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Match Ratings: Borussia Dortmund Make a Mess of Europa League Tie Against Rangers

There were very few positives to take from BVB’s 4-2 loss to Rangers. I guess the only one is that a two-goal deficit isn’t impossible to make up.

Borussia Dortmund v Rangers Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group via Getty Images

Another week, another totally bizarre capitulation by Borussia Dortmund! Borussia Dortmund went into Thursday’s Europa League first leg against Glasgow Rangers not only as favorites to proceed to the Round of 16, but as favorites to win the entire thing. Instead, BVB were an absolute mess, and ended up losing 4-2 after a litany of individual defensive errors and a completely incoherent offense.

I would argue that the performance wasn’t quite as bad as the result (or fan reaction) suggests, and instead it was the individual mistakes that turned the game. But either way, it’s debating the difference between “BVB were bad and the result was even worse” and “BVB were terrible and the result was an exact representation of the team performance”. Neither are really acceptable. Rangers are not mugs, but BVB have absolutely no excuse not to win this game. A draw at home would have been a poor result. Losing 4-2 is embarrassing.

So... I guess we’ve got to rate some players too... This should be fun.

Starting XI

Gregor Kobel

Paul: 6

Wasn’t really to blame for any of the goals, but didn’t manage to pull off some heroics to keep it competitive. Not his fault.

Sean: 5

Ultimately, there’s not much that Kobel can do about a penalty or an own goal. He needs his defenders to step up in a big way.

Manuel Akanji

Paul: 4

Akanji isn’t a right back, so I’m not gonna blame him too much for this, but he looked well out of his depth.

Sean: 4

Mats Hummels

Paul: 3

Too many misplaced forward passes.

Sean: 2

Another center back that BVB need to replace in the summer.

Dan-Axel Zagadou

Paul: 2

The penalty was perhaps a tad unfortunate, but his arm should not have been flailing about like that either. After that, he just had a rough night, like he had got in his own head. Finished his night with an own goal.

Sean: 1

I’m done with Zag. For a long time I was a defender of his, but I’ve seen too many massive mistakes and not enough positives to make up for it. This ignores his injury history.

Raphael Guerreiro

Paul: 6

A goal and an assist on an otherwise torrid night. I guess that deserves a little credit.

Sean: 6

His goal was a banger and he notched an assist. On any other night he’d deserve a higher rating, but the game’s result deflates the score a bit.

Axel Witsel

Paul: 5

Sean: 4

Mahmoud Dahoud

Paul: 3

Sean: 2

Dahoud was out of position on Rangers’ third and fourth goals. This club needs a proper defensive midfielder STAT.

Jude Bellingham

Paul: 7

Did everything he could to try and turn the game round, even scoring a lovely goal that momentarily looked like it could be the start of a comeback.

Sean: 6

It feels like Jude is the only one who actually wants to be a vocal leader on the pitch. That’s pretty sad given he’s one of the youngest players in the squad.

Julian Brandt

Paul: 3

Sean: 3

It’s looking more and more every day like Brandt’s December reemergence was just a mirage.

Marco Reus

Paul: 3

Sean: 3

In my match observations, I implied that Reus was at least partially responsible for the collective mental collapse that BVB experienced after their first goal conceded. This may have been harsh, but I’ve noticed far too many times that whenever Dortmund suffer a setback, they frequently fail to respond with anything more than a whimper. It happened against Leverkusen, and it happened again against Rangers.

Donyell Malen

Paul: 4

Malen’s failure to have any real impact on the game was a problem for BVB, but in large part because there were a lot of other players playing even worse than him.

Sean: 4

Sometimes, Malen can be an extremely impactful player. Other times, he’s completely invisible. On Thursday, he was completely invisible.

Substitutes

Youssoufa Moukoko

Paul: 7

I thought he was dangerous whenever he received the ball. Perhaps it is too generous to give him a 7, but I’m willing to give a kid a nod when everyone else was so poor.

Sean: 6

Moukoko did look promising, but ultimately couldn’t create anything that impacted the result.

Gio Reyna

Paul: 6

Sean: 6

Like Moukoko, I thought Gio also looked promising at times, but unfortunately couldn’t contribute a goal.

Nico Schulz

Paul: 5

Steffan Tigges

Paul: 5

Reinier

N/A

Overall

Paul: 3

I don’t think 4-2 is really an accurate reflection of the game as a whole, but nonetheless BVB were poor. There were far too many individual mistakes in defense, and they lacked a coherent approach in the final third. It was disjointed, and too many players seemed to fail to take responsibility for their part in the performance.

Sean: 2

Paul is right that the performance as a whole wasn’t terrible, and that the result is more down to individual mistakes and a bit of bad luck. But I’m just so effing done with this team capitulating again and again against teams it has no business losing to. This game, just like the Leverkusen game, exposed the massive flaws in BVB’s squad and demonstrates the need for a complete rebuild.