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MOTM Poll: Dortmund Squeak Past a Resilient Arminia Bielefeld

The backup brigade manage to do the job and close the gap to Bayern Munich.

Borussia Dortmund v DSC Arminia Bielefeld - Bundesliga Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

After an injury and illness-plagued week of training for Die Schwarzgelben, Marco Rose patched together the best side he could muster to take on Arminia Bielefeld. The team was rewarded with an early goal from Marius Wolf, who latched onto a well-placed cross from Thorgan Hazard. From then on, it was a sloppy and slapstick effort from the home side, who relied heavily on last-ditch tackles and quality goalkeeping to hold onto their place in the game.

One highlight of the match was the returns of the prodigious Gio Reyna and his tall friend, Erling Haaland. The two showed some of the magic we have not seen from them in almost a year, with their respective injuries keeping them apart on the field.

Here are today’s candidates for man of the match. (Side note: I like to do key stats for in the Man of the Match poll, but this was such an ugly performance that I do not think anyone wants to see that)

Marius Wolf

Dortmund’s utility man returned to the starting line-up today and put in a quality shift. Wolf was working hard on the touchline, doing his best to link play between Thorgan Hazard and Felix Passlack. He was unlucky not to notch a brace, with a well-taken effort sailing over the bar and another chance just passing him by. It was an industrious performance from a player who has never been shy about his commitment to the team, something that has been in short supply from apathetic players all over the pitch. As I have commented and tweeted, I am tired of seeing the Wolf hate in the Dortmund fan community. Hopefully, his two goals in two games will silence some of those haters. Please leave him out of your raging “THESE PLAYERS ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR BVB” Twitter lists.

Gregor Kobel

The defensive effort was suspect, but the goalkeeping was right up to the standard Dortmund fans have come to expect. Kobel held his own between the sticks, fielding a number of corners and snuffing out numerous chances in his box. Kobel brought some stability to what was an otherwise hectic performance.

Emre Can

Can has gotten a lot of heat this season. Frankly, he has deserved all of it. Today, however, Can recognized his role as the only competent defender in the backline and held his own fairly well. Toward the end of the game when Bielefeld was digging for an equalizer, Can put his body on the line to snuff out numerous chances. He barked orders at his team and led by example, which ultimately kept the clean sheet.

Donyell Malen

Another game and more bad luck for Donny Malen. In this episode of “How Close Can You Get?” Malen saw two tremendous efforts knock off of the woodwork. What could have been a comfortable 3-0 win was made more challenging because of Donny’s curse, but he worked hard all game to create space and make himself available to his teammates. I truly believe that whether it is this season or next, Malen’s time is coming. We need to be patient, but his belief in himself is shining through. If Marco Rose can make Malen a focal point of his summer rebuild, the fans may be treated to some special performances from the Dutchman.

Poll

Who was your Man of the Match?

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    Marius Wolf
    (136 votes)
  • 9%
    Gregor Kobel
    (20 votes)
  • 13%
    Emre Can
    (27 votes)
  • 9%
    Donyell Malen
    (19 votes)
202 votes total Vote Now