It has happened again.
Three matchdays into the Bundesliga season and Borussia Dortmund have suffered their first loss against none other than newly-promoted side Werder Bremen. A game to forget, Dortmund were set to grab their 10th successive victory under returning coach Edin Terzic, with a minute of normal time to go, when Lee Buchanan scored a fantastic goal with the outside of his boot that sparked a six-minute, three-goal comeback; leaving Dortmund with a points total equal to the times they’ve lifted the Bundesliga in the past 10 years.
A painful first half of football was saved by an unexpected Julian Brandt long-range goal during extra time and was followed by a Raphael Guerreiro goal to put BVB up 2-0 in the 77th minute which, according to the Bundesliga AWS goal probability tool, had a 2% chance of going in. Up until the 89th minute, I had many names in mind for the man of the match nominations, and calculations were ongoing for which four would make the final cut. For the time being, I am relieved that my job has been cut short, and here are the three nominees for Man of the Match. It’s unfortunate to say none of the goalscorers has made the cut.
Being the veteran in the squad, Jude Bellingham had a performance worthy of his status. Personally, the only thing I would like to take out of this match is that Jude and the following nominee are actually on the payroll of Borussia Dortmund.
Bellingham was all over the pitch, in attack, midfield, and even near the goal-line. Paired with Mahmoud Dahoud, until he had to be subbed off with an unfortunate shoulder dislocation, Jude was able to play in dangerous balls towards attack and control the midfield. Later, when paired with Emre Can (definitely not worthy of a mention here), his creative output declined but he still put in a performance worthy of Man of The Match. Watching the highlights, Jude was at fault for the turnover that led to the final nail in BVB’s coffin, but in my opinion, the fault cannot be entirely pinned on Jude, as any team should have been able to defend against the attack that resulted as a consequence of the turnover.
Nico Schlotterbeck was solid throughout the game. Werder Bremen had a handful of chances that might have resulted in goals if not for his intervention. I personally believe he was not at fault for any of the goals, though it is up for debate. He gets the nomination solely based on the fact that it could have been an earlier (and less embarrassing) defeat if not for him.
Among all nominations, Kobel’s name might be the most suspect as it could be argued that he was partly to blame for all three of the goals Dortmund conceded, or not. This matter is up for the goalkeeper pundits to discuss, it is not my cup of tea. But for the same reasons as Schlotterbeck above, he gets my nomination. He had two or three saves which were clear-cut goals otherwise.
Cast your vote below and let us know who else you thought deserved a nomination!
Who was your Man of The Match?
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