BORUSSIA DORTMUND VS BAYERN MUNICH: PLAYER RATINGS
It’s been over two whole months since the major European leagues had to shut up shop because of the ongoing global pandemic, so the resumption of the Bundesliga has been nothing short of a blessing to the football starved fans all around the world. The clash between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich was billed as a title decider as the home side were 4 points behind the record champions before kick-off and the way the match started, one could sense the urgency on behalf of Ruhr Valley side. This early dominance by Dortmund was effectively countered by the Bavarians who under Hansi Flick have been playing with such supreme confidence and maturity that them winning the league should never really have been in any doubt.
They were superior in all aspects of the game and after taking a first half lead, they simply managed the second half as mature champion sides often do, snuffing out any opportunities or chances that the side in Yellow might have carved out. It was just one match, but it seemed like the final step for Bayern in their pursuit of a record setting 8th consecutive German league title. As the moniker goes, another year, another parade in Munich.
Roman Bürki- 4
His biggest test during the match was Joshua Kimmich’s chip and while the former Leipzig man deserves credit for his ingenuity, the Swiss shot stopper was horribly positioned too far away from the goal line and despite getting a hand to the ball, he could not prevent a goal and much like how it has happened in the past, the BVB keeper did not help himself.
Łukasz Piszczek– 7.5
Although the Dortmund captain ended up on the losing side, Piszczek can be very happy with his afternoon’s work. He made a goal line clearance from Serge Gnabry’s effort in the first-half and looked equal to everything Bayern threw at him. He was pivotal in calming down a shaky defence throughout the game. A real captain’s display from the Poland international.
Mats Hummels – 7
Mats Hummels relished the opportunity of going toe-to-toe with Robert Lewandowski as he had his former teammate looking as toothless as he has ever looked, despite being the undisputed king of the No. 9s in world football. When the former Dortmund man was tested, he didn’t leave a stone unturned defensively.
Manuel Akanji – 5
He was probably the shakiest of the 3 centre-backs and his distribution was way off from when the ref blew the whistle.
Achraf Hakimi – 4
Achraf Hakimi is one of the best full-backs in the world. Bayern didn’t buy into the hype and it showed, thanks in part to another fantastic performance from Alphonso Davies, who had Hakimi’s flank totally locked down. Hakimi never took on the Canadian and therefore, the brilliant attacking impetus he’s renowned was nowhere to be seen. The Moroccan will be extremely disappointed with his efforts today.
Thomas Delaney – 4
Delaney has deputized admirably in the absence of Can and Witsel, but he was shown up today and completely outplayed by the Bayern midfield. Two of his attempts to clear the ball during the build-up to Bayern’s opener were squarely misplaced and ill judged. There was no surprise that he was taken off at half-time.
Mahmoud Dahoud – 6
For all his nifty footwork all evening, he barely managed to create anything and bypass the Bayern backline. He had a couple of efforts on goal as well but did not manage to trouble Manuel Neuer all that much.
Raphaël Guerreiro – 5
Der Borussen’s right-sided bias when going forward in the first 45 didn’t help Raphaël Guerreiro’s cause initially which is why he livened up more in the second. Despite being in the form of his life, following 3 goals in 2 matches since German football has returned, the Portuguese international failed to have any sort of impact on both halves of the pitch as Coman was a handful throughout the contest.
Thorgan Hazard – 5
Thorgan Hazard has been a man possessed since the Bundesliga has returned. However, Bayern showcased that he too is a mere mortal as the Belgian was anonymous throughout the contest and created virtually nothing.
Julian Brandt – 5
Brandt sprayed a couple of jaw-dropping passes, but he wasn’t at his usual, decisive best and did not seem to be able to link up with the BVB frontline as he has over the past two weeks. He was replaced by Jadon Sancho at half-time as Lucien Favre wanted the Englishman to turn the game on its head with his quick feet and verve up top.
Erling Håland – 5
Erling Håland had the golden opportunity of making Neuer pay for his poor sweeper-keeper impression within the first minute and instead, followed it with a tame shot which was cleared by Boateng with ease. From then on, the Norwegian was isolated and looked quite sloppy throughout the contest, wasting the scraps he’d been feeding on due to a brilliantly structured Bayern side. His evening ended with an injury, capping off a poor Der Klassiker for Dortmund’s boy wonder.
Jadon Sancho– 4
Jadon Sancho looked out of ideas following his half-time introduction and failed to assert himself in the game. The Englishman has been missing his usual spark since the season resumed and was not able to have any meaningful impact on the game whatsoever. A lack of fitness, however, is also a factor and the former City man simply wasn’t able to set the Signal Iduna Park alight upon his introduction.
Emre Can – 5
Emre Can’s introduction was a stark reminder of how much his tirelessness and domineering approach was missed. While Delaney has deputized excellently in Can’s absence, the ex-Bayern man is simply levels above.
Giovanni Reyna– 5
The American came on for the injured Håland and occupied a wide-right role. While Favre was bold for bringing Reyna on to make a difference, the teenage sensation couldn’t spring the game to life.
Mario Götze– N/A
The former Bayern man was introduced and for anyone getting flashbacks of the 2014 World Cup, the scenes weren’t as romantic this time as Götze isn’t the same player anymore. Leaving in 2021, Götze never truly looked like he would be the gamechanger.
Axel Witsel– N/A
Axel Witsel came on during the dying embers of the contest and therefore, he couldn’t anchor the midfield like he used to. One thing that can be said for sure is his absence was felt in the middle of the park.
Manuel Neuer- 6
Within the first minute, Manuel Neuer’s Der Klassiker could have begun in nightmarish fashion if Håland made him pay after a shocking attempt at coming off his line and mopping things up. As the game wore on, the Bayern skipper felt his way into the contest and put on a lesson in distribution as the game wore on. How Neuer casually parried away Dahoud’s venomous attempt from outside the box is one Bürki should take notes from.
Benjamin Pavard- 6
In a game where two of the world’s outstanding full-back duos squared up (excluding Liverpool’s Alexander-Arnold and Robertson), Pavard is perhaps the most timid going forward. However, the Frenchman is perhaps the most balanced out of the four and he didn’t put a foot wrong all evening. Dortmund’s constant and predictable attempts at foraying down the left meant he was left untroubled for the most part.
Jérôme Boateng- 7
Jérôme Boateng’s future at Bayern is always one that dominates transfer rumors and despite all the noise from the outside, the 31-year old continues to be a general in defence for the Bavarians. The World Cup winner cut a composed figure all evening, winning each and every aerial battle with ease and coasted through the 90 minutes in what was rightly billed as a title-decider.
If VAR got it right, something that has become a rarity at this point, Boateng’s handball to block Håland’s shot would have been punished. Fortune favours the brave?
David Alaba- 7.5
Despite being one of the world’s premier left-backs, David Alaba has had to evolve himself into a centre-half and it has to be said that the Austrian has risen to the challenge like he was always built for it. Alaba was assertive, brilliantly positioned, and neat on the ball all the game. Hansi Flick will have no complaints.
Alphonso Davies- 9
Before the contest, each and every preview was geared towards Hakimi and Davies locking horns against each other in what promised to be an intriguing battle between two of Europe’s standout young full-backs. Davies, however, was the clear winner as Hakimi was pocketed to the extent that he simply turned up away when the Canadian was anywhere in the vicinity. His 35.27 km/h dash to chase down Håland ranks as the 10th highest clocked speed in Bundesliga history and Müller’s roadrunner impression of the Canadian in a post-match interview is perhaps the most apt way of describing his unreal pace.
Going forward, Davies showed why he’s a winger by trade as his sublime footwork meant the Dortmund defenders could barely touch him at certain points. All one can do is tip their hats to Bayern’s scouting network.
Joshua Kimmich- 9 (Man of the Match)
Out of all the boxes Kimmich ticks, week in, week out, an outrageous chip in a Der Klassiker is one that we never thought the German would have to. There’s no denying Bürki made a meal of the attempt, but the cheek to even go for something like that and execute it to perfection speaks volumes of a player who’s more clued on that most. Covering the most distance on the pitch (13.7 km), making 8 ball recovering and stacking up 104 touches, Kimmich was the definition of complete all evening. While Davies was a close contender for the Man of the Match, Kimmich’s sumptuous chip just edged it for him.
Leon Goretzka- 6.5
Goretzka’s graft against Bayern should and could have never gone unnoticed. His forays forward, troubling Bürki twice as well were ones to make the highlight reel. However, where Goretzka doesn’t stand up and be counted is in terms of providing a sense of control and magic in midfield. The former Schalke man ably deputized for the injured Thiago, but the Spaniard takes the midfield and the side in general, to another level.
Kingsley Coman- 6
This wasn’t a trademark Kingsley Coman performance by any stretch of the imagination. While the Frenchman was a nuisance for Guerreiro to tame and constantly found threatening positions, his end product was shocking, to say the least at times. Barring what could have been an assist for Gnabry until Piszczek’s incredible goal line clearance saved Dortmund’s blushes, Coman left a lot to be desired in the final third. He was extremely bright on the right flank, however and didn’t let Guerreiro the take a breather all evening.
Thomas Müller – 5.5
Despite Müller playing in his absolute prime this campaign, this display was far from his best as he simply couldn’t get on the ball enough and give BVB a headache with his spatial intelligence as there was barely any space to exploit. Favre had laid out a compact structure which meant this was one to forget for the No.10.
Serge Gnabry- 6
Gnabry was on the periphery of Der Klassiker, often isolated and failing to take the game by the scruff of the neck. The former Arsenal winger came as close to scoring as any of the frontline until Piszczek came to the rescue with his heroics off the line. Gnabry was uncharacteristically aggressive and was in Dortmund’s faces on several occasions, putting in tackles and really getting stuck in. A mixed outing for the wideman.
Robert Lewandowski- 5.5
Much like Håland, Lewandowski was a mere passenger throughout the contest and Hummels made sure things stayed that way throughout the 90 minutes. The difference between the two strikers was that the Polish No. 9 dropped deep to get the ball and often occupied wide positions to involve himself into the build-up and make things happen. During the final quarter of the game, Lewa even got a fantastic shot off with his weak foot that struck the post. Was it a vintage Lewandowski masterclass? Far from it. But Flick can take encouragement from seeing his marksman put himself about when things aren’t rosy for him.
Ivan Perišić – 5
The Croatian came on for Coman to add pace and directness out wide. Perišić needed time to get into the game and it showed as his presence didn’t particularly add much.
Lucas Hernandez– N/A
Came on for Boateng in the dying embers to offer fresh legs and solidity at the back.
Javi Martinez– N/A
A late replacement for Gnabry as Flick looked to shut up shop.