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Match Ratings After a Crushing Defeat

Outworked, Out-thought, Outclassed

VfB Stuttgart v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga Photo by Sebastian El-Saqqa - firo sportphoto/Getty Images

Football is a strange game. Dortmund are a strange team. After rebounding from the abject Klassiker display to comprehensively dispatch an in-form Newcastle side, the logical prediction for this weekend’s trip south to Baden-Württemberg, where we’d face a Guirassy-less Stuttgart, would have been a relatively uneventful win. So, we did the logical thing and won, right? If you managed to miss the game, this article’s title, and all of Dortmund’s last ten or so seasons, you might’ve answered “yes”, and you couldn’t have been more spectacularly wrong!

Stuttgart (who started with no fewer than three ex-Dortmund players in their XI) comprehensively outplayed us, getting a penalty inside the first quarter of an hour after Greg clattered Undav in the box. Fortunately, our Swiss talisman saved Chris Führich’s spot-kick, allowing us to stick to our gameplan of giving Stuttgart chances and praying they wouldn’t convert, with the chances rapidly piling up after Hummels was forced off with an injury just before the half-hour mark. It seemed as though we might even get away with the hideous display, as we took the lead entirely against the run of play with Fülle tapping home a lovely drilled cross from Ryerson. That was perhaps our only moment of quality throughout the 90, however, and the respite it brought was short-lived, with Stuttgart continuing to dominate and levelling just six minutes later. Terzic rang the changes at half time in an attempt to modify our shape and inject some life into a Dortmund side that wouldn’t look out of place in a morgue freezer; it couldn’t stop the bleeding, however, as Hoeneß’ side picked up right where they left off, creating at will but struggling to finish. For a while it looked like we were going to hang onto an entirely undeserved point, but another Kobel foul in the box led to another penalty, and Guirassy made no mistake, consigning us to a 2-1 loss.

Starting XI

Gregor Kobel

Yash: 6

I can certainly see the argument that he was hung out to dry by the defense, especially post Hummels’ withdrawal, and his shot-stopping is largely what kept some semblance of respectability about the final score, but both the penalties were a result of some poor timing and positioning on his part. Still, probably our best player on the night.

Anders: 7

Was absolutely hung out to dry on the first goal. Could have done better on the second penalty, as it could have been anticipated more effectively. Still, it would have been 5-1 without him.

Julian Ryerson

Yash: 5

A lovely assist gets him a little bump in an otherwise poor game (though who wasn’t poor today?!).

Anders: 4

Of all our defenders, Ryerson did best to keep up with the absurd pace of Stuttgart’s play. The fact that the team was overrun was not so much his fault.

Nico Schlotterbeck

Yash: 2

Anders: 2

An actual scary performance by Nico. Don’t know if it comes down to him having played every 4-5 days in forever, but clearly something was wrong.

VfB Stuttgart v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga Photo by Marco Steinbrenner/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Mats Hummels - N/A

For what it’s worth, we looked significantly worse without him. Thankfully seems a minor one.

Niklas Süle

Yash: 3

Anders: 3

I agree with Yash. A tiny bit better than his defensive counterpart, although that doesn’t tell you much, as Stuttgart basically played like they both weren’t even there.

Marcel Sabitzer

Yash: 4

Didn’t look horrible, but Stuttgart just outnumbered him and Nmecha offered little support. Opened up the play for our goal with an intelligent piece of play.

Anders: 3

Something I’ve noticed about both Sabi and Özcan is that they have a very hard time keeping up with teams that play fast, direct football. Our midfield was basically out of the equation for 90 minutes, and who knows what kind of damage Leverkusen could do to this midfield. Very scary.

Salih Özcan

Yash: 3

Much like Sabi, rendered a non-factor by Stuttgart’s wide, direct attack. Pretty useless.

Anders: 3

Felix Nmecha

Yash: 3

Anders: 3

Stuttgart left him with no breathing space, and he was dispossessed multiple times before he could even begin to look up. Didn’t leave any mark on the offensive end as the rest of the team.

Julian Brandt

Yash: 3

Complete failure to launch after his MotM display in the midweek. Struggled to make anything happen as Stuttgart were able to double-mark him and he was bereft of any support.

Anders: 3

Niclas Füllkrug

Yash: 5

Got himself a goal and made a very solid effort off the ball. More than you could say for the majority of those in black and yellow.

Anders: 3

I mean, when our team can’t string together more that two passes, how would you expect him to do anything?

Karim Adeyemi

Yash: 1

I save my “one” ratings for displays of jaw-dropping incompetence with no redeeming factor, and this one came incredibly close. Karim’s idiotic yellow was the kicker, however, and it consigns him to the ignominy of FTW’s first (and hopefully only) unanimous 1 of the season.

Anders: 1

I think I made my case in my post match observations. Adeyemi is in a bad mix of just being totally out of form and (in my opinion) being used wrong, and it all culminated tonight in probably close the worst BVB performance I’ve seen this year. I really like Adeyemi, he seems like a fun and lovable guy, but damn... I think it’s good that he gets some time off now.


Ramy Bensebaini

Yash: 2

Bens really struggles to track players making the off-the-shoulder run, and his weakness was on full display today. Error aside, he was one of the poorer ones of a bad bunch, as his lack of pace and poor defensive awareness were repeatedly exploited.

Anders: 3

VfB Stuttgart v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Donyell Malen

Yash: 3

Anders: 3

Marco Reus

Yash: 4.5

Anders: 4

Reus ran and ran for the team, but when he came on, you could argue that it was already too late, as Stuttgart simply had overtaken every last drop of momentum.

Giovanni Reyna

Yash: 4.5

Anders: 4

I think Gio was better than Brandt when he was subbed in, but honestly, he didn’t do much. He did play very safe and had one or two carries forward.

Youssoufa Moukoko - N/A


Yash: 1.5

Every so often, Stuttgart delivers us a swift kick in the pants. Particular lowlights include us conceding to them in stoppage time despite having had a man advantage for the vast majority of last season’s away fixture, and the abominable 5-1 home loss a few years ago that resulted in Favre’s sacking.

In this particular edition of Stuttgart Pulls Dortmund’s Pants Down, it was clear from the outset that the home side were better than us, and, while fatigue probably contributed to our poor display, there’s no taking away from the fact that they were on top from the get-go. Their wide attackers took full advantage of Niki and Bens’ weaknesses at full-back, with the majority of their attacking play coming from the wings, while the central midfielders and Brandt were left marooned in a sea of white shirts. Hoeneß’ men seemed better prepared, less fatigued, and hungrier than our rather pedestrian Schwarzgelben, in all areas of the pitch.

Make no mistake, I hated absolutely every minute of this game; it’s pretty obvious that the one-goal difference flatters us massively. Still a long way to go in the season, however, and we’ve got a long international break now to put our heads together and sort it out.

Anders: 1

It’s funny. What should you do to deserve a rating of one? Get three players sent off? Score two own goals in the same match? Get run over 8-0? A lot of crazy scenarios could warrant the lowest possible score, but BVB didn’t need any of those tonight. They were thoroughly outclassed by a squad that was not even half as expensive and was missing their best players this year for the majority of the match. For a performance like this one, there are absolutely no excuses, and I honestly think Terzic should have taken more responsibility in his post match press conference instead of just the regular ol’ “I’m disappointed and we have to do better”. Action speaks louder than words, but there was absolutely no action in this game. An absolute testament to the fragile form that this team just haven’t been able to shake off for quite some time. 1-0’s against Hoffenheim and Bremen will only get you so far. Let’s just hope that Terzic has the tool to fix this.

Your Thoughts

Can it only improve from here? Who was the best of this shocking bunch? Let us know in the comments!