That’s it for 2022/23. A season with soaring highs and searing lows. The final matchday of the season is over, and I am tasked with providing ratings.
I have been in a mental fog since Saturday morning. I find myself working on chores or watching TV only to have the memory of those feelings sweep back into my brain. I am being dramatic? Certainly. But I cannot shake off the genuine disappointment of what transpired in Dortmund on 5/27. It’s going to take some time.
Still, ratings need doing, and some players deserve recognition for their efforts. That said, I do not feel that any of BVB’s 11 who were on the field should be burned at the stake for the results on Saturday. In a game of such magnitude, the responsibility and blame do not fall on any one person. Dortmund were a whole on Saturday, and they will be judged as such.
Greg was beaten by a worldie header for the first concession and hung out to dry on the second. He was unfortunate not to keep the second goal out given he made contact, but it does not deserve to be held against him.
Wolf was pretty tragic while he was on the field. His delivery and decision-making were so poor that Mainz seemed content to leave him unmarked, given the lack of threat.
Wolf was poor in his time on the pitch, and was only saved by the injury that he picked up that forced him off.
His goal hurt more than it helped (emotionally), and he was part of a defense that conceded two sloppy goals. Still, he was not at fault for either and stopped several dangerous counters.
I thought Süle was probably the only BVB player in the starting lineup that was genuinely good on Saturday. He wasn’t really responsible for the mess BVB got themselves in, and he fought hard to help get them out of it.
Miscommunicated with Emre Can to concede the second goal, and knocked Marco Reus’s freekick off target. Rough way to announce your contract extension.
Ryerson brought his typical fighting spirit, but his attacking output was poor. Not much more to say.
Unfortunately for one of Dortmund’s MVP candidates, his performance in the biggest match of the season was not up to par. Can was at fault for both goals, losing his man each time. He was not able to unlock the Mainz defense with his passing and generally was not at the level he has shown all season.
I don’t know what happened, but Can lost his head on two key plays and it was enough to put BVB on the backfoot, from which they never totally recovered.
Guerreiro got Dortmund back into the game with a well-worked play resulting in an inch-perfect finish. The Portuguese star walks away as the top assister in the league for 22/23 and leaves behind a legacy of wacky behavior, slapstick defending, and outstanding goals from wild angles.
Auf Wiedersehen, Rapha. It has been a pleasure.
Adeyemi was snuffed out of the game while he was on the pitch, and his eventual injury ended his evening early. Not much more to say.
Brandt was quite poor throughout the evening, wasting several attacking moves with poor decision-making and sub-par finishing. He, like Adeyemi, was targeted by Mainz as a source of creativity for BVB, and the opposition defense stifled him expertly.
I’m a little conflicted on this rating because in reality Brandt was poor on Saturday, but it also felt like he was one of few that kept on pushing even when BVB were at their lowest. He probably deserves a six for effort, and I am unsure how much that refusal to down tools helped them fight back to 2-2, but in terms of execution? A four is possibly generous.
Similar story to the two players above plus especially poor delivery. Chalk it up to the occasion.
Seb did as much as he could to get Dortmund a goal, and his penalty should not have happened in the first place. There needs to be a more established order next season, no excuse. Beyond that, I will not give or tolerate further Seb slander.
That penalty killed us. I don’t know who was responsible for the call, but it immediately seemed like a mistake not to give it to Can. It proved to be exactly that moments later (although to be fair, we only know that Haller missed, not whether Can would have scored). If that penalty had pulled it back to 2-1, a complete turnaround might have been possible.
Marco’s introduction brought some focus into the attack, but the skipper was unable to finish his chances, a few of which he really should have put away. Frustrating day, and another year’s wait.
Gio added spark in Adeyemi’s absence and reminded BVB fans why he was once one of our brightest stars. His time on the bench has dimmed his shine significantly, but Gio showed his commitment to the badge on Saturday.
Wow, what a debut. If Gio added spark, Duranville added an inferno. For his first match and in the most high-stakes game of BVB’s recent history, Julien looked like a regular at the top level, drifting past defenders, carrying the ball up the pitch, and scanning for opportunities to play the final ball. Extremely impressive and a major positive from the match.
There were plenty of moans and groans when the kid was chucked on for his debut. He set about proving everyone wrong immediately. He has a very bright future.
Auf Wiedersehen, header-man.
It is hard to provide final words on this match, this season, these players. This has been one of the best BVBs we have ever seen, and the team has been a pleasure to watch, a nightmare to follow, and a heartache to say goodbye to. Dortmund have promised many plans over the years; there was the Schürrle-Götze plan, the Brandt-Hazard plan. Bit-part attempts to patch together a squad that could go far, but never all the way. Today, it feels like Dortmund finally has momentum. Make no mistake, they blew this. Absolutely, 100% blew it. This time, however, you sense we are not starting over again, but moving forward. The summer may bring twists and changes to the narrative, but if Terzic, Kehl, and company can keep this core moving forward, there is something to hold onto.
22/23 is in the books. Echte Liebe.
It was clear from the beginning that the players were nervous, but they still started okay. Unfortunately, in a season that has been defined by slim margins, it was brief lapses that killed them. Once they were 2-0 down, they gradually set about rebuilding, and in the second half they did play reasonably well (especially once Gio and Duranville were on the pitch). But it was all too late.