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Match Ratings: The Black and Neons Beat Werder Bremen to Stay in Top Four Race

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Remember those heady days when football was not crumbling before our eyes?

Borussia Dortmund v SV Werder Bremen - Bundesliga Photo by Friedemann Vogel - Pool/Getty Images

It is a little hard to believe that the Borussia Dortmund game was only yesterday. There’s been quite a lot of football news in the last 24 hours, but the rest of the football season is still going on, even if the sport is in the process of collapsing. Yesterday’s Werder Bremen game was of real importance to BVB, with a win taking them to within four points of the top four, so it was vital that Dortmund did not make a mess of things.

The game started exactly like they might make a total mess of things, with Milot Rashica putting Werder Bremen 1-0 up early in the game. However, BVB scored three in quick succession, going in at half time with a commanding 3-1 lead. The second half was a little less eventful, and while there were one or two frights, Dortmund finished the game off in the dying moments, when Mats Hummels scored BVB’s fourth from a Hazard corner.

Here are our ratings from yesterday’s game:

Starting XI

Marwin Hitz

Sarah: 5

While BVB won (and not just marginally), Hitz’s performance in goal provided unnecessary drama early in the match when Milot Rashica scored in the early stages of the match. I’m just hoping we manage to survive the rest of the season with minimal Hitz blunders.

Paul: 5

I thought Hitz could have done a little better on Bremen’s goal, but the game was all Dortmund after that point.

Sean: 5

Mats Hummels

Sarah: 7

A goal scoring Hummels is our favorite kind, I think. He did well marking Josh Sargent and did what defenders do...intercept and win duels.

Paul: 7

Sean: 7

Hummels is third on the team in goals scored. Let that sink in.

Manuel Akanji

Sarah: 6

Average performance from Akanji, but he gets a bonus point due to his attacking involvement which led to the penalty afforded to BVB.

Paul: 6

Sean: 6

Rapha Guerreiro

Sarah: 5

Our boy Rapha seemed almost a big sluggish at times...he didn’t have the same Rapha sparkle we know and love. He made a few too many cheap mistakes for someone of his caliber.

Paul: 5

Sean: 6

While he may not have been involved very much in the final third, he was more crucial in the buildup. He led the team with 16 progressive passes. Akanji was second on the team with only 6!

Mateu Morey

Sarah: 5.5

See above. Morey and Guerreiro seemed to have the same playing style during the match. But what’s subpar for the latter is slightly better for the former! Morey ekes out a bonus half point due to his assist in the 29th minute.

Paul: 5

Sean: 5

Mahmoud Dahoud

Sarah: 6

Jude Bellingham

Sarah: 7

Our boy is experiencing a hot streak of sorts with superb form and a large presence on the pitch. His high energy allowed him to cover substantial ground and press high. Here’s hoping we do see him grace the cover of FIFA 22.

Paul: 7

Sean: 8

Only a 7? What kind of Bellingham fan are you Paul? Jude was dynamite once again, imposing his presence all over the pitch with one crunching tackle after another. He led the team with 23 pressures and four tackles.

Julian Brandt

Sarah: 5

It was definitely a surprise to see Brandt in the starting 11. Too bad it was a typical performance complete with promising attacks and open spaces for Werder Bremen’s counters.

Paul: 6

Brandt has had a rough season but I thought he was okay yesterday, and may have earned more minutes in coming weeks.

Sean: 6

I agree with Paul that he was better than he’s been recently. That’s not really saying much, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Marco Reus

Sarah: 6.5

Paul: 7

Reus has become the facilitator for the young guns around him this season, and it’s lovely to see. He’s settled in to a less focal but equally important role in his seniority.

Sean: 7

Giovanni Reyna

Sarah: 8

What an unbelievably revitalizing performance from the lad! He kept Werder Bremen’s defenders on their toes, played with loads of confidence and that goal! What a stormer! This is the Reyna we want to see on a consistent basis. He absolutely deserves this rating and he was my MOTM.

Paul: 8

Sean: 7

For whatever reason, Gio Reyna always seems to take his game to the next level against Werder Bremen. Maybe he fell into the Weser River once as a kid, or maybe he was one of the burglars fooled by the Bremen Town Musicians. There’s no way to know, really.

Erling Haaland

Sarah: 6.5

Paul: 8

Two much needed goals to get Haaland back on track, and Dortmund back in the race for the possibly permanently broken Champions League.

Sean: 8

Substitutes

Emre Can

Sarah: 6.5

Fine, I’m being hyperbolic with this rating, but I don’t care! My obsession (Can) came on (unexpectedly) and helped the team make it to victory at the end. Sure...his Champions League performances were riddled with issues and he needed a rest, but he did just fine coming off the bench.

Paul: 6

Sean: 6

All Can needed to do to stop the bleeding of his recent string of miserable performances was not singlehandedly lose the game for Dortmund. So, success!

Thorgan Hazard

Sarah: 7

Talk about Super Sub! Hazard was only on the pitch for a mere 17 minutes, but look at what he accomplished! He created goal scoring chances and managed an assist to Hummels! When it comes to the performance of a substitute, his was chefs kiss.

Paul: 7

Sean: 7

Hazard briefly looked like the dangerous forward he was prior to his injury earlier this year. If BVB are to qualify for the Champions League down the stretch, they will desperately need Hazard to perform like he did yesterday.

Lukasz Piszczek

Sarah: 10

Don’t at me! We’re talking about a legend here who is nearing the end of his tenure as an active player. Everything he does is perfection.

Paul: 7

I thought Piszczek looked pretty solid when he came off the bench. You’d barely know he was an old man with no hips, no gametime, and no plans to return next season.

Sean: 8

Legend.

Steffen Tigges

N/A

Reinier

N/A

Overall

Sarah: 7.5

At the start of the match, we were all feeling electric knowing how important a positive outcome was. Maybe it was the limited time gimmick jersey the team was sporting...who knows? When Werder Bremen opened the scoring early on, we feared we were doomed for a repeat performance of previous outings. The boys managed to maintain level heads and great attitudes...solid performances abounded and it was refreshing to see BVB win when it counted.

Paul: 8

Sean: 8

I was ready to give up on the match after about twenty minutes, but luckily Borussia Dortmund were actually able to overcome a deficit and actually win in comfortable fashion! I didn’t have to hold my breath waiting for an 89th minute winner! Unfortunately, in the midst of the game, world football as we know it was in the process of imploding. Oh well, the good comes with the bad.