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Match Ratings: BVB Topple Frankfurt in First Match of the Bundesliga Season

We don’t need center backs. We have Erling Haaland.

Borussia Dortmund v Eintracht Frankfurt - Bundesliga Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images,

Borussia Dortmund kicked off the new Bundesliga season with a bang on Saturday, defeating last season’s 5th place finisher, Eintracht Frankfurt, by a score of 5-2. Marco Rose’s first game in charge was an undeniable display of the new coach’s attacking style. BVB’s counter-attacking trio of Marco Reus, Thorgan Hazard, and Erling Haaland made life miserable for an Eintracht side that didn’t have an answer for them on the day. This was an excellent way for Dortmund to start the season, and it should give the side confidence heading into the Super Cup against Bayern on Tuesday. Hopefully, at least.

Starting XI

Gregor Kobel

Nick: 8

Kobel charged out of his box and defended the high-line brilliantly a few times against Frankfurt. His efforts as a sweeper-keeper can’t go unnoticed.

Mike: 8

Although I was initially underwhelmed by the Kobel signing, this match showed how his presence allows Dortmund to play differently, which may give the squad a much-needed edge in various fixtures this season.

Felix Passlack

Nick: 5.5

Passlack’s own goal was a pretty silly mistake, but I think his overall performance was fine. It’s hard to be overly critical, considering the squad’s overall performance.

Mike: 4

Continually left Axel Witsel to cover the wide area far too much, which is where Frankfurt got some joy in their attack, including the build-up to the second conceded goal.

Manuel Akanji

Nick: 7.5

Mike: 8

That sliding block!

Axel Witsel

Nick: 8

Witsel was playing out of position in his first Bundesliga game since he tore his Achilles in January. His performance will go under the radar, but he showed how valuable he still is to this squad on Saturday.

Mike: 7

He looked slow at times but played smart and showed his versatility once again.

Nico Schulz

Nick: 6.5

Schulz looked fairly dangerous at times, darting up the left wing. He gave the ball away in his own half far too many times, though. Still, this was a performance he can build on.

Mike: 7

If he only had some more end product to those attacking runs down the left flank.

Mahmoud Dahoud

Nick: 8

Mike: 8

Does anyone else just love when Mo decided he wants to play keep away from would-be tacklers? Seriously, it’s like an uncle getting asked to play with his nephews, and he gets the ball, and he just moves around with it, and none of the kids can take it from him.

Jude Bellingham

Nick: 7.5

Mike: 7

Picking up right where he left off last season, winning battles in the midfield. The Englishman is a perfect midfielder for a pressing system, given the amount of pitch he covers. Once he truly develops his passing game and his overall awareness, he could eventually be a Ballon D’or candidate.

Gio Reyna

Nick: 7.5

Reyna’s sloppy giveaway that led to the Passlack own-goal is what brings his rating down. He was locked in other than that, and his dribbling prowess was on full display.

Mike: 7

Marco Reus

Nick: 9

Reus was in great form at the end of last season, and he’s seemingly carried it right into the new campaign. The combination of him and Haaland was too much for Frankfurt to handle on the day.

Mike: 9

Thorgan Hazard

Nick: 8.5

Mike: 8

After his injury-riddled 2020-21 campaign, it’s as if Hazard is a new signing. While he isn’t a star, Hazard is a very good player who offers a great combination of work rate and tactical flexibility, perfect for a Marco Rose system.

Erling Haaland

Nick: 10

This performance was nothing short of special. He really showed all of his tools and didn’t put a foot wrong. Just a theory, but I think the man-bun is somehow increasing his powers. It’s the only reason I can think of for why he would grow it in the first place.

Mike: 10

The first two matches of this season show precisely why it would have been a poor decision to sell Haaland this summer, even if it means a much lower sale going forward. Haaland is a generational talent and could hypothetically carry a team to a title, which is something BVB supporters are banking on.

Substitutes

Donyell Malen

Nick: 6.5

Malen needs more time to develop chemistry with his teammates before he can be more accurately judged.

Mike: 6

Thomas Delaney

Nick: 6.5

Mike: 6

Antonios Papadopoulos

N/A

Youssoufa Moukoko

N/A

Steffen Tigges

N/A

Overall

Nick: 8.5

It’s hard to complain about a performance as exciting and dominant as the one we saw on Saturday. Yes, there were errors at the back at times, but given the number of defensive players that were unavailable against Frankfurt, it was a lot better than I was expecting. This match was a really positive start to the Marco Rose era.

Mike: 8

A great attacking performance is slightly overshadowed by silly mistakes once again, but supporters have a lot to be excited about, given how the team worked. It is clear that bringing in Rose was a breath of fresh air for the club despite calls by fans for Terzic to stay in charge. It feels like something special could be happening in Dortmund right now, given the flair and energy that the team is showing early on.