Borussia Dortmund head into the weekend at the top of the Bundesliga table, if only temporarily, after a fine display and a 1-0 win against Werder Bremen tonight. Even though The Black-and-Yellows only managed one goal, Edin Terzic’s men were firmly in control throughout the game. Werder Bremen coach, Ole Werner, had clearly read the memo, and set his team up to defend in a very compact defensive shape in the middle of the park. Thankfully, a huge effort was made by BVB’s midfield to retain possession, shuffle play around and keep pushing. Some fresh legs in the form of Gio Reyna and Ramy Bensebaini helped Dortmund keep up the pace, and the team was eventually rewarded. In the 67th minute, Emre Can’s line-splitting pass found Julian Brandt, to dink it over Bremen keeper Michael Zetterer, for what would prove to be the winning goal.
Here are my MOTM nominations from our Friday night victory against Werder Bremen:
There has been a lot of criticism aimed at Felix Nmecha since he joined Borussia Dortmund this summer, and rightfully so. I think everyone knows exactly what the young German midfielder is capable of, and I think that is why so many fans have been frustrated with his performances so far.
Tonight, however, Nmecha played by far his best match in a black and yellow shirt. He was active on both the defensive and offensive end, covered a lot of ground, got plenty of shots, and almost served up a world class assist for Donyell Malen. Aside from his very clumsy yellow, I don’t think Nmecha did much wrong today. Good for him, and good for us!
Are 30 minutes enough for a MOTM nomination? Maybe not, but then again, if you saw how Reyna lit up the field today, you know I couldn’t not nominate him. After a very impressive spell with the national team earlier this week, Gio played like a man with a point to prove. As I wrote in the FTW Writers’ Slack channel, Reyna very much reminded me of a young Marco Reus. He drove the ball forward at every opportunity, drew several fouls late in the game, and set up several great chances for his teammates. I don’t want to pile expectations on him. All I can say is that he showed his world class potential today, and I’m very happy for him.
Captain Can played a big part in keeping the ball at black and yellow feet today. While Nmecha was given license to get forward, Can sat back, snuffed out counters, second balls and rushed back to help out the backline when needed. He capped off his performance with an insane pass for Brandt’s lovely winning goal. I’ll also award extra points for no boneheaded yellow today. Lovely stuff, captain.
I was very torn between nominating Brandt or Nico Schlotterbeck, but I decided to go with the latter. While Brandt did score a great goal, his set pieces were subpar, and he wasn’t really much of an offensive threat up until his goal. I thought Nico Schlotterbeck, on the other hand, had a banger of a game today. Yes, he misplaced one pass that gifted Werder Bremen a chance on goal, but other than that, he played a huge part in keeping Bremen as far from Kobel’s goal as possible. His long balls, especially in the first half, did a great job of creating space. He wasn’t dribbled past even once, and he was very secure in possession — even when pressed.
Who was your MOTM?
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Who do you think was today’s MOTM and why? Let me know in the comments below!