Borussia Dortmund held the club’s first friendly of the summer that was actually against a somewhat competitive opponent today, and it was not exactly a pretty sight. Despite starting a fairly strong squad in the first half and putting together some decent chances, BVB fell behind 1-0 in the first half, and surrendered two more goals after equalizing in the second half to lose 3-1. I actually was able to catch some of the match and some of the highlights, so I thought I’d informally write up my thoughts.
First and foremost, remember not to take these matches too seriously. Everyone is rusty, nobody has practiced with anyone else, they’ve barely had time to train, they mix and match players into formations that may or not be settled, and there’s still tons of time left before the season begins.
- Raphael Guerreiro must be taking the David Raum rumors to heart, because outside of a few lapses in the first half, I thought he was excellent, especially going forward. He had a brilliant combination off a counterattack with Marco Reus that ended with Marco hitting the post. He did get caught out of position a few times, though, indicating why the club is so keen on replacing him.
- Mats Hummels did have one major mistake when he whiffed on a clearance and allowed Valencia to clear the ball, but other than that he was fine. Some of the folks calling for his head this early in the summer need to calm down.
- I really liked what I saw from Karim Adeyemi. Every time he was on the ball he was making dangerous things happen. He was great at progressing the ball with a quick burst of speed, and took on more than a few defenders with dribbles and skill moves.
- Youssoufa Moukoko played a very mature game today. He was a lot more patient and didn’t take any needlessly wasteful shots, and had a great moment when he duked a defender with a fake shot and sent a curled shot attempt just wide.
- Jude Bellingham is going to be fun to watch this year. He was a one-man wrecking crew in midfield. He played with Dahoud today; I think with Ozcan in the pitch, Bellingham will be unlocked even more.
- Jamie Bynoe-Gittens won the penalty that led to BVB’s lone goal. I thought he too looked promising.
Overall, despite the result, I’m happy with some of the individual performances we saw today. BVB’s next friendly is on Friday at 1:00 PM EST.