Wow. Dortmund are now 3-0 on aggregate against Newcastle FC in this year's Champions League. After the embarrassing 0-4 defeat against Bayern Munich over the weekend, the Black-and-yellows absolutely needed to show a new face on Tuesday night, and oh boy did they manage to do so. Depending on how AC Milan’s game against PSG goes, Dortmund will be on pole position to move into the knockout stages in this year’s tournament. Not an easy feat in the group of death. Multiple players did a good job tonight, but who did the best?
I’m not ready to say that Karim Adeyemi is officially back, but he played as someone who really had a point to prove tonight. Much of his good work came being an absolute nuisance to Willock, Joelinton, and later on Almiron. If there was a workrate award for this match, I would give to Karim on the spot. He absolutely ran his ass off, and in the 77th minute, he even did a full-on sprint across the entire pitch to recover a lost ball. Karim really made it seem like we played with an extra man for large parts of the game. I can forgive him being a bit wasteful with the ball on his feet early in the game, because he made a stunning assist for Brandt’s nicely finished goal for 2-0. Let’s hope this trend continues!
When Sabitzer was signed in late in the transfer window, I was honestly ecstatic. Why Manchester United didn’t sign him and brought in Amrabat instead, I could ponder for all eternity. Tonight, Sabitzer played one of his best games in black and yellow. A midfield battle against the likes of Bruno Guimarães and Sean Longstaff isn’t easy, but our midfield, and Sabitzer in particular, almost made it look too easy. He was absolutely crucial in the first goal after some lovely interplay with Füllkrug, and on the other end, he helped overman Newcastle’s wingers to win possession back for his team. In a game of intense tempo like this one, Sabi was calm and collected, and he absolutely made up for his absolute howler against Bayern Munich tonight.
It could honestly have been both Schlotterbeck and Hummels, but I’ll go with the latter, as I think he just edges it out. Hummels were synced perfectly with the aggressive approach from the rest of the team, and he didn’t Calumn Wilson, Anthony Gordon, or Joelinton an inch in attack. He even almost got an amazing assist, had Adeyemi been able to hit his shot first time before he was intercepted by Guimarães. I honestly can’t believe that Hummels is almost 35 years old, because he churns out prime displays on the regular these days. A big factor in keeping Newcastle’s xG to just 0.53. Honestly, I’m just so impressed.
Many fans will not have too many good memories of Wide Brandt, and when he was deployed as a winger in tonight’s lineup, I was a bit skeptical to say the least. Just as Karim Adeyemi did, Brandt absolutely ran his boots off today. He did little wrong when playing out from Newcastle’s press and he was also very active on the defensive end of the game. Together with Ryerson, helped keep Kieran Trippier and Valentino Livramento (who I thought was Newcastle’s best player on the day) in check. His goal from Adeyemi’s pass was well taken, and you’ll have a hard time arguing that he didn’t deserve it.
An honorable mention goes out to Niclas Füllkrug, who created and scored a fantastic goal tonight and won duel after duel in the air.
Who was your MOTM?
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Who performed best tonight? Let me know in the comments below!