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Man of the Match: Borussia Dortmund Outlast Besiktas on UCL Match Day One

Who stood out for Borussia Dortmund on the opening match day of the Champions League?

Besiktas v Borussia Dortmund: Group C - UEFA Champions League Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund got off to a winning start in the first match day of the Champions League, bringing down Besiktas by the score of 2-1. BVB would score twice in the first half and control much of the second half, before Besiktas would make things interesting with a set-piece goal in stoppage time. Dortmund were able to hold on to their lead, though, and ultimately prevail to earn the three full points.

It was a very strong performance with many individual standouts, and the close scoreline doesn’t give enough credit to BVB’s players, who were often only a lucky deflection or quality save away from adding more goals.

Here are my four candidates for Man of the Match:

Jude Bellingham

The young Englishman is turning into a full-blown superstar. He scored one beautiful goal that nutmegged the keeper, and assisted another with a dastardly dribble into the box that Erling Haaland only had to tap into the net. He was a monster in midfield as always and seemed to run nonstop every moment he was on the pitch.

Thomas Meunier

I can’t knock on wood any harder when I say this, but I think this may have been Thomas Meunier’s best performance for Borussia Dortmund. He was resolute on defense in his duels with Besiktas winger Cyle Larin and full back Fabrice Nsakala, both of whom tested Meunier quite often. He also assisted Jude Bellingham’s goal, building on his assist this weekend against Leverkusen.

Gregor Kobel

Although Kobel was the less busy of the two keepers, the saves he was required to make were both excellent. His diving block against Michy Batshuayi in the opening minutes of the match was simply extraordinary. The well-struck shot seemed destined for the corner, but a sprawling Kobel managed to get a hand to it and parry it wide of the net. He also robbed Batshuayi on a one-on-one encounter in the second half.

Erling Haaland

While Donyell Malen played pretty well and probably could’ve deserved this fourth slot, I’m going to give it to Erling Haaland, because he actually managed to find the scoresheet. While he wasn’t at his most dominant, and his goal was far from flashy, he still managed to score the game winning goal. Being able to score even on your off-nights is one of the marks of a truly great striker.

Poll

Who was your Man of the Match?

  • 86%
    Jude Bellingham
    (217 votes)
  • 4%
    Thomas Meunier
    (12 votes)
  • 3%
    Gregor Kobel
    (10 votes)
  • 4%
    Erling Haaland
    (12 votes)
251 votes total Vote Now