Borussia Dortmund have recently made a habit of dropping points against local rivals VfL Bochum. The last two times BVB have played Bochum, the match has ended in a 1-1 draw, even though Dortmund have gone in as overwhelming favorites. Sunday’s 3-1 win may not have been as convincing as the scoreline might suggest, but it was all three points, and that hasn’t been guaranteed against Bochum lately.
Niclas Füllkrug opened the scoring from the penalty spot, seven minutes into the game, before Bochum leveled the score just before halftime, through a Nico Schlotterbeck own goal. Thankfully, two more Füllkrug goals, another of which was a penalty, helped BVB to see off a local foe that they often make hard work of.
Here are our ratings from BVB’s 3-1 win against Bochum.
I felt Meyer’s first performance between the sticks in a few months was really solid. He was vocal (albeit not enough for Nico Schlotterbeck), he commanded his area, and was really composed on the ball in possession and distribution.
Meyer did not do anything particularly wrong but also did not do anything particularly right.
Here’s some data courtesy of WhoScored:
It’s no coincidence that 42% of Dortmund’s attacks started on the left side or that Dortmund’s second goal came from a switch-of-play between Maatsen and JBG. Maatsen is a beast in possession and will continue to be the catalyst for a majority of Dortmund’s attacks when he is on the field. Oh, and he also made a fantastic slide tackle to deny Bochum.
Schlotterbeck defended himself after the match, saying he couldn’t hear Alex Meyer shouting for the ball. Maybe there’s some merit to that, the Westfalenstadion is not a notoriously quiet place. Based on their proximity to each other… eh.
A 4 for Schlotterbeck may be harsh but his own goal deserves some harsh criticism. When defending, the goalkeeper should always have final say on when he comes out to grab a ball. Replays show Meyer screaming for a pretty routine catch but Schlotterbeck slides in with an awful clearance. Outside of those 5 minutes, Schlotterbeck was bang average.
I am beginning to understand where Terzic is coming from when he says he wants to see more from Süle. The performance against Bochum was fine, but that’s the issue. Niki has the tools to be a world-beater at center-back.
Abandoned his post at center back and failed to track back with any pace for Bochum’s goal. Hard to fault him too much because that should not have been a goal. No notable moments aside from that.
Meunier had more touches than any other Borussia Dortmund player but failed to make an impact in possession. There is a stark difference between Meunier and Maatsen when Dortmund are trying to move the ball. In defense, no notable lapses.
I thought Özcan played a great game. While not as flashy as his Austrian counterpart, Sabitzer, he did well to maintain defensive balance in a very top-heavy Borussia Dortmund. More importantly, he has been getting better at his ability to turn with the ball in midfield and get his head up. Small things like that make him a more rounded player, although he still has a lot of work to do for me to see him as Dortmund’s number six for years to come.
Sabitzer and Dortmund’s good form has coincided recently. Who could have predicted this?? Me??
Another great game from Sabitzer. Dortmund’s uptick in form is due to several things but Marcel Sabitzer being a productive member of the midfield is definitely near the top of the list. He created the most chances in the match and got a great assist for Dortmund’s second goal.
It feels like Sancho is still finding his confidence and form but the Englishman’s quality is obvious. He looked threatening throughout the match and his passing was excellent. He’s a huge reason as to why Dortmund are more exciting in recent matches.
We should call Malen “hard-work Donny.” If he isn’t scoring the goal, he’s at least running toward it or around it. It was not vintage Donyell Malen like last week, but the spark is there.
Won a penalty but did not do a whole lot outside of that. Still, did his job and helped Dortmund get an early, albeit fragile, lead.
I felt Moukoko was the more lively of the two strikers, and deserved a goal for his efforts. The substitution was untimely, for certain, but Moukoko made a case for more minutes in the weeks to come.
Starting alongside Füllkrug, Moukoko showed brilliant dribbling and ball control throughout the match. He had one good chance that he created for himself. That being said, the young German was limited to only three shots and the lowest amount of touches across Dortmund’s starting lineup by a considerable margin. He has some developing to do but has plenty of time to do it.
It’s been decided, hasn’t it? Füllkrug was, is, and always will be the better striker between him and Moukoko. Jokes aside, the ugly striker got Borussia Dortmund’s first hattrick since April of 2022 (Haaland vs Bochum) and looked great throughout the game. His two penalties were very well taken and his header was a typical ‘big man’ goal. No complaints.
It has been fun Gio. If this was the last few minutes in Black and Yellow, Gio made sure his mazy dribbling and mesmeric control were not to be forgtte by the BVB faithful.
The American had a very involved cameo after coming on for Malen in the 66th minute. He almost had a great one-two with Sabitzer to pull off a shot but collided with a Bochum player before receiving the cutback. May have been his last game for Borussia Dortmund and he did not look particularly happy after the match.
Dortmund have so far found a way to use Jamie Bynoe-Gittens and Jadon Sancho in a way that does not limit minutes for either, and still allows them to influence the match. It’s a careful balance, but JBG continues to show promise for however long he is on the field.
I really like Jamie and the game against Bochum showed why. The young Englishman came on in the 71st minute for Borussia Dortmund and within two minutes, Dortmund had scored. For Dortmund’s goal, he picked up a great switch-of-play from Maatsen and got the pre-assist with a composed pass to Sabitzer (Who still had a bit to do). After that, made a good run and won a penalty after leaving a leg out. 29 minutes on the field and involved in two goals - exactly what you want from the sub.
Two penalties and an own goal leave a little to be desired after a game that Dortmund should be aiming to win in style. No disrespect to Bochum, who routinely upset the big dogs with their consistent brand of football. In December I would have given my first-born for a two-penalty driven win, but BVB need to log this one in the book and continue training and improving in the weeks to come. No matter how it gets done, a strong, winning record will help this team keep the momentum up when the opposition gets tougher.
A 7 might be harsh for a 3-1 win but I was really hoping Dortmund would come out of the gates and hammer Bochum after the early goal. The attack looked great apart from the final pass or shot. One thing I will note - I really want this Dortmund side to look more driven in possession. The team has come a long way from where they were six months ago but still have a lot of work to do if they want to achieve their performances from the second half of the 2022/23 season.
Who was your standout player from the match? What did we get wrong? Is Füllkrug the Bundesliga’s best striker? Let us know in the comments.