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Match Ratings: Somehow Borussia Dortmund Manage to Walk Away with Three Points

The streak continues as BVB manages consecutive wins away at Hoffenheim.

TSG Hoffenheim v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga Photo by Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund traveled to Hoffenheim on Saturday, licking their wounds after spiraling out of the DFB Pokal at midweek. How would that effect the team’s performance as they returned to league play? Not knowing what to expect is pretty much the only thing consistent about BVB’s play.

Watching the game today was pure emotional whiplash but, as Linkin Park states, in the end it doesn’t even matter because a win is a win no matter how dirty it is. While collectively, they won, how did each player fare individually? Read on for the most solid of assessments.

Starting XI

Gregor Kobel

Sarah: 7

Kobel was a stalwart in goal against his former side and provided a couple of crucial saves. He really can’t be faulted for either of the Hoffenheim goals.

Sean: 7

Marius Wolf

Sarah: 5

Subbed off early in the second half and rightly so as his performance was lackluster.

Sean: 4

Wolf played in place of an injured Thomas Meunier, and it’s pretty clear that this was a significant downgrade.

Manuel Akanji

Sarah: 9

Akanji is my latest obsession and his dazzling array of tackles are one of the many reasons why. In a defensive line that resembles Swiss cheese at times, he was the reliable cog in BVB’s backline.

Sean: 9

Absolute defensive masterclass. If it weren’t for Akanji, BVB would’ve been toast.

Mats Hummels

Sarah: 5

Raphael Guerreiro

Sarah: 6.5

We didn’t see the typical Guerreiro, but his play paid dividends for two of Dortmund’s goals and that has to count for something.

Sean: 7

Julian Brandt

Sarah: 5

Sean: 4

A disappointing performance from Brandt, who appears to be slipping a bit after his trend of solid matches in December.

Mahmoud Dahoud

Sarah: 6

Another unusually subdued player today, but just because his name wasn’t trending on Twitter or constantly being uttered by match commentators doesn’t mean his control at midfield is dismissed.

Sean: 6

Jude Bellingham

Sarah: 6

See Rapha and Mo evals above.

Sean: 5

Not Jude’s best performance.

Marco Reus

Sarah: 7

A solid defensive performance, positive on-pitch mentality and a goal...just another average day at the office for the skipper.

Sean: 6

Had a good goal and provided a solid rebound from his performance against St. Pauli.

Donyell Malen

Sarah: 9

My review of Malen is simply glowing! Where has this Malen been all season? More of this please...talk about a playmaker and being an active (and PROactive) presence on the pitch. Well done, Dony! Well done!

Sean: 9

This was Malen’s best performance in a Dortmund shirt. Who knew he could be an elite playmaker?

Erling Haaland

Sarah: 6.5

He scored (as he does) early on, but was plagued by injuries until he was ultimately subbed off.

Sean: 6

Substitutions

Dan-Axel Zagadou

Sarah: 6

Sean: 5

Thorgan Hazard

Sarah: 6

He played a part in the own goal which made the difference for BVB today.

Sean: 6

Axel Witsel

Sarah: 5

The BVB fanbase collectively gasped when Witsel came on, but fortunately the game was unscathed by any efforts on his part.

Sean: 6

Youssoufa Moukoko

N/R

Marin Pongračić

N/R

Overall

Sarah: 6.5

I had to go with a half point here because 6 felt too harsh and 7 felt too generous. Seriously, for 90+ minutes, I was sitting on a seesaw. For the first 30 minutes it was refreshing to see Dortmund play as we know they can. After that, there was so much back and forth I pretty much just zoned out until the end as a defense mechanism. I am so, so glad we are walking away with 3 points, but I think we could all benefit from consistency across the squad as opposed to just a few standout players who secure the win.

Sean: 6

Given the injuries hampering the squad, I’m not too concerned with the performance. At this point, I’ll take three points any way we can get them. We saw a great defensive match from Manuel Akanji, which makes his injury that much more potentially damaging.