Raphael Guerreiro and Giovanni Reyna’s performances powered Borussia Dortmund to their first victory in the post-Lucien Favre era.
Borussia Dortmund registered their first win under interim coach Edin Terzic, securing a narrow 2-1 victory over Werder Bremen on Tuesday evening.
The Black and Yellows looked like a different side during the first phase of the game, playing more direct football in a more compact shape. They even got the early breakthrough via Raphael Guerreiro in the 12th minute but things started to look sour following Bremen’s equaliser out of nowhere as Kevin Mohwald’s precise finish beat Roman Burki.
As the game progressed, it seems Dortmund were settling for a more balance press, with Terzic perhaps keeping in mind the upcoming Friday night encounter against Union Berlin. Yet, that didn’t stop them from creating clear cut opportunities in the second half, even though they were incredibly wasteful in front of goal.
Borussia Dortmund did eventually find the winner in the 78th minute when Jiri Pavlenka conceded a penalty. The Bremen goalkeeper then did well to stop Marco Reus’ spot-kick but couldn’t keep out the rebound, which was scored by the BVB captain. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Dortmund players in their hard-fought 2-1 win over Bremen this midweek.
Roman Burki: 7/10
Burki had very little chance to keep out Mohwald’s accurate finish. However, the Swiss goalkeeper made amends by making a couple of vital saves to deny Bremen from scoring further. He didn’t have to do much in the second half, though, especially during the final phase of the game.
Mateu Morey: 6.5/10
Mateu Morey played in a conservative right-back role, operating deep, almost along the same lines as the two centre-backs. He didn’t really venture forward so there was a lack of offensive support for Jadon Sancho. At the same time, the young Spaniard was largely solid in dealing with the threat of Ludwig Augustinsson.
Manuel Akanji: 7/10
Manuel Akanji was culpable for losing the ball that led to Bremen’s opener. The Swiss international lost the ball one more time late in the game that put a minor blip in an otherwise solid defensive display. He was strong in dealing with Yuya Osako and his pace was critical in denying the likes of Josh Sargent.
Mats Hummels: 6.5/10
It was not the flashiest of performances for Mats Hummels. He wasn’t particularly extraordinary with his passing out from the back while also providing a minimal attacking threat in set-pieces. He was, however, solid in defence, providing assistance to Akanji at the heart of the Dortmund backline.
Raphael Guerreiro: 8.5/10
It was yet another impressive performance from Raphael Guerreiro who just keeps on improving in the left-back position. His lack of compulsion to stick to a routine position in the left-back allows him the freedom to move forward and involve himself in any good attacking situations for his side. It was evident in this fixture as he scored the early opener.
new position FRLB: Free radical left back.
Just goes where the danger's at. Love to see it
— Highpress Hockey (@Highpresshockey) December 15, 2020
The Portuguese international made a series of forays into the opposition area, moving forward with menace while linking up well with his attacking teammates. It made life exceedingly difficult for Bremen defenders who already seemed outnumbered on most occasions.
Axel Witsel: 7/10
Axel Witsel had yet another quiet yet clinical night in the middle of the park. The Belgian international remained calm and composed in possession, screening the Dortmund backline.
Jude Bellingham: 7.5/10
Bellingham was influential once again in Dortmund’s overall game. The youngster operated just ahead of Witsel, hovering around the right-sided half-spaces. His box to box qualities made it difficult for Bremen defenders to stick to a certain pressing philosophy while the outnumbering in the attacking third meant they simply couldn’t afford to man-mark a midfielder. Surprisingly taken off in the second half, though.
Jadon Sancho: 7/10
Jadon Sancho had a promising start to the game. He looked lively on the right flank, often looking to influence things and he truly did by playing an essential role in the build-up to the first goal. The Englishman wasn’t devoid of chances either but he was extremely wasteful in front of goal. The ex-Man City starlet certainly lacks confidence in his game at the moment, as his dribbles weren’t working either.
Marco Reus: 8/10
Most chances created (4)
4 key passes
Completed 7 clearances
And was dispossessed 0 times
Arguably one of his best individual performance this season!
A good start for Edin Terzic #HejaBVB
— Fola_Guerreiro🇳🇬 (@folahan_jnr) December 15, 2020
Borussia Dortmund’s biggest takeaway from this game is the slow return of form for Marco Reus. The BVB captain was coming on the back of a disastrous run of form, but he showed very little signs of deterioration in this fixture. In fact, he terrorized the Bremen defence with his work-rate, link-up play and the ability to bombard the final third.
Reus should have scored from the spot-kick and was perhaps fortunate to score from the rebound – it was, however, a goal he truly deserved in this crucial fixture.
Giovanni Reyna: 8.5/10
Giovanni Reyna was once again one of Dortmund’s best performers despite operating a wider role in order to accommodate Reus in the number ten position. The youngster looked like a menace whenever he had possession and tried to make things happen in the final third, notably creating an excellent chance for Youssoufa Moukoko early on in the game.
Youssoufa Moukoko: 6/10
Moukoko was given his first senior start at the age of just 16 years and 25 days. His lack of experience, however, was showing as the youngster looked evidently nervous and lacking in confidence, especially following a disappointing showing against Zenit in the Champions League.
As a result, the striker, filling in for the absence of the injured Erling Haaland, missed at least three excellent opportunities to find the back of the net. Terzic deserves credit for not taking him off early despite his evident discomfort but he ultimately made way for Emre Can during the final ten minutes of the game.
Can on for Moukoko now. Had his chances, didn’t take them. #svwbvb
— Stefan Buczko (@StefanBuczko) December 15, 2020
Julian Brandt: 6.5/10
Julian Brandt was introduced around the hour mark in order to provide some more attacking output for Dortmund in the final third. The ex-Leverkusen sensation didn’t disappoint either, offering an additional passing option while threading some useful forward balls.
Emre Can: N/A
Replaced Moukoko just after the Reus goal as Terzic opted for more defensive bodies in an attempt to hold on to the slender one-goal advantage. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Dan-Axel Zagadou: N/A
Replaced Hummels, who looked in discomfort, during the late stages of the game. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Lukasz Piszczek: N/A
A late replacement for Morey. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.