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Match Ratings: Dortmund Bounced From the DFB Pokal by Stuttgart

BVB were thoroughly outplayed for the second time in three weeks by Sebastian Hoeneß’s and VfB Stuttgart.

VfB Stuttgart v Borussia Dortmund - DFB Cup: Round of 16 Photo by Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images

Yikes.

Starting XI

Gregor Kobel

Sean: 7

Joey: 5

Greg prevented this match from becoming more embarrassing than it already was.

Julian Ryerson

Sean: 5

Joey: 5

Ryerson is scrappy and he was heavily involved throughout this match. His late knee injury looked bad and I doubt he’ll be available this weekend... or this year.

Nico Schlotterbeck

Sean: 4

Joey: 5

Mats Hummels

Sean: 6

I thought that Hummels was the least disastrous player on the pitch, maybe other than Kobe.

Joey: 5

We are in so much trouble if Hummels gets injured or decides to retire.

Marius Wolf

Sean: 3

We’re in so much trouble with Ryerson out, because the idea of Wolf making the next 8-9 starts really haunts me.

Joey: 3

The most memorable thing Wolf did was launch a cross into the stands that I’m sure had many of us shaking our heads.

Emre Can

Sean: 5

Joey: 5

All-in-all, I thought Emre Can looked decent, but I was he had been able to play in the midfield more, rather than acting as another defender.

Salih Özcan

Sean: 5

Özcan really struggled in possession and Stuttgart mostly passed around him all game.

Joey: 4

Marcel Sabitzer

Sean: 6

Joey: 5

Sab looked decent in the (very little) build-up Dortmund did have, and his shot off the crossbar was was our best chance of the match.

Jamie Bynoe-Gittens

Sean: 3

When JBG is on his game he’s beating players left and right and creating tons of chances. When he isn’t, he constantly dribbles into players and turns the ball over constantly.

Joey: 4

Karim Adeyemi

Sean: 3

What I just described JBG doing on a bad day is what Adeyemi has been doing every moment of the season so far.

Joey: 3

Karim can run fast, but that’s not enough to be starting for Dortmund.

Youssoufa Moukoko

Sean: 5

Joey: 2

He touched the ball twice during his 24-minutes on the pitch.

VfB Stuttgart v Borussia Dortmund - DFB Cup: Round of 16
Greg won’t be too happy about the defeat
Photo by Markus Gilliar - GES Sportfoto/Getty Images

Substitutes

Niclas Füllkrug

Sean: 5

I thought some of his holdup play was decent, but he really couldn’t generate much.

Joey: 5

Ramy Bensebaini

Sean: 5

Joey: 4

Julian Brandt

Sean: 7

Dortmund looked a lot better when Brandt came on, but it was too little too late.

Joey: 5

Brandt brought improved passing to the pitch, but a player like him can’t get involved easily in a Park-the-Bus type of game plan.

Donyell Malen

Sean: 3

What I just described JBG and Adeyemi doing is what Malen also did. We basically have three completely ineffectual wingers if JBG isn’t on his game.

Joey: 1

Player 24-minutes (including stoppage time) He touched the ball once.

Marco Reus

Sean: 4

Joey: 5

Overall

Sean: 3

Just embarrassing. The scoreline isn’t too bad but the performance was pitiful for a team that allegedly had aspirations to winning the DFB Cup, let alone one that would ever have ambitions to win a bigger trophy. Terzic is apparently so afraid of Stuttgart that he decided to throw every player behind the ball with the hope that, I suppose, BVB would randomly create something with a long vertical to JBG? I really don’t know what else Terzic expected with the lineup and tactics he selected.

Joey: 2

If not for individual quality, this result could have been much worse. (See 1-5 loss to Stuttgart in December 2020) But make no mistake, this was a complete and utter failure of tactical systems. At no point in this match did Dortmund’s formation maintain any kind of organized structure. BVB players were chasing the ball the entire match. When Bayern Munich plays teams in the relegation-zone, it looks like this: Bayern dominates possession and chances while their opponents sit back and defend with at least ten players, then hope for successful counter-attack. Bayern wins at least 90% of these. What Dortmund looked like today, was a relegation team defending against the league leaders.

What is perhaps most disappointing, is that we looked worse against Stuttgart in this match than the one 25-days ago. Terzic and company had plenty of time to calculate a strategy, but whatever that was, clearly didn't work. Stuttgart outplayed Dortmund, and Sebastian Hoeness out-coached Edin Terzic. I’m beginning to get some Lucien Favre vibes, as there seems to be a clear game plan match-to-match, but either it’s not practical or the players don't understand how to implement it properly, especially against a high press. That’s a problem.