Woo! Unlike last Friday, my weekend didn’t start with me wanting to bash my keyboard against my desk! It was a dominant performance from start to finish for Borussia Dortmund, who suffocated Freiburg from the opening whistle to the final minute of stoppage time.
Donyell Malen struck early with a pinpoint perfect shot into the top corner, assisted by a clever layoff by Niclas Füllkrug. After a 10-minute pause mid-match due to a fan protest of the upcoming DFL investor agreement, the Malen-Füllkrug connection struck again, giving BVB a vital 2-0 lead headed into the half.
BVB’s domination would continue in the second half, and with only a few minutes remaining, Füllkrug would ice the match by heading home a looping cross from Ian Maatsen. The final scoreline was 3-0, with the expected goal difference at a resounding 1.91-0.26 according to Fotmob.
Malen and Füllkrug led the way, but there were several other performances of note. Here are my candidates for man of the match:
Malen was absolutely on fire today. Nearly every time he was on the ball, he was doing something positive, whether by taking on defenders, setting up his teammates, or scoring one of two lovely goals. He could have had a handful of assists in addition to his brace.
Not only did Füllkrug score his tenth goal of the season, but he notched two classic striker’s assists, one with strong hold-up play to shield the ball before picking out a pass Donyell Malen, and the other by gliding up the pitch on a break, drawing bodies to him before picking out a perfect through-ball to Malen.
Can returned to his classic role of sitting very deep in midfield, practically a third center back, allowing him to control possession and pick long balls to slice through Freiburg’s midfield. He may not have gotten on the scoresheet, but his influence was all over the game.
This might be sentimental, but I don’t care. I cannot imagine the personal hell of going through two and a half years of rehab, watching on the sidelines, not knowing if you’ll ever be healthy enough to play again. When Morey was subbed on in the 89th minute, the Westfalenstadion gave him a marvelous and fully deserved standing ovation.
Who was your MOTM?