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Match Ratings: Injury-Riddled Borussia Dortmund Beat Covid-Riddled Arminia Bielefeld

I like watching Marius Wolf succeed, even if the rest of the game wasn’t much to shout about.

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

Sunday’s victory over Arminia Bielefeld was an odd one. The commentators treated it as a win that keeps the title race alive, and technically they might be correct, but the game and the fans’ reaction to the game was all a little drab. Both sides were severely hampered by injuries and Covid, and the quality on the pitch suffered for it. Neither side were good even if BVB were the better of the two teams. It was hard to get too excited.

So despite feeling like a game with very little on the line, was it three points that put BVB back in the title race? No. Probably not. Dortmund are still seven points behind Bayern (though with a game in hand), and with the team this riddled by injury, it is very difficult to see them going on a winning run all the way to the end of the season.

Oh well. Here are the ratings from Sunday’s 1-0 victory:

Starting XI

Gregor Kobel

Paul: 6

Emre Can

Paul: 5

Though Can played pretty well in the second-half, it felt like he was going to get himself a second yellow at any moment (and at one point looked like he might have succeeded in that endeavor).

Marin Pongracic

Paul: 6

Felix Passlack

Paul: 7

I am never confident when I see Passlack on the team sheet, but I thought he put in an excellent shift on Sunday.

Nico Schulz

Paul: 6

Mahmoud Dahoud

Paul: 6

Axel Witsel

Paul: 5

Thorgan Hazard

Paul: 5

Jude Bellingham

Paul: 6

Marius Wolf

Paul: 8

Seeing Wolf succeed is probably the most wholesome part of this (admittedly not great) season. He isn’t the most talented player in the team by any stretch, but he’s plugged away, filling in anywhere he has been asked to, and generally speaking doing a solid enough job.

Donyell Malen

Paul: 7

Malen was very unlucky not to get himself on the scoresheet and double BVB’s lead in the process. He clattered one off the bar, which summed up his whole performance: very lively and unlucky not to make more of a mark.

Substitutes

Gio Reyna

Paul: 6

Erling Haaland

Paul: 6

Julian Brandt

Paul: 5

Lennard Maloney

N/A

Overall

Paul: 6

It wasn’t the best game you’ll see this season, but that’s hardly surprising given that both teams were gutted by injuries and/or Covid. I don’t feel overly critical of the performance or the result. It was a disjointed performance from a starting eleven that was patched together out of the remains of an injured squad, but they got the job done and that’s the main thing.

Hopefully there will be a few more players available against Mainz!