the team. Hitz’s six saves were important.
I actually thought this was Hitz’s best performance for Borussia Dortmund in a long time. He made several big saves, including one on a shot from Lucas Ocampos in the early part of the game that could have given Sevilla the momentum they needed.
I thought Can was poor last night. He made a number of mistakes, including giving the ball away early on to give Sevilla their first chance, and making a weird play to concede the penalty. That said, I’d put it down to fatigue and forget it ever happened.
I felt the ref was looking for an opportunity for a “make up” call and Emre Can made it too easy.
Morey has shown that he is surprisingly good defensively, has a bit of bite, and while he doesn’t stretch opponents like Hakimi did (well, he still does it, he hasn’t died...), he is a net positive contributor in possession.
He’s the starter now right? He’s not exactly a difference maker for BVB, but I think he’s earned the chance to work his way into the job this season.
Morey deserves a bit more credit than that. He did very well defensively yesterday, going shoulder-to-shoulder with the much larger Ocampos and preventing him from scoring.
Didn’t think it was Delaney’s best game, but he gets plenty of points for the grit he showed down the stretch.
Did you guys miss Delaney completely bodying Jules Koundé to set up Haaland’s first goal? I’ll agree he wasn’t amazing, but give the man some credit!
Dahoud did a little bit of everything yesterday, leading BVB’s stats in multiple categories (touches, progressive passes + carries, pressures, recoveries, blocks).
Dahoud’s pass to Reus in the build-up to the first goal was a thing of beauty.
Dahoud is undroppable at the moment. His vision, passing, tackles, blocks, and yes, even his long shots have added a different dimension to the squad that we haven’t seen since prime Ilkay Gundogan. He was all over the pitch again yesterday.
Bellingham was incredible. He was among the leaders in almost every metric from yesterday’s game, and on top of that he covered an incredible amount of ground and showed the kind of aggression and mean-spirit BVB sometimes lack in these games. He especially earned his rating in the last half hour of the game, going punch-for-punch with a very physical Sevilla side.
Marco Reus seemed hesitant to make these types of runs in behind earlier in the season. He now has 4 assists in the last 6 games.
Reus is becoming a bit of a weasel on the pitch, and I absolutely love it. He’s not afraid to get choppy with much larger opponents, and his relentless pressing has such a positive impact on the match.
Two 10’s?! I don’t care. Bother someone else with your noise. Haaland’s goals were obviously pivotal, he was excellent in possession, and his aggressive attitude was infectious.
Even if Haaland only scored a single penalty, I’d give him a 10 just for getting in Bono’s face. I’ve been waiting years for this team to develop even a shred of attitude
I enjoy this sort of performance more than a comprehensive victory. I love seeing a team dialed in and leaving absolutely everything on the pitch. We could quibble about the lackluster performance in the first half, or the dumb penalty and late scare that let Sevilla back in the game, but where is the fun in that?
I loved seeing this usually mild-mannered BVB team play like bastards. All credit to Terzic for making the call to stick with his starters for much of the game too. There were some tired legs, but everyone was locked in. In those circumstances you don’t want to mess with the rhythm too much.
Last night’s victory might have been the most I’ve enjoyed a game all season. I don’t mind that it was imperfect when they play with that kind of fire.
I have no trouble with Paul’s enthusiastic response to this important win. Maybe I’d be that enthusiastic if I could have had a beer while watching the game. We fought hard for this 2-2 draw, and ceded control at home against a good but not great Sevilla team. Edin Terzic is making pragmatic choices to get important victories. It didn’t quite work out against Bayern, but we got the result we needed yesterday in a thoroughly professional showing.
Sorry you hate fun, Steve. I agree with Paul that this game was a blast to watch. Even though BVB started off on the back foot, this was to be expected with Sevilla desperately needing an early goal. Dortmund showed a ton of fight and tenacity in the second half, and it will hopefully be a galvanizing win to reverse the loss in momentum the team experienced on Saturday.
Let us know if you agree or disagree with our ratings!