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Match Ratings: Borussia Dortmund Finish the Job Against Mainz

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Winning a sixth league game in a row to secure Champions League qualification.

1. FSV Mainz 05 v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga Photo by Sascha Steinbach - Pool/Getty Images

As the game started, nervous jokes were flying about hungover Borussia Dortmund players still recovering from a late night of celebrations in Berlin. On the other side of the field stood a Mainz team that had just avoided relegation and may have had their own rowdy celebrations Saturday night. Dortmund’s team has failed to show up more than once in late season matches against teams with nothing to play for, but not this time. This time, our boys were the mentality monsters, who came out fighting from the opening whistle and quickly proved that Mainz could not match their quality or their desire.

Starting XI

Roman Burki

Steve: 7

Nothing but respect for the job Burki did this week. I really wanted him to get his first ever Bundesliga penalty save for Dortmund and keep the clean sheet, but it just wasn’t in the script.

Mike: 7

It was nice to see another good performance from him. Let’s not forget the guy lost his job while injured and the club has been linked with every keeper under the sun while simultaneously extending Hitz. He knows he is out the door and yet has come up big for two and half matches now.

Thomas Meunier

Steve: 7

BVB fans were understandably nervous about Meunier coming in for Piszczek, but he was solid throughout.

Mike: 7

Manuel Akanji

Steve: 7

Mike: 7

I don’t feel like enough people are talking about how good Akanji is. His ball progression is great, his positioning is spot on now, his pace saves us against counter-attacks constantly, and his decision making is really good now. Akanji displayed all those traits again today and I think he is on the cusp of being one of Europe’s premier center backs.

Mats Hummels

Steve: 7.5

Hummels and Akanji have formed a fantastic partnership over the last two months. They’ve shown they can sit deep and launch counter-attacks, as they did against Leipzig, or they can push forward and control the game, as they did in this game.

Mike: 7

1. FSV Mainz 05 v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga Photo by Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images

Raphael Guerreiro

Steve: 8.5

How good would Guerreiro be as a full-time creative midfielder? Is he brilliant “for a fullback” slipping into midfield unmarked, or would he be able to have an even greater influence if freed from his sometimes neglected defensive obligations?

Mike: 8

Rapha continues to be such an important player in the build-up, and his link with Sancho is excellent. I am glad he got that goal, and what a goal it was.

Mo Dahoud

Steve: 6.5

Dahoud is a risk-taker, and I’m still not thrilled about playing him as the most defensive midfielder. He lost the ball in dangerous situations a few times.

Mike: 6

Jude Bellingham

Steve: 7

Mike: 7

Once again proving age is just a number, Jude was terrific in his box-to-box role, but he will be kicking himself for not finishing off a clear chance to get himself a goal. No need to worry though, I suspect he will be adding those to his locker next season.

Gio Reyna

Steve: 6

Gio was up for the game, and put in a good effort, but he wasn’t able to make much of an impact.

Mike: 6

Marco Reus

Steve: 8

Mike: 8

Once again Reus was at the heart of everything, popping up all over the pitch putting in challenges and playing slick passing with his teammates. Another goal added to his tally as well today, giving him 7 on the season, but he is so much more than goals and assists as he really seems to bring everything together for this team.

1. FSV Mainz 05 v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga Photo by Sascha Steinbach - Pool/Getty Images

Jadon Sancho

Steve: 9

Back up the truck, pay him whatever he wants, just please let us have one more year with Sancho.

Mike: 8

I am really going to miss watching Jadon play in the iconic black and yellow kit. Sancho brings talent, toughness, and trickery with a beautiful passion and love for the game. I swear he even plays better when he is wearing the captain’s armband too, but sadly I understand that he wants to go home.

Erling Haaland

Steve: 7.5

Haaland worked hard for the team even though he only got one shot. He could have scored in the first half, but Reus got to the ball first and buried it. In the final minutes, Haaland passed up a chance to shoot and instead turned provider for Brandt.

Mike: 7

Substitutes

Julian Brandt

Steve: 7.5

The table is set for Brandt to get a start next week against his old team. Is it too little too late?

Mike: 8

Once again Brandt came on late to make an impact, now he needs to start to see if he is out of this funk that he was in. Decisions need to be made over Brandt’s future soon, hopefully he is getting back to his best.

Nico Schulz

Steve: 6

Mike: 6

Thorgan Hazard

Steve: 4

He probably should not have stuck his arm up in the air, closed his eyes and ducked his head?

Mike: 5

I thought the handball was harsh, but I guess that is the law.

Reinier

Steve: 6

Mike: 6

Wouldn’t mind seeing him start the final matchday.

Thomas Delaney

N/A

Overall

Steve: 10

I’m not trying to do the revisionist history thing and say this season was perfect. And Edin Terzic made his share of mistakes to put Dortmund in danger of failing to qualify for Champions League. But six wins in a row is worth celebrating. If he never coaches another game for Dortmund, Terzic will go down in club history for leading one of the most remarkable turnarounds of all time.

Mike: 8

I know we qualified for the Champions League and so it’s a very exciting time, but we should have not been in this position in the first place. While I am glad we got it done, with a game to spare, the board really needs to look closely at how this team is built to ensure this never happens again.