Jadon Sancho made an impression as Borussia Dortmund secured a 2-0 win over Eintracht Braunschweig in the DFB Pokal.
Borussia Dortmund advanced through to the next round of the DFB Pokal after securing a hard-fought 2-0 win over Eintracht Braunschweig on Tuesday.
It was simply not comfortable for the Bundesliga giants, who could call themselves lucky to break the deadlock through a set-piece in the 12th minute. Braunschweig, as expected, were more than willing to sit deep and invite the pressure from their opponents, with the 2.Liga outfit also taking minimal risks going forward.
Dortmund struggled to break the shackles of the mostly solid Braunschweig defence, although they did get scoring opportunities from time to time. Fortunately for the Black and Yellows, the early goal from Mats Hummels forced their opposition to adopt a more attacking strategy during the final phase of the game, thus leaving more gaps in defence.
And Marco Reus expertly exploited the situation perfectly to find a breakthrough pass for Jadon Sancho. The Englishman made no mistake in converting the chance, effectively sealing the win for the visitors. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Dortmund players in their win over Braunschweig this midweek.
Marwin Hitz: 6/10
Marwin Hitz did not have too much to do in a game where Eintracht Braunschweig looked hesitant in committing men forward. He made just one save, and wasn’t really involved in the build-up either so it was a relatively easy clean sheet for the Dortmund goalkeeper.
Mateu Morey: 6.5/10
Mateu Morey showed some nifty footwork during the initial stages of the game. The right-back was, however, sloppy at times with the ball, though, in a broader context of the game, the youngster did a decent job of providing cover on the flanks.
Dan-Axel Zagadou: 6.5/10
Dan-Axel Zagadou’s imposing presence in the Borussia Dortmund backline prevented Braunschweig from providing much threat from set-pieces. Aside from that, the centre-back mostly had to circulate the ball, play little short passes as the visitors completely dominated possession.
Mats Hummels: 7.5/10
Mats Hummels deserved the early opener for his leadership and motivation during the early stages of the game. He looked determined to help his side spark a revival following a rough patch in the month of December. He was ultimately taken off at half-time, in what seemed like a precautionary move from Edin Terzic.
— Goncalodias17vtt (@Goncalovt2) December 22, 2020
Raphael Guerreiro: 7/10
Playing on his 27th birthday, Raphael Guerreiro offered quality attacking support from the left flank as usual. However, it was only evident during the early stages of the game as the Portuguese international’s impact eventually started to wane as the game progressed and Braunschweig started to defend deeper.
Thomas Delaney: 7/10
Thomas Delaney operated in the deepest midfield role for Borussia Dortmund. He was in charge of clearing the loose balls and providing his side protection from any potential counter-attacks – a job he did extremely well throughout the game. His passing and overall ball-distribution was decent as well.
Jude Bellingham: 7.5/10
Jude Bellingham enjoyed yet another influential game in the middle of the park for Borussia Dortmund in this match. His box-to-box qualities aided the visitors in sustaining the pressure on the opposition. His expert positional understanding also allowed him to effortlessly hover around the right-sided half-space.
Julian Brandt: 5/10
Julian Brandt was disappointing once again as his poor form this season continues. He struggled to carry the ball in the final third, often getting hassled by the opposing defenders. The ex-Leverkusen star also looked clumsy on the ball and was subbed off around the hour-mark.
Julian Brandt is out of breath so soon and so easily like that’s not normal for a young athlete that’s not healthy what’s wrong 🥺😭
— simple is sexy, baby (@mymonsterslotto) December 22, 2020
Jadon Sancho: 8/10
Jadon Sancho’s goal in the final stages of the game served as a major confidence booster in what has been a disappointing season so far. The Englishman, who is yet to score in the Bundesliga, kept bamboozling the Braunschweig defence with his silky footwork, though the penetration was still lacking.
Steffen Tigges: 7/10
Steffen Tigges made a surprise start for Borussia Dortmund and he didn’t disappoint either. The tall striker made promising movements inside the box, using his physical and aerial stature to good effect. He might have even scored had he been a bit more fortunate, though the 22-year-old will be happy with his performance overall.
Giovanni Reyna: 6.5/10
Giovanni Reyna struggled to provide anything of note in the final third for Borussia Dortmund. He made some good movement and carried the ball confidently as usual, but there was a lack of inventiveness that made it difficult for the visitors to carve open the opposition backline.
Manuel Akanji: 7/10
Manuel Akanji replaced Hummels at the start of the second half. Had a few nervy moments early on but did well to eventually settle himself into the game. The Swiss international showed excellent composure and marshalled the Dortmund backline throughout the second 45 minutes.
Marco Reus: 7.5/10
Marco Reus replaced Brandt around the hour-mark, providing more firepower to the Dortmund attack. The German registered the assist for the late Sancho goal by delivering a perfectly timed through ball.
Axel Witsel: 6.5/10
Axel Witsel came on for Bellingham during the final phase of the game as Terzic opted for more experience and composure in the middle of the park. Had one attempt on goal go wide of the target.
Thomas Meunier: N/A
A late replacement for Morey. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Thorgan Hazard: N/A
Returned to the game after a short layoff due to injury when he replaced Reyna. But to his misfortune, he picked up another knock minutes after coming on.