When Dortmund travelled to Sinsheim for their Friday night match against Hoffenheim, everyone expected Pellegrino Matarazzo’s Hoffenheim to be a tough opponent to face. Hoffenheim came off five straight wins, and it showed on the pitch.
Dortmund came out and played a good first 20 minutes. An individual error from John Brooks in the 18th minute saw Füllkrug one-on-one with Oliver Baumann, and the German international cleanly dispatches his shot in the right side of the goal. The individual mistakes continued, as Mats Hummels brought down Anton Stach in the box as a result of his own misplaced pass in build-up. A failed Baumann clearance from a beautifully worked cross from Donyell Malen saw Reus volley a goal in for 2-1 just before the break.
In the 2nd half, Hoffenheim firmly sat on the ball for almost the entire half. Bensebaini got an absolutely unforgivable red card for kicking a ball away for a Hoffenheim throw-in in the 71st minute, which didn’t exactly make things easier for Dortmund. Even though Hoffenheim piled on the pressure, the black and yellows defense showed a lot of resilience, and three minutes into extra time, Julian Ryerson did the unthinkable and made a goal we’ll probably all remember for a long time.
Despite the result, it was clear from this match, that Terzic got firmly outcoached today, and when you allow Hoffenheim to sit on +70% possession in the 2nd half (prior to the red card), you definitely notice that this Dortmund team is still far from their peak.
Anyway. Here are my MOTM nominees from an eventful evening in Sinsheim!
O captain, my captain! I feel kinda bad for Reus. He’s on the brink of retirement, but because we lack so much creativity in midfield, our loyal soldier is called upon again and again. Tonight, he was one of, if not the best, offensive player for Dortmund. He didn’t look rattled by the Hoffenheim press as much as others and often managed to find creative solutions to at least make Matarazzo’s team run a few extra meters for every ball. He capped off his performance with a beautiful goal and some great pseudo coaching from the bench.
Özcan continued from where he left off last week and was a thorn in the side in Hoffenheim’s buildup. He had some trouble when playing out from the back, but I really liked his simple approach on the ball when Dortmund saw a bit of established possession. Salih won 72% of his duels, which is quite a lot considering how Hoffenheim pressed Dortmund far into their own half for large stretches of the game. He also had managed to find a teammate with 89% of his passes with 1 key pass as well. With this level, he deserves to start next week as well.
Hummels has an uncharacteristically bad night, but luckily, Schlotterbeck was there to compensate. Schlotterbeck has a knack of knowing exactly when to step in, and it clearly showed, when he dispossessed Mergim Berisha deep into Dortmund’s penalty box in the 94th minute and stopped a clear attempt on goal. A very strong day at the office for Schlottigott.
Julian “Messi” Ryerson
I screamed when Ryerson scored that goal. I wanted him to take the chance himself, and he absolutely did. For the goal alone, he deserves a nomination. Only a MADMAN would and could dispossess an opponent and run across an entire football field in the 95TH MINUTE and have THE AUDACITY to nutmeg the keeper as well. Even before his goal, Ryerson was one of the strongest performers for BVB on the day. He kept both Bebou and Skov quiet whenever they switched wings, he won 6/7 duels, and he topped it all off with a goal that should be in contention for goal of the season. Madness.
Who was your MOTM?
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Julian "Messi" Ryerson