Borussia Dortmund traveled to Manchester City in the Champion’s League midweek in their second group stage match. Eden Terzic’s men lined up defensively in anticipation of City’s prolific attack. Jude Bellingham scored in the 56th minute through a Marco Reus cross to give Dortmund a surprise lead. This writer was on the edge of his seat as Dortmund managed 79 minutes without allowing a shot on goal before John Stones’s screamer equalized in the 80th minute. Dortmund were then slain by the beast they created: Erling Haaland, who scored a goal only Erling Haaland could score. Let’s keep our heads up and get on with it.
I was honestly impressed by Meyer’s general ball-handling ability. His long passes were usually accurate. The defense was well organized and he was part of hit. I really think he could have done better on that first goal though.
I really do believe he let the first goal slip. I also believe that he should not have gone to his knees for the second one, as there was generally no reason for that. Otherwise did a good job.
I think Meyer did a reasonable job commanding his penalty area and in distribution in the first 80 minutes, but it all came apart at the seams when John Stones smacked one from the edge of the area. Don’t get me wrong, it was a hell of a hit, but Meyer completely misjudged the shot and got nothing on it. It was poor goalkeeping.
I’ve seen some suggestions that he should have done better with Haaland’s goal, but I think that is a little harsh. It wasn’t an impossible save, by any means, but it’s also not a shot that I would expect a goalkeeper to make. Judging the trajectory of the shot when Haaland makes contact would have been very, very difficult, and it was close enough that Meyer had very little time to adjust. It was just Haaland doing Haaland things.
But the Stones goal alone is enough for me to knock Meyer down a couple points.
Offered a higher level of effort than over the weekend, but Rapha looks fatigued.
Was pretty good in linkup play from the back, but he clearly still neglects his defensive duties. When are we gonna convert him to a left midfielder or wingback?
Some might say this is a generous rating, but Hummels’s experience showed today as he directed the back-line and made several key steals. This is the quality that we can see from Mats Hummels when he’s not playing 90 minutes week in and week out. A rested Hummels is a good Hummels.
Your rating is not generous Joey, because I’ll hand our defensive veteran the exact same one. This was a vintage Hummels display. His brain is clearly still wired as an elite centerback. His positioning was exquisite, and he cleared a certain goal from Erling Haaland.
I thought Hummels was pretty close to perfect on Wednesday night. He put in a absolutely incredible defensive effort, and was comfortable as ever in possession.
I enjoyed watching this Süle-Hummels partnership. They were almost successful in shutting down Haaland. Süle is coming into form.
Meunier put in strong defensive efforts but he can’t cross the ball to save his life.
I miss Dahoud but I love Özcan.
Again - did we really get this guy for 5 million euros? He’s like the more defensive and sturdy Dahoud. Brilliant in transition play (just like Dahoud) and getting stuck in (just like Thomas Delaney).
Özcan was absolutely everywhere. He’s an absolute brick wall when he goes into any tackles and any 50/50s. Thing is, this was exactly what we expected of him when he signed. What has most impressed me about Özcan is the quality he has shown in possession too. His ball progression was brilliant on Wednesday. He’s just a very good player.
If anyone deserved a goal today, it was Jude Bellingham. He was all over the pitch making constant contributions throughout.
Tied for Man of the Match, together with Hummels, for me. If Pep Guardiola comes for in for Bellingham next transfer window, I can’t be bothered. Which coach would not want to have such a player in his squad? Jude showed today, that he can boss the midfield against the best teams in the world, and we should really enjoy him while it lasts.
Bellingham put in the kind of performance that had everyone in England purring and calling for him to start at the World Cup. That tells you everything you need to know. Also tells you that there’s going to be clubs sniffing around him next summer...
Emre - please become a good rotational player.
Reyna played a decent game but wasn't able to be the playmaker he was last weekend.
Tony’s work-rate was impressive and he spent more time defending than most strikers. Modeste had several important clearances as well.
Glad to have him back in the mix. We clearly lacked some speed and one-on-one potential before he came on. Still impressed with how little room he needs for a shot.
Not that the fault should lie completely on Schlotterbeck, but the defensive system faltered when he was introduced. I’m sure he’ll be back in the Man of the Match poll again soon.
There were a lot of good things about this match. For 79 minutes, Terzic’s tactics worked. On paper, this match away in Manchester was always going to be the most difficult of the bunch. What we saw today was an admirable display after getting thrashed in Leipzig four days earlier. There is plenty to build on here.
I’m very happy and lightly frustrated. Today we experienced - what in my eyes - was lack of tactical understanding from a manager who is still learning the robes. Introducing Schlotterback and changing the organisation meant that several Manchester City players had way too much space around our penalty box. But still - probably our best game of the season?
The loss itself was really crushing, because BVB deserved to come away from this fixture with something (ANYTHING), but the performance was brilliant, at least for the majority of the game. 80 minutes of brilliant defending, excellent control in possession while under pressure, and some nice counters that easily could have seen BVB a couple goals to the good.
Unfortunately, it counts for nothing. I think Terzic did a tremendous job of setting the team up for success to start the game, but bringing Schlotterbeck in late on, and disrupting the team’s structure, was a massive mistake. After that point, the team’s defensive structure was a mess, and you could see some confusion about who should be tracking too (I’d allow for some of this being driven by fatigue as well). It’s a real shame, but at least it came in a game that we were expected to lose anyway.
The performance alone showed what BVB are capable of, even if the result didn’t quite go the way we wanted.