After a 10-game winning streak, I went into tonight’s game against a Chelsea side that has been very mediocre in the league season feeling quietly confident. Granted there were a few injuries that put a dampener on my confidence, but I felt this was a game that Borussia Dortmund should approach without fear. I thought we had a real shot. Well haven’t I got egg on my face.
BVB turned up looking to hold on to a lead, played a negative game, and hoped to rely on a big defensive effort to come away from tonight’s match with a place in the Champions League quarter finals. That did not happen. They conceded two goals either side of the half, the first from Raheem Sterling, and the second from a Kai Havertz penalty that had to be retaken after he missed his first attempt, due to BVB players encroaching on the penalty area before the ball was kicked.
From the looks of things, the penalty was technically correct, but it didn’t feel right. There were certainly a bunch of Dortmund players encroaching on the penalty area, but so was Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell. I don’t particularly like the call, and I think this is why it is a good thing that referee’s often use some discretion to even out the jagged edges of the rulebook, but I’m not going to spend much time on the decision because BVB were poor and deserved to go out. If Chelsea hadn’t scored that penalty they would have kept pushing, and with the way we were playing, they probably would have scored eventually.
We have only ourselves to blame for how we tried to approach this tie. Over the course of the two legs we took a bit of a pasting. The referee certainly didn’t make us play so negatively.
Anyway, on to the business of picking four whole Dortmund players that deserve a nomination for Man of the Match in a game that I thought was pretty abysmal.
Reyna had to come into the game early after Julian Brandt picked up what looked like a hamstring injury, and he was one of few Dortmund players that was particularly positive in offense. It felt like he was trying to push the tempo a bit more, but wasn’t given a lot of help.
I was toying between Bellingham and Nico Schlotterbeck, neither of which I feel particularly great about nominating. I went with Bellingham because he was pretty busy after Dortmund went 2-0 down. He should have scored the equalizer though. Usually a moment like that would stop a player getting nominated, but it’s extra slim pickings.
I thought Can showed plenty of fight, as is so often the case, and he avoided going too far in that aggression and getting himself sent off. Besides rewarding him for trying and not doing something stupid, I’d also add that he was pretty involved in the game too. All qualities you expect in a MOTM nomination!
There were a couple nervy moments early in the game but I thought Meyer was one of our better players, despite conceding two. He made a couple saves. What did anyone else do?
Who was your Man of the Match?
This poll is closed
Let us know who you thought was man of the match and why!