And there we have it folks! After last year’s disastrous Champions League (and Europa League) campaign, the boys from Dortmund have moved on to the Round of 16 in this year’s edition of the prestigious tournament.
In the post match press conference, Edin Terzic praised his team who, by his words, have deservingly qualified for the knockout stages. Even though some matches haven’t been pretty, qualifying with one matchday to go is definitely something that might lay a damper on a lot the the criticism that has been pointed towards Edin and the team this season.
The manner in which we qualified was also quite impressive. According to Footystats, Dortmund actually came out on top in terms of xG, and even though some might argue, that The Citizens were satisfied with one point to begin with, keeping a clean sheet against one of the best clubs in the world is no easy feat.
Every player in black and yellow battled their heart out for this one. Here are our ratings from Tuesdays’ match.
Riyad Mahrez’ penalty was denied by Gregor Kobel in the 68th minute. Our Swiss superkeeper waited until the very last second to step off his line, and even though the placement wasn’t the greatest from Mahrez, the shot was still hit hard. He also denied a decent attempt from Alvarez in the 68th minute. Other than that, he didn’t have much to do, but he looked very assured throughout the match. Kobel is slowly reaching the level of an elite goalkeeper.
Our defense was strong enough that Kobel faced few shots on target. When he was called on, Kobel made the saves and kept a clean sheet. The penalty save should boost his confidence. Since Kobel’s poor outing against Union, he’s stepped up in a big way. I think we can expect more performances like this one in the near future.
I have been one of Hazards harshest critics this season, but yesterday he grabbed his opportunity when he filled in for Rapha Guerreiro at left back. Hazard (and Schlotterbeck) almost rendered Mahrez useless, and Thorgan showed fine accuracy and awareness when playing out of the press. Maybe we have just been using him in the wrong position all along?
A nine might be generous, but hear me out. Schlotterbeck won all of his duels, and he had four tackles, two of them being absolutely phenomenal. Apart from the very solid defensive display, Schlottigott showed a maturity and calmness on the ball that helped The Black and Yellows play out of City’s press numerous times. He always managed to find the right solution (either making a forward run himself or finding the right pass), and he was a straight nightmare to press for City’s men in front. This guy is world class.
Hummels is certainly making the case for being included in Germany’s World Cup squad. This was a masterclass performance in defensive organization and Mats’ ability to lead and direct the back line is largely responsible for Man City’s lack of shots on target. I know Hummels has received much criticism in the last twelve months but he looks to be back to his top form.
“Big Fridge” Süle has also been finding his form lately. Terzic’s decision to play him in the right-back position has been very positive. His communication with teammates has been improving and he made life quite difficult for Phil Foden and Erling Haaland. In addition, Süle had a high success-rate with his long-ball passes, which quickly turned team defending into counterattacks. Unfortunately, none of those plays resulted in a BVB goal.
What has me most excited about Gio is that he played 87 minutes without re-injuring himself. Reyna is a strong attacking midfielder and his ability to dribble around defenders will only improve with time. I just wish Gio didn't go down so easily.
Oh man, was that penalty stupid. Emre had a very Emre-esque performance, and he actually did very well until that moment. I’ve look at it again, and it really isn’t pretty. Can sadly wasn’t even close to retrieving the ball, and our defense had organized itself to at least somewhat neutralize the situation.
Dumb, dumb, dumb foul, why am I not surprised? He’s lucky Kobel bailed him out.
Guardiola clearly knows how good Bellingham is. Jude didn’t get an inch in the midfield. Made a few encouraging runs, but had to drop deep in order to retrieve the ball, which - as a result - made his impact minimal.
Manchester City knows to fear Jude Bellingham. They knew he’d scored in each UCL match this season and he’d just come off a brace at the weekend. City was all over Bellingham; he was a marked man from the first minute. Jude was not as involved in this game as we’ve come to expect but when he did retain possession he found his teammates. According to Fotmob statistics, Bellingham’s pass success was an astonishing 97%
I have a funny story for y’all.
Two years ago, my girlfriend started to watch BVB matches with me, and she would always complain about Brandt (which was understandable at the time). She said, that she had never seen a more frustrating player, both because of his turnovers, needless flicks and tricks and his punchable face. For a long time, I’ve been trying to convince her, that there’s actually a good player in there somewhere, and yesterday she said:
“You know what? He still has a very punchable face, and I still kinda hate him, but he’s making it very hard for me to hate him currently”
I think this sums up Brandts current form perfectly. Good job, Julian.
I’ve said this before, but I’ve been really happy with Brandt’s consistency this season. He’s become a regular starter, he’s rarely injured and this match was another example of Julian’s skill.
Cancelo will be having nightmares about Karim Adeyemi. The young German ran riot on the right side, always looking to run in behind City’s high line. He managed to do it multiple times, and although his decision making wasn’t always the best, he was surely out most dangerous attacking player on the day.
Adeyemi is so good at finding space on the wing, and his dribbling speed should be an asset to this squad. Karim needs to figure out what to do with the ball once he enters the box. If he can learn to cross the ball, then he’ll become an assist king for sure.
People are gonna hate me for this, but the rating isn’t exactly to blame on Mouki exclusively. Every Manchester City defender kept a very close eye on Moukoko, and as a result, he could not be as effective as one could expect.
Manchester City made life difficult for Moukoko. He only managed two shots and just one was on target, barely challenging Stefan Ortega.
This might seem like a harsh rating, but you can’t really blame Donny. City played anti-football from the minute he came on, and basically no Dortmund player (apart from our defenders) touched the ball the last 15 minutes.
Anthony Modeste, Marius Wolf, Antonios Papadopoulos
A clinical and professional display from everyone. Tactically we were very well set up, and from the setup, you could clearly see that Terzic knew we would be getting few chances to score throughout the match. The players managed to create some decent chances, and we honestly should have had a goal for 1-0. I think the defensive standard for this season is higher than anyone would have expected, and now we just need the attack to improve accordingly. Tactically one of our best games of the season.
This was a well-organized Dortmund squad that knew a point would be enough to advance in the Champions League. Could we have committed more men forward in an attempt to win this? Sure, but Terzic and company were well aware of Manchester City’s prolific attack and the free-scoring Erling Haaland. Our defense never let up and only allowed City a handful of shots on goal. (actually BVB had more shots than City) I think there are a lot of positives to build on from this match. I’m really loving the defensive partnership between Hummels, Süle and Schlotterbeck. If they keep this up, then perhaps we will see the same three playing together for Germany in a few weeks.