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Match Ratings: Borussia Dortmund Smash Freiburg 5-1 to Kick Off the Ruckrunde

BVB kicked the weekend off with a nice little win over high-flying Freiburg

Borussia Dortmund v Sport-Club Freiburg - Bundesliga Photo by Marvin Ibo Guengoer/GES-Sportfoto/Getty Images

Nobody likes Friday games. They’re a nuisance. For traveling fans they’re a nightmare to get to, especially in a country the size of Germany, and for writers for small fan sites, it’s very easy to forget that the game is on Friday instead of Saturday, and find yourself having to make last-minute adjustments to your schedule. Luckily, we’re all winners, so we get it done under difficult circumstances.

Speaking of getting it done under difficult circumstances (this segue is proof that I’m a winner), Borussia Dortmund gave Freiburg an absolute drubbing on Friday night. It was a great start to the weekend, and a pretty perfect way to kick off the second half of the season.

Here are our ratings from Friday’s big win:

Gregor Kobel

Paul: 6

Sean: 6

Raphael Guerreiro

Paul: 6

Sean: 7

He’s looked off the pace in the last few matches, but I thought he was much better on Friday.

Mats Hummels

Paul: 7

Sean: 6

Didn’t have to do much other than pass around the back and let the midfield do its work.

Emre Can

Paul: 6

Sean: 6

Come to think of it, other than Meunier nobody on the back line had to do much.

Thomas Meunier

Paul: 9

When your full back scores two goals, you gotta give him some credit. I have loved watching Meunier’s improvement on last season. He has been a completely different player, including goals!

Giving him a 9 is probably a little bit generous, but I don’t care. No one was very generous to Meunier last season, he’s earned the good will now.

Sean: 9

Meunier has been one of our most consistent players this season, and has proven that last year was a fluke. His two goals today were just icing on the cake.

Mahmoud Dahoud

Paul: 9

Dahoud was pulling strings all game long, and he definitely earned his goal and assist. He gets an extra point for the celebration too.

Sean: 8

I had a lot of doubts about Dahoud’s ability to play as a central defensive midfielder, but he sure as heck proved me wrong. He was able to cover his defensive responsibilities while also providing a goal and an assist. I still think he’s better at #8, and if we can sign a solid defensive midfielder to allow Dahoud to move forward, we’re going to be money in midfield.

Jude Bellingham

Paul: 7

Sean: 7

He assisted Haaland’s first goal after relentlessly pressing, winning a turnover, and driving through midfield before playing a perfect through ball into Haaland.

Julian Brandt

Paul: 8

Brandt’s good form continues with two assists. He’s on his way to becoming a regular fixture in Dortmund’s starting eleven.

Sean: 7

His corner deliveries to Meunier were perfect.

Marco Reus

Paul: 6

Sean: 5

I thought he was a bit quiet out there. He also completely botched what should have been a goal when he whiffed on a low cross from Guerreiro.

Donyell Malen

Paul: 7

Malen had a few frustrating moments but on the whole I thought his performance was solid.

Sean: 7

Malen got a few good shots off and set up a few good chances but couldn’t find the scoresheet. Regardless, I think he had a strong game.

Erling Haaland

Paul: 8

Haaland came alive in the second half. When he finds space, he is absolutely unstoppable. His comments after the game may have raised some eyebrows, but rather than worrying about where he will be playing next season, we should make the most of getting to watch him play for Dortmund. However long that may last.

Sean: 8

Haaland scored a brace, which is just another day for him.

Substitutes

Manuel Akanji

Paul: 6

Sean: 6

Nico Schulz

N/A

Thorgan Hazard

N/A

Marius Wolf

N/A

Axel Witsel

N/A

Overall

Paul: 8

Dortmund were in control from the start and their 5-1 victory was thoroughly deserved. While the goal they conceded was a little frustrating, it would be a shame to focus on the one negative on a night when BVB looked brilliant. Instead, it is better to enjoy five wonderful goals, and a really cohesive offensive performance.

BVB are finally starting to approach healthy, and as a result, fans are expecting to see a lot more from them than they showed in the first half of the season. Rose has (rightly) been afforded a lot of wiggle room because of the mess that the squad was in for much of the Hinrunde, but now they need to deliver. This was a great start

Sean: 9

Don’t forget: this Freiburg isn’t just a mid-table team like they have been in years past. This Freiburg were in third place before the weekend began. They’ve been one of the best defensive teams in the Bundesliga, only behind Bayern in goals conceded prior to this match day. The fact that BVB ripped them to shreds is no small feat.

If the squad as it was today can stay healthy, and with a few more returns on depth, I think this team has real potential to be special. I’d really like to see them make a run at the Europa League, and while the title may be mostly out of reach, I could see this squad tailing Bayern all the way to the end.