After two UCL matchdays, BVB find themselves bottom of the group, with one point collected, and what will feel like two or three dropped. Terzic set the team up for failure in Paris, but at home against AC Milan, it seemed like Borussia Dortmund had a good shot coming away from the game with all three points. Instead, they failed to register a single “big chance” and less than 1 xG, despite a total of 18 shots. That will not win many games.
With four match days to go, BVB need a few statement wins to come away with anything from the Champions League this season, even a spot in the Europa League. Here are the ratings from the match.
Kept BVB in the game on several occasions, and was very cool in the buildup despite heavy pressure from Milan.
Boy am I happy that Greg extended! Continues to be BVB’s life insurance when the defensive line is broken, which it quite often is.
Did as well as could be expected against a powerhouse like Leao. Ryerson Mostly had the legs to chase Leao around, and still enough energy to support going forward.
Ryerson gets a nod from me because he was asked to do way too much. With Brandt drifting into central space whenever he had the chance, Ryerson was left alone to fend off both Theo Hernandez and Rafael Leao. It left the Norwegian with very few options, but he didn’t give anything away despite that.
Hummels certainly also struggled with Leao’s pace and physicality but still managed several critical tackles, and a few blocks in the box to prevent a goal. It wasn’t vintage, but it was enough.
Seems like a problem that the decaying corpse of Mats Hummels is arguably Dortmund’s best player this season...
Was caught off guard which resulted in a yellow. If I have to be perfectly honest, you can’t expect to not draw at least 3-4 fouls on Leao throughout 90 minutes — dude’s a monster.
Kept the American duo of Pulisic and Musah firmly in his pocket. Was an absolute beast in duels. Didn’t offer much going forward, but as far as defensive displays go, this was almost as good as it gets.
Bensebaini has, at times, struggled since joining BVB. This was his best effort yet.
I don’t care if he played well. I’m sick of Can picking up yellows. Play on your feet and shut your mouth.
With Özcan slotting in as the number six, you would have expected Can make a more noticeable presence going forward. He sadly didn’t, and once again had to play two-thirds of the match on a yellow (he did that well, but does he really have to foul someone and complain every f*cking game?).
All Terzic wanted was physical, no-nonsense players who would fight to win. Even if it was a terrible transfer strategy, Salih was listening. When Sabitzer returns, there will be healthy competition in the midfield, and I know who starts in my lineup.
I could not have said it better myself. No nonsense. Salih has been plain, simple, and very effective lately. He’s beginning to work himself into bargain territory again.
I really wanted to bang my head against the wall when I saw that Brandt was once again fielded as a left winger. Lacked speed and physicality when played in behind (not his fault though), and didn’t support Ryerson on the right side. I understand Terzic’s plan to overcrowd the central space with Brandt a bit more, but today, it just didn’t click.
Can you actually believe that Reus only managed 13 passes in 72 minutes? I still don’t think the Brandt/Reus constellation works, and don’t ask me why Terzic keeps on trying it.
Hardest worker on the field by a mile. Malen would have picked up the ball from outside the stadium and driven at goal if given the chance. The Dutchman deserved a goal for his efforts, but he ran out of steam before it could come. Fair play.
You had the sense, that if Dortmund were to score (especially in the first half), it had to come from Donny. He was proactive on the ball and gave Calabria a very hard time.
Struggled to get involved, but imposed himself physically and worked hard off the ball.
I honestly think Fülle did alright with what he had to work with. Good in hold-up play, and won a ton of headers to keep the ball on black and yellow feet. He just lacked, you know... The offensive threat.
Lost: Karim Adeyemi. Return if found.
Karim seems void of confidence at the moment. When you’re subbed in after an hour and still don’t have the confidence to take on players in one-on-ones, something’s clearly wrong. I’ll also just mention again that the guy is not a winger.
JBG was at least creative and determined, but he lost his head a little bit and tried to take the one-man-band approach. He needs to shake that youth program mentality.
You know what? At least JBG tries to bring the ball forward at every opportunity he gets. This is something that only Malen and Reus are currently doing in the team, and that’s why he deserves to start more often.
Extra points for effort if not execution.
Came on, lost the ball a bunch, and wasted one of the best attacking movements of the match. Poor.
I screamed at my TV when he didn’t play in Adeyemi for a clear-cut chance in the 88th minute and instead skied the ball wide of Maignan’s goal.
Overall? Not good enough. There are signs of life in this BVB side, we saw that in Sinsheim. But this year and this group may just not be the winning ticket for Die Schwarzgelben. I think it’s better that BVB work through their squad and tactical problems against some of the best opposition in Europe because it will make the games in the Bundesliga just that little bit more palatable. There’s still plenty to play for in the UCL, with first and fourth separated by a mere three points. But the remaining matches will be significant challenges, and Terzic needs to get his team humming in Germany before we can expect anything abroad.
What became abundantly clear from the Dortmund game against Milan was that Terzic once again decided to be reactive instead of proactive with his lineup. Is it a case of him not trusting his team to be able to square up against a team like Milan?
It really can’t come as a surprise to him that a double pivot of Can and Özcan didn’t pose any threat through the middle (to their credit they did play a good defensive game), and once again, Julian Brandt was fielded as a right winger, even though he isn’t a winger at all. In the first half, you really had the sense that if Dortmund were to score, it would have been the result of an individual display of brilliance by Donyell Malen, who did trouble Calabria quite a lot.
To be honest, I really didn’t think Milan looked good in this game. From my perspective, it very much looked like Pioli tried to approach the game in the same manner as Terzic tried to approach the PSG game, only for Dortmund to not be threatening despite being good at retaining the ball. Another upside is that the defensive stability has really benefited from Özcan stringing together a couple of good performances — now the offense just needs to follow suit.
Was toying between giving either a five or a six here, because there was an improvement in performance, but it’s still not great. I’ve opted for a five because I think the only reason I was tempted to go higher is adjusting for the low standards the club has set to start the season.
BVB seem completely devoid of ideas, and while they did a pretty good job of handling AC Milan’s offense, it’s a risky business to rely on defensive stability when you’ve got very little of your own offensive threat. Something has got to change.