Borussia Dortmund didn’t get off to the best of starts in the Bundesliga last weekend, barely scraping by FC Köln in a 1-0 win at home. But if you were hoping that they would put that behind them against VfL Bochum on Saturday, you would have been very disappointed, as they once again looked poor, dropping points in a 1-1 draw against their local rivals.
Bochum gave BVB trouble all game long, but they looked particularly good in the first half, opening the scoring from a brilliant Kevin Stöger goal in the 13th minute, and continuing to run Dortmund ragged for the remainder of the half. Dortmund were poor, but they did make improvements in the second half, and they scored the leveller through Donyell Malen on the 56th minute. Unfortunately, BVB were unable to push on and get the winner, but they didn’t really deserve to come away with all three points either. This was the second poor display in as many games to kick the Bundesliga off, and concerns are growing about how far this team can go this season.
Here are our ratings from BVB’s 1-1 draw with VfL Bochum on Saturday.
I don’t think Kobel did well with the Bochum goal but it was also a very good shot. Made a tremendous save on a looping shot in the second half, and was on hand to stop a couple other chances too. He was one of Dortmund’s better players, certainly.
I think Kobel for once could have done a little better on the goal, despite the shot being hit hard. Still, he saved the team points again on Saturday. If someone’s gonna keep BVB’s hopes and dreams alive this season, it’s Greg.
I hope that Bensebaini won’t just be a reverse Guerreiro in the end. The Algerian is very good in duels, but there’s certainly room for improvement in possession. He didn’t have much of an impact against Bochum’s low block defense, even though he often had plenty of space.
I think Hummels was our best defender on the day (again). I would have liked to see him a bit more proactive in build-up, but then again, Bochum really didn’t leave any room for his creative long balls.
Schlotterbeck looked a bit more comfortable against Bochum, but he was caught out a couple of times. I think the blame lies more with the midfield than the defenders for this performance (even though it obviously takes a collective effort to be a good team).
I thought Wolf struggled all game long. While he wasn’t always given the help he needed to find the pass in the buildup, he struggled to have an impact in possession, and he was poor in defense too.
Bochum let Marius Wolf have the ball a lot, but somehow, Wolf seemed to make wrong decision after wrong decision. His crossing was uncharacteristically poor, and he was a little stranded on the wing to fend for himself. Maybe Terzic should look into this inverted fullback stuff that every good manager’s currently using well in the Premier League.
Can’s start to the season has made me increasingly nervous about the decision to appoint him as captain. He simply wasn’t good enough to be a guaranteed starter on Saturday.
To be a good captain, in my eyes, you must be both a sporting and behavioral role model, though if extraordinarily good at one of them, maybe an exception can be made. Can has been neither in BVB’s first two games. His senseless complaints to to the referee got him a yellow card against Bochum. This must not continue.
I do not remember Sabitzer doing much of anything in this game. I think it is between Wolf and Sabitzer for BVB’s worst player against Bochum, and the question is whether you give the nod to someone that was very involved in the game but wasn’t very good (Wolf) or someone that was playing in an extremely crucial role but appeared completely absent (Sabitzer). I’ll leave that one up to you guys.
Sabitzer’s eye for goal had me hopeful that he would contribute a bit more on the offensive end against Bochum. Sadly, he had a very poor performance. I think he should have been more involved in and around the penalty box.
I thought Nmecha was pretty poor in the first half, but he did grow into the game a bit in the second half. He was one of Dortmund’s livelier players after Donyell Malen’s goal.
I think there’s room to be more critical of his performance because he didn’t do well enough with the opportunities that came his way, but given how little everyone else achieved, I’m willing to give Nmecha a little more credit.
Brandt had his moments against Bochum, but he was struggling to make an impact while stuck out wide. I don’t really blame him for that, because I’m not sure Brandt has ever given us any reason to believe he can be that guy, but I can only judge based on what I saw. Play him through the middle, where he can force the game.
Honestly, I would rather have seen Hazard on the wing and Brandt as our no. 10. His playmaking was wasted on the wings, where he was easily isolated by Bochum.
Malen was probably Dortmund’s best player anyway, but his goal was lovely as well. He definitely benefited from some poor goalkeeping by Riemann, but he did his part. He’s started the season with a whole lot of goals so far. I’m hoping my bad prediction wasn’t bang on...
If you can score goals when the whole team’s playing like mashed potatoes, I’ll give you credit. And Malen deserves some for being one of few proactive outlets throughout the game.
Didn’t get into the game as much as I would have liked, but wasn’t terrible either. Had a good early chance and also fed Nmecha with a solid opportunity. His struggles were largely a product of everyone else’s struggles.
I like the part when Big Fridge said “It’s fridgin’ time” and then fridged all over those guys. No seriously. I think Süle was great. He at least made a couple of runs forward to become an extra body in build-up.
Adeyemi ended up doing more defending than attacking when he was subbed on, and he was very good at it? His average rating is mostly just based on the fact that he only had 16 touches in his short spell on the field.
The first half was incredibly poor, and the second half was an improvement, but not by enough that we can be happy with the performance overall.
I do think there is a risk of overreacting to two performances where BVB were not good enough but were not completely played off the pitch. They certainly struggled, but it is only two games, and while the first half of this Bochum game was abysmal, they showed some improvement in the second half. That said, Dortmund have to pick things up very soon.
Yes, it’s only two games. But it’s also two games where BVB have looked very unconvincing. I don’t mind dropping points out to Bochum — they have been great at home, but the manner in which it happened frustrated me. BVB had the superior xG in their first two Bundesliga games, but the advantage was unconvincing in both games. A relegation candidate should not be able to cause so much trouble and play the game on their terms as much as they did.
I know a bunch of you are (rightfully) frustrated with Saturday’s draw. Do you think that Dortmund will have a better time when they host Heidenheim next week? Let us know in the comments below!