Dortmund picked up where they left off against Darmstadt with an away win against FC Köln. Despite this game having all the markings of a trap game for Terzic’s men, Dortmund breezed past the Billy Goats in a way that felt almost routine.
Dortmund got started early with a well-taken corner in the 12th minute that saw Brandt deliver a low cross in towards Donyell Malen who put a cool finish past approximately half of Köln’s starting eleven. The rest of the half was a bit dull with neither team able to test the two goalkeepers. The fans, however, had their fun and spent several minutes throwing fake coins on the pitch to protest the DFB’s new investment
The second half started with a bang as Hendry Blank was forced to replace an injured Niklas Süle in mysterious circumstances and Dortmund was immediately tested. Blank’s first touch was with his chest as he dived to the ground to prevent Jan Thielmann from getting to his own rebound. Dortmund turned up the tempo after that and began to be more incisive inside Köln’s half. Jadon Sancho, everyone’s second favorite Englishman behind Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, won a very soft penalty that was converted by Niklas Füllkrug. Three minutes later, Ian Maatsen delivered the pass of the season to find Donyell Malen in behind and with a simple finish, the game was 3-0 in Dortmund’s favor. The last goal of the game came after some good linkup playing involving Jamie Bynoe-Gittens and Giovanni Reyna that found its way across the box and to the feat of Youssoufa Moukoko. Overall, a good game and another good response after a dreary first half from Dortmund.
Here are today’s candidates for MOTM:
After a brief lull, the Malenaissance is back! Donny scored two well-taken goals and looked like the most dangerous attacker in the game. Both goals highlighted his composure with the first one coming in a packed penalty area and the second from a one-on-one with the keeper. On top of his goals, Malen looked lively throughout the game.
This kid is good. In an interesting turn of events, Edin Terzic deployed Maatsen as an inverted fullback that saw him push into midfield at times throughout the game. His passing range is phenomenal and he was great on the defensive end. He chalked up 1 assist, 4/5 long balls (including his assist), 116 touches, two chances created, three clearances, and four recoveries. He is obviously one of the best players on the pitch.
Sabitzer has won his spot as Dortmund’s defacto number-eight with two great games in a row. While he did not get on the score sheet this time around, he showed massive improvement on his ability to be a box-to-box midfielder. He won 7 of his 11 duels, had eight defensive actions, and 82% passing accuracy. I still want to see him be more effective when Dortmund are building out of the back, but today’s match was a huge step in the right direction.
Blank earns a spot here because he came into the match and looked the part. Within seconds he was being put to the test and managed to help avoid a game-tying goal. Across his 45 minutes, Blank did everything you could ask of a 19-year-old center-back. He was pragmatic in possession, did not commit any errors, and looked comfortable alongside Schlotterbeck. Great debut from him and hopefully he continues to develop.
Who was your MAN OF THE MATCH?
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