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Match Ratings: Dortmund Easily Defeat Union Berlin

BVB get their first league win at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei!

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-UNION BERLIN-DORTMUND Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images

Dortmund earned a fairly comfortable victory against Union Berlin on Sunday, defeating the East Berliners by a score of 3-0. A pair of first-half goals from Marco Reus put BVB in the driver's seat for nearly the entire match. Outside of a disallowed goal, Gregor Kobel’s net was never really tested by the Union attack. Sven Michel managed to show some flashes of creativity here and there, but it never resulted in a goal or even a shot in most cases for the red and whites. As a result of Berlin’s uninspired attacking play, the match was essentially ended in the 71st minute when Raphael Guerreiro toe-poked the ball into the net to make the score 3-0, where it stayed until the final whistle.

Starting XI

Gregor Kobel

Nick: 6

Kobel didn’t have too much to do today, but he did his job when called upon.

Sean: 6

A clean sheet! Finally!

Manuel Akanji

Nick: 6

Sean: 6

Akanji filled in more than admirably for Meunier at right back.

Mats Hummels

Nick: 7.5

Mats looked much improved against Union compared to some of his recent performances. His last-ditch tackling and anticipatory defending played a major role in BVB keeping a clean sheet.

Sean: 7

Dan-Axel Zagadou

Nick: 7

This was a great day for big Dan. Sure, there were still some weird post-injury blunders like his missed header against an Union corner, but he looked much better than he did against Leverkusen. His passing was also exceptional at times.

Sean: 7

I thought this was his best performance since he returned from his injury.

Raphael Guerreiro

Nick: 9

This was a man-of-the-match performance from Guerreiro, in my opinion. His connection with Bellingham on the left side of the pitch was exceptional, and his creative passing was the catalyst for several BVB attacks. He also gets bonus points for ironically celebrating his terrible goal.

Sean: 8

Guerreiro had a huge bounce back performance after his stinker against Leverkusen. I almost think that it’s time to move him into a winger position and get a more defensive left back to play behind him.

Axel Witsel

Nick: 7

Witsel looked like his old self again on Sunday. He was great in possession and was a reliable outlet for his teammates when they needed him.

Sean: 7

Mahmoud Dahoud

Nick: 6.5

Sean: 6

Jude Bellingham

Nick: 7.5

Jude’s pressing ability will never cease to amaze me.

Sean: 7

Julian Brandt

Nick: 4.5

Brandt’s first-half performance was a frustrating one. It’s the same old story, really. There were just too many turnovers in all areas of the pitch. Whether it was a promising attack or we were playing out of defense, there was a high percentage chance that if Brandt got the ball, he’d pass it to or dribble into a defender.

Sean: 5

Brandt was just turning the corner at the end of the first half, and now it seems like we’re right back where we started.

Marco Reus

Nick: 8

Marco was clinical when the side needed him to be. That’s obviously always important, but without Haaland, it was crucial.

Sean: 9

My man of the match. His two finishes were gorgeous and he was all over the pitch making good decisions and passes. A vintage performance from the captain.

Donyell Malen

Nick: 5.5

Malen looked like a number 9 against Berlin, which is more than I can say for his performance last weekend. His finishing wasn’t there, and he missed a few good pressing opportunities, which Bellingham and Reus were visibly angry about, but his overall contribution to the match was positive.

Sean: 6

I don’t think he was bad. He had a few decent chances but couldn’t convert any of them.

Substitutes

Emre Can

Nick: 5.5

Sean: 5

Came onto the pitch and immediately completely failed to mark a man running into the box, who scored what would be a thankfully disallowed goal. So much for defensive stability!

Youssoufa Moukoko

N/A

Reinier Jesus

N/A

Steffen Tigges

N/A

Nico Schulz

N/A

Overall

Nick: 8

From a fan perspective, that match was exactly what we needed, a relaxing win. Union were, admittedly, quite poor across the board, but Dortmund took full advantage and won the game. The defense also managed a clean sheet which in and of itself is cause for celebration.

Sean: 8

That match was a completely forgettable win, which is exactly what BVB needed. The Europa League is the star of the show, and the last thing BVB needed headed into a very important match on Thursday was another distracting loss. This allows the team to face Rangers with an easy win in the rearview mirrow.