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Match Ratings: Borussia Dortmund Concede Bundesliga Title in 3-1 Loss to Bayern Munich

BVB couldn’t postpone the inevitable. All is well in the Bundesliga.

FC Bayern München v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images

Everyone has been well aware, for some time now, that Bayern Munich were going to be the ones lifting the Meisterschale come the end of the season. The vast majority of people went into the season pretty certain that Bayern would claim their tenth consecutive title in this very healthy and normal league. But the least BVB fans could ask is that they don’t confirm the inevitable when they specifically beat Borussia Dortmund. But here we are, with insult added to injury (a whole squad of them).

Stripped of all context, the game itself wasn’t so bad. Borussia Dortmund dug themselves a hole in the first half, but they looked better in the second half and put up a fight. In reality, 3-1 flattered Bayern a little bit, though that’s what happens when you pitch a defense made entirely of papier-mache sculptures of defenders against an offensive juggernaut. But it wasn’t the embarrassment we’ve often seen when BVB head to the Allianz Arena. I guess that’s something?

Have some player ratings and then forget this season ever happened:

Starting XI

Marwin Hitz

Paul: 5

Spilled a shot that led to Jamal Musiala’s goal. He wasn’t poor, but he didn’t claw BVB out of any holes like Kobel does.

Sean: 5

I have to think that if Kobel was in goal, he would have prevented at least one of Bayern’s goals.

Rapha Guerreiro

Paul: 4

He was a major contributor in Bayern Munich’s third goal, botching the clearance and then keeping Musiala onside. It’s not that he was particularly poor. I just found his decision-making on that goal particularly annoying.

Sean: 5

I actually thought that Guerreiro was one of our better players until his botched clearance that let the ball bounce to Musiala. He actually made a very strong tackle in the first half that prevented a dangerous cross from Gnabry.

Manuel Akanji

Paul: 6

Did his best but he was fighting a lot of fires with the defensive errors occurring around him.

Sean: 6

Dan-Axel Zagadou

Paul: 3

It was another poor performance. If Zagadou had been able to stay fit for a decent stretch at any point over the last few years, I think he would have got the minutes to work the errors out of his game. But here we are, he’s a real talent but the injuries and the gaffes make him difficult to defend.

Sean: 3

Outside of his mistake he wasn’t so bad, but that lone mistake also gave Bayern a goal and made it very difficult for BVB to come back. Bayern must be salivating every time they see him in a BVB shirt because he always does something to help them.

Marius Wolf

Paul: 5

Tried his best, but he was up against it. Got cooked a couple times, but honestly, it feels unreasonable to complain that the guy that plays any position that needs filling and gives it his all had a couple rough moments against Kingsley Coman and Alphonso Davies.

Sean: 5

Played 87 minutes against Alphonso Davies and Kingsley Coman and managed not to get burned too often, and didn’t surrender a goal. I call that a success.

Emre Can

Paul: 7

He’s such a liability at times, and he made me panic at several moments during the game, but it was a nicely converted penalty (I actually think Can should remain our regular penalty taker, I like his technique). Otherwise a solid enough shift.

Sean: 7

I think he was man of the match, to be honest. He played pretty well in possession and had a few key defensive moments too. His penalty damn near gave me a heart attack, though.

Jude Bellingham

Paul: 7

Sean: 7

Should’ve drawn a penalty but the referee was distracted by a butterfly and the VAR official was out getting coffee.

Reinier

Paul: 4

It’s not entirely shocking that he hasn’t received a ton of gametime. When he plays, he offers very little. Best of luck to him when he heads back to Madrid, but I can’t see him doing much.

Sean: 3

As invisible on the pitch as he is off the pitch.

Marco Reus

Paul: 6

Thought Reus was decent in the second half. He was creating a lot of chances and was the orchestrator of BVB’s best period in the game. Unfortunately he failed to convert any of his chances.

Sean: 6

He and Haaland had some good combinations and he drew the penalty that made it 2-1, but like Paul said his finishing wasn’t great.

Julian Brandt

Paul: 6

Sean: 5

He had a few bright moments but had a hard time progressing through midfield.

Erling Haaland

Paul: 5

He was barely at the races in the first half, but he was better in the second. He was perhaps a little unlucky not to end up on the scoresheet.

Sean: 6

Upamecano and Hernandez did a pretty good job keeping him in check. He had a few instances where his heavy touch let him down.

Substitutions

Jamie Bynoe-Gittens

Paul: 6

Thought he was pretty lively off the bench. He’s got a bright future ahead. He played a lovely ball for Haaland, that almost drew BVB level.

Sean: 6

He showed flashes of Jadon Sancho with his explosiveness and his dribbling ability. He clearly has a long way to develop, but he’s got the underlying skill set to be really special.

Felix Passlack

N/A

Youssoufa Moukoko

N/A

Overall

Paul: 5

The defensive efforts probably warrant a collective three, while the offense were probably a six, so I’m choosing to be a little generous and splitting the difference slightly in favor of the offensive efforts.

If this defense hadn’t shown us it is a total mess consistently throughout this season, I’d possibly be a little more scathing in my overall rating, but I can’t bring myself to feign outrage at something that we’ve been forced to become accustomed to over the course of the season. Lets move on and get it fixed.

Sean: 5

BVB started well, and although they were flustered for the 25 minutes following Gnabry’s goal, which came more or less out of nowhere, they responded well and had Bayern pinned back for a good chunk of the second half. Once again, individual mistakes cost them a result against Bayern.

As I mentioned in my match observations, I’m not too concerned about the result because this iteration of BVB’s squad hopefully won’t stick around long enough for this to ever happen again. I’m more pleased that Marco Rose had a plan and was able to galvanize the squad enough for them to stay composed and put up a fight, even if it was ultimately for naught.