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Match Ratings: BVB Get the Job Done in the Champions League, Beating Sporting Lisbon 1-0

A goal from Donyell Malen was the difference for BVB.

Borussia Dortmund v Sporting CP - Group C - UEFA Champions League Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund continued their perfect start in the UEFA Champions League, scraping out a win against Sporting Lisbon to further bolster the club’s push for the knockout round. BVB’s toughest test, to be played against Ajax, still remains over the horizon, but with six points in the bank Borussia Dortmund are now in a solid position to advance.

It was a low-event performance from BVB. While many fans will have wanted to see a three or four goal hiding, ultimately, a win is a win.

Here are our match ratings:

Starting XI

Gregor Kobel

Paul: 6

Zac: 6

Barely challenged, but did well to meet a few crosses from the opposition attack.

Mats Hummels

Paul: 6

Zac: 7

A little more sloppy than usual with his passing, but still kept the ball out of the goal

Manuel Akanji

Paul: 7

Akanji has become Mr. Dependable lately, and I’m here for it!

Zac: 7.5

Rock solid.

Raphael Guerreiro

Paul: 6

Zac: 6

Struggled to get forward to make any impact, but helped contain sportings trickiest wingers in Sarabia and Porro.

Thomas Meunier

Paul: 7

The revival of Thomas Meunier continues. Another solid performance, on both ends of the ball. It should serve as a cautionary tale about writing players off too soon, but it won’t...

Zac: 7.5

Swung in some decent crosses and kept his side quiet. Meunier seems to finally be finding some chemistry with the midfielders.

Mahmoud Dahoud

N/A

Axel Witsel

Paul: 6

Witsel has struggled lately, but I thought he coped pretty well on Tuesday night.

Zac: 6.5

A better performance from the Belgian, who has been under scrutiny in recent weeks. While I still think he is too slow to support what Rose needs from a holding mid, he was better against Sporting.

Jude Bellingham

Paul: 7

Zac: 8

His assist for Malens goal was just what the team needed, and he stepped up in Dahoud’s absence to keep the defense stout.

Marco Reus

Paul: 6

Reus seemed off the pace in the first half, but he was busy throughout, and things started to click a little more in the second half.

Zac: 7

No captain, no goals. With captain? Goal. Enough said.

Thorgan Hazard

Paul: 6

Zac: 6

Donyell Malen

Paul: 7

It was like the weight of the world was lifted after Malen scored his first BVB goal. After that goal he played with a fluidity that had been completely lacking before. He really needed to get things going, and you could see how relieved he was when he celebrated. Hopefully this is the start of a great Dortmund career!

Zac: 8.5

It was not a perfect performance, but a striker needs his goals, and Malen is off the mark. You could see the relief in his face and in the way he played for the rest of the match.

Substitutes

Julian Brandt

Paul: 7

It’s far from ideal having to come in to a game after ten minutes, without the time to get warmed up and ready to play, but Brandt had to do exactly that when Dahoud came off injured. I thought he played really well in the first half, and despite a slightly quieter second half, I thought he was still one of BVB’s most effective offensive players.

Zac: 6.5

Tasked with entering the game unexpectedly, Brandt got himself up to speed and provided some real defensive efforts. It was not vintage from the German, but hopefully a positive sign.

Marius Wolf

Paul: 6

Zac: 6

Nico Schulz

N/A

Reinier

N/A

Overall

Paul: 6

I was impressed with BVB’s defensive control in the game, and it never really felt like they were in that much danger, but they also should have put this game to bed earlier. They had a handful of opportunities, including two goals that were ruled offside, and if they’d been a little tighter going forward, it would have been done and dusted early. Nonetheless, I’ll take a clean sheet and three points in the Champions League!

Zac: 8

Was the gameplay an 8? No. But the result was an 8. Dortmund possess the most prolific striker in UCL competition from the last season, and without him they could have come up toothless against a title-winning sporting side. Dortmund got a goal and got a result, which is all that matters in the UCL, despite Haalands absence and Dahoud’s injury. There are plenty of positives to take, big the biggest is the teams safety in the group going toward a challenging Ajax match.