There are few constants in this world: The sun will rise and set each day, politicians will bicker, birds will migrate... and Borussia Dortmund will have your heart racing with one dramatic match after another. Today was no different. Borussia Dortmund were level with Mainz at 1-1 by the fourth minute of play. While at first, I anticipated a goalfest like the 4-3 win three days ago. No, this was a lackluster match all-around.
The commentators love to point out that teams like Dortmund need to “grind out” these games against weaker sides. Well I hope Gio Reyna’s last minute goal shuts some of them up because Dortmund did “grind out” this game and deservedly won three vital points.
It wasn’t pretty, it rarely is, but here are FTW’s nominations for Man of the Match:
After some questionable defending in the first couple of minutes, Dortmund’s newest Norwegian played an impressive attacking role, cancelling out Mainz’s early lead. In just his second appearance for BVB, Ryerson scored a goal and produced a strong, diversified performance. Whenever he had the ball attacking plays began to form. So far, Sebastian Kehl’s latest signing is proving his worth.
The American Dream is back and better than ever! That’s two consecutive match-winning goals from Gio. Although this goal didn't have the wow-factor of Sunday’s, it proved the difference between one and three points in what is shaping to be a tight race at the top of the Bundesliga table. Perhaps Gio’s role as super-sub will persist, given his history with injuries?
The thing I like best about Haller is that he’s an unselfish striker. In just his second game back from cancer, he assisted Reyna’s game-winner. Haller’s ball-handling is so impressive moving forward. He’s in constant motion, he can be scrappy and he’s a joy to watch.
Haller’s pairing with Reyna and JBG has me more excited than Moukoko, Malen and Adeyemi. Assuming Haller’s fitness continues to improve, we BVB fans are in for a fun Rückrunde.
I questioned why Emre Can was starting this match over Mo Dahoud, who returned to the bench after his shoulder injury earlier in the season, but I was pleasantly surprised by Can’s performance. He defended well, he tackled well, he moved the ball well, and he had one of the highest passing rates of Dortmund’s players. Not long ago Emre Can was a liability, guaranteeing at least a yellow card in nearly every match, but this was a mature showing from the veteran.
Who was YOUR Man of the Match?
Niklas Süle, Julian Brandt
How fast was your heart racing between Gio’s goal and the final whistle?