Emre Can scored the only goal of the game as Borussia Dortmund beat Hertha Berlin 1-0 to strengthen grip on the second spot in the Bundesliga table.

It was a match that was devoid of clear-cut chances, with both sides managing just 4 shots between them. The game was largely played out in the middle of the park, with Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin cancelling each other out. And, it soon became clear that one goal might be enough to seal the deal.

Fortunately for the hosts, it was Emre Can who scored that match-defining goal, calmly slotting the ball past Rune Jarstein after a splendid move by Dortmund. The result ensured Dortmund created a four-point buffer over RB Leipzig, who were held to a 1-1 draw by SC Paderborn earlier in the day. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Lucien Favre’s men.

Roman Burki: 6/10

One of the easiest outings of his campaign, nay his career, for Burki. The Swiss international had just one save to make all game, with Hertha Berlin barely testing him. With the ball at his feet, he was accurate and precise, completing 89 percent of his passes.

Lukasz Piszczek: 7/10

The Borussia Dortmund skipper continued his fine run of form, holding the fort at the back along with Emre Can and Manuel Akanji. A key figure for the the hosts during build-up play, Piszczek completed nearly 95 percent of his passes. Also won five duels over the course of the game.

Emre Can: 9/10

Can has been such a superb addition to the Dortmund squad and he was in fine touch on Saturday. The German international was deployed as a centre-back in the absence of the suspended Mats Hummels and he stepped in rather expertly, making 3 interceptions and 7 clearances.

Also given the freedom to go forward and create overloads in the final third, Can was a dangerous presence in the final third, which was evident when he was present in the box to score the winner. His incredible influence can been seen from the fact that Dortmund have won 6 of the 7 games he has started.

Manuel Akanji: 8/10

Another solid effort by Akanji, who combined well with Piszczek and Can at the back. The Swiss defender won each of his duels (5) while also making a couple of clearances and completing 91 percent of his passes, helping immensely with the build-up. In a good run of form.

Achraf Hakimi: 6.5/10

Not the best of outings for Hakimi considering how well he has played since the resumption of the Bundesliga. However, the Moroccan international slowly grew into the game and was a constant threat down the right flank, but hurt his side on occasions, having lost possession 23 times. His creative instincts were somewhat missing, but Hakimi was immense at the back, winning 11 duels.

Solid. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Solid. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Axel Witsel: 7.5/10

In the starting lineup for the first time since the resumption of the Bundesliga, Witsel looked like he had not missed a step. The experienced midfielder was a rock in the middle of the park, negating the forward movements of Hertha expertly and making a staggering 12 recoveries.

His accurate output on the ball (96 percent) helped Dortmund dominate the proceedings as well, with Witsel also only losing the ball a mere 5 times. A domineering asset at Favre’s disposal.

Thomas Delaney: 6.5/10

Along with partner in crime, Witsel, Delaney provided a stable platform for Dortmund to build on in the middle of the park. However, his major shortcoming was on the creative side of things, with the Dane hardly being inspiring enough. 7 duels won and 4 accurate tackles helped a great deal, though.

Raphael Guerreiro: 6/10

Like Hakimi on the right flank, Guerreiro seemed to be out of it on Saturday, although he did make 3 key passes. However, it did not matter much in the end, as Dortmund just about managed to edge Hertha Berlin. Defensively, he was a bit suspect at times, but Akanji’s brilliance helped him.

Jadon Sancho: 6/10

Frustrating outing. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Frustrating outing. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Making a second successive start, Sancho endured a frustrating outing. Unsurprisingly, he was the brightest spark for Dortmund but unlike last week, he could not manage to trouble the scorekeeper or provide an assist. He did have his chances, though, with the Englishman squandering a couple of big opportunities. Having said that, he was heavily involved in the build-up to Can’s goal.

Thorgan Hazard: 6/10

With Erling Haaland still not fit enough, Hazard started in the false nine role once again. This time around, his scoring boots were not on, as he missed a glorious chance in the first half. Cannot be faulted for a lack of effort, though, and the Belgian put in a shift, as is the case with him usually.

Julian Brandt: 7/10

It was not the best of performances by Brandt, who has been in fine touch lately. However, the fact that he was instrumental in Can’s goal bumps up his rating. The German international drifted in and out of the game and like his attacking teammates, missed a really good chance. But, his deft header set up the goal for Can, which made all the difference in the end.

SUBSTITUTES

Giovanni Reyna: 6/10

Given the last 25 minutes or so, Reyna was not involved a great deal, making 16 touches, although each of his passes reached the intended target.

Mateu Morey: N/A

Making only his second appearance for Dortmund, Morey was quite the spark during his cameo and showcased some impressive composure in the final third.

Leonardo Balerdi: N/A

On for the final 10 minutes, Balerdi was solid in the middle of the park, making a couple of crucial interceptions.

Marcel Schmelzer: N/A

A late substitution, Schmelzer was a pair of fresh legs late on.

Leave A Comment...

*