Borussia Dortmund hosted Newcastle United in a match that was of the utmost importance to both teams chances of UCL advancement. BVB had bested the visitors two weeks ago thanks to a Felix Nmecha strike, and hoped to win the double over the English team. While possession was heavily contested, Dortmund looked the stronger side from the first whistle. BVB were rewarded for their creative efforts through a scrappy and intricate play involving Felix Nmecha, Marcel Sabitzer and Niklas Füllkrug, with the latter finding the net in his first ever Champion’s League goal. A strong back line of Süle, Hummels, Schlotterbeck and Ryerson ensured BVB maintained their third clean sheet of this UCL campaign, and Julian Brandt showed off his form in the second half, finding the net and putting this game to bed. Fans deserved a reaction to the weekend’s embarrassing home loss, and I’d say this was one hell of a reaction.
Started Match day 3 in 4th Place, Finished Match day 4 in 1st place.
Phenomenal from Kobel. He made five saves and had his posts calmly covered. His long ball passes could use a bit more accuracy however.
Newcastle were held to an xG of only 0.53, but Greg was once again dependable. Should be in conversation for top 5 keepers in the world at this point, and I’m not joking.
Business as usual.
Big Fridge was back in the right-back position and I had been wondering when Terzic would start using Süle there again. He may not be the quickest sprinter, but he covered the flank well and prevented Joelinton from registering more than a couple shots.
I’ve been advocating for Right Back Fridge to happen for quite some time, and I’m glad Süle played instead of Wolf tonight. Wasn’t a real offensive threat, but luckily, that didn’t matter too much.
I’m being a little harsh here, but his continual unwillingness to play the progressive pass (which, to his credit, Wolf does really well) into the inside channel frustrated me and deprived us of some potential opportunities. Otherwise solid.
Just when I think our old dog’s legs won't hold out against another heavyweight opponent, Mats goes and plays ninety minutes of stalwart defending. He won all eight of his tackles today and surely deserves some credit for the clean sheet.
How the hell did Hummels not crumble in an insanely paced match like this one. He must know something we don’t, because he’s still playing like he’s 28.
After a shaky performance against Bayern allowed some of world football’s more uninspired journalists to trot out the usual “too old, too slow” nonsense, Hummels reminded everyone just why he has been anchoring top-level defenses since before those same journalists could string together coherent sentences. Vintage.
Just like his center back counterpart, Schlotterbeck was able to squeeze together with the midfield in order to minimize space for Newcastle to attack. Didn’t look as composed as Hummels, but still did a very good job.
I appreciate Julian Ryerson and he was a bargain when he arrived from Union Berlin.
Yeah this guy is good. Heroic defensive effort from him today, and did well playing out from the press just like he did against Hoffenheim in the pokal.
Sabitzer has had hot and cold performances in black and yellow and thankfully today was one of his better showings. Marcel played an aggressive and scrappy style that Newcastle couldn't seem to manage. His contribution to Füllkrug’s goal was brilliant.
My personal man of the match. I’ve already explained why I think so in my MOTM article, so go and read that, if you wonder why!
Sabi was everywhere today. An absolutely enormous performance that our Austrian midfielder capped off with an intelligent assist, making him my personal MotM.
Salih continues to impress. Though I don’t think he did anything particularly noteworthy in this match, he was solid defensively and helped recover the ball during BVB’s onslaught of attacking plays.
Disciplined. Determined. Tenacious. I like.
I think this was easily Karim’s best performance for Dortmund this season. He was scrappy, looked motivated, and moved like he could make a difference. Right before Brandt’s goal, I was gritting my teeth, think Adeyemi was about to lose the ball right outside our box- then he launched it up to Brandt and the rest is history.
Karim was definitely a six or even less before the assist. His work off the ball was phenomenal, but you know, he also had some very wasteful moments with the ball at his feet. I’m still a bit skeptical about his offensive output, but against Newcastle, he did exactly what he was supposed to do.
Rather wasteful but got a lovely assist late on. Showed what he’s capable of in a few moments, and (dare I say it?) it looks like he’s really beginning to work his way out of the funk he’s been in.
I think Nmecha was the least noticeable midfielder of ours, but when I watched some of the match back, it was because he was mostly making defensive contributions. He also had som decent runs forward and some routine forward passes. A quietly good shift from him.
I was very worried about us starting Nmecha and forcing Brandt wide, but it turned out to be a really good tactical move, as his aggressive pressing and physical presence caused havoc in the attacking third. A commanding 90 minutes from him.
Room! This was an all-around performance. Brandt’s attacking creativity was on display the entire match and he even won most of his ground duals. Kieran Trippier and company couldn't contain him.
Brandt is an incredibly gifted footballer who has done a great job of silencing his critics over the last couple of seasons. A constant thorn in the Magpies’ side, creating the joint-most chances and scoring a beauty to boot. Was a little wasteful on occasion, but Terzic’s decision to start him wide actually gave him the freedom he needs, as Newcastle’s full-backs are not the strongest (or most willing) of defenders.
Strong improvement from the weekend. Nik made himself large in attack, finding space and opened the scoring with his first UCL goal. It was deserved.
It’s honestly scary how good this guy is in the air. His interplay and finish was great as well (even though I think it was at least a bit lucky).
Handed the potentially thankless task of going up against Newcastle’s centre-backs and absolutely dominated. I love it when a striker is willing to do the dirty work and fight for the cause, and he brings grit and commitment in spades, as well as great link-up ability.
The “Twelfth” Man
Banner that reads: “You don't care about the sport-all you care about is money” Love it. Poorly rendered depictions of Giani Infantino and friends. Amazing. Bags of fake money, gold bars and tennis balls dumped onto the field. Brilliant. To top it off, this Dortmund crowd was loud and they were chanting the entire match. I love to see it from the fans.
Pissed off UEFA and made Eddie Howe’s team shit their pants. Pretty solid day on that front.
Dortmund fans reminding us all about what a truly special club this is. Honourable mention for the Newcastle supporters’ “Twenty is Plenty” banner. Lovely!
I don’t say this often, but Dortmund looked to be the better team for the majority of this game, and the win was well-deserved. To bounce back from the weekend’s thrashing takes a reasonable dose courage and resolve, and I’m so happy BVB managed the double over Newcastle. The defense was solid; if Schlotti, Süle and Mats are all fit, then they should all be starting. New boys, Füllkrug, Nmecha and Sabitzer seem to be finding their rhythm, Adeyemi looks good at times and Brandt is on fire. Are we perhaps a dark horse in this competition? So long as someone else knocks out Bayern, then perhaps?
I mean... When you beat Newcastle TWICE without letting in a goal, it must be by design. Right? As much as I though Newcastle were uncharacteristically toothless, I also thought that Terzic’s men didn’t give them an inch. As ruthless as it was, getting Lewis Hall carded early on was very important. I’ve totally given up on understanding this team this season, but this was a very good performance against a very good side.
Newcastle have only lost twice in their last thirteen competitive fixtures (and this includes wins against PSG and Man City). Both those losses have come against our very own Schwarzgelben, as some astute tactical tweaking from Terzic gave us the advantage against Howe’s red-hot Tynesiders. Today, starting Nmecha through the middle gave us an extra pressing midfielder in the attacking half of the pitch, disrupting Newcastle’s ability to play through the central areas; it also allowed Brandt to isolate Trippier and Livramento- neither of whom seem to enjoy their defensive duties very much- giving us a real creative edge. Not starting Donny was also a controversial decision that paid off, as Karim’s work rate and extra pace gave us solidity when defending against Joelinton and Gordon down the right, as well as some penetrative running out wide that we’ve lacked in recent weeks.
After a bruising weekend, Dortmund have rebounded well, and we were good value for our 2-0 lead, more than doubling Newcastle’s xG of only 0.55 (FotMob). It was always going to be a challenge to come back after such an abject performance and crushing defeat, but the boys rose to it phenomenally. Couldn’t be prouder of them today.