Florian Wirtz outshone Jude Bellingham and Youssoufa Moukoko as Bayer Leverkusen sealed a valuable 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.
Borussia Dortmund’s title hopes faced yet another blow as the Black and Yellows slumped to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday. The Bundesliga giants made a solid start to the game, predictably dominating possession and creating some early opportunities.
However, an exquisite diagonal pass from Leon Bailey found Moussa Diaby as Bayer Leverkusen found the breakthrough in the 14th minute, completely against the run of play. The hosts started dominating the game thereafter, providing very little space to the visitors in the middle of the park.
It was a similar story in the second half as Bayer Leverkusen looked the more threatening side. But, with the players slowly tiring, it became a little bit easier for BVB to navigate through the man-marking press, with former B04 whizkid Julian Brandt eventually scoring the equaliser in the 67th minute.
Minutes later, Dortmund could have completed the ultimate comeback, but an excellent chance inside the box was missed by Jadon Sancho. It was a miss that proved to be costly as Leverkusen once again hit on the counter in the 80th minute, this time through Florian Wirtz, whose effort around the edge of the Dortmund area was enough to seal all three points for the hosts.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the two sides following this highly entertaining game at the Bay Arena on Tuesday.
Lukas Hradecky: 6/10
Had his nervy moments and did not exactly impress in between the sticks. May have been lucky as Dortmund failed to test him on many occasions.
Lars Bender: 7/10
Lars Bender had an excellent first half, remaining solid on the right-hand channel. Overwhelmed at times in the second half, but held on for a welcome victory.
Jonathan Tah: 8/10
Jonathan Tah was a rock at the back for Leverkusen in this game. His imposing presence was key in dealing with Erling Haaland. The German also avoided making any defensive mistakes.
Edmond Tapsoba: 8/10
While Tah dominated the attackers with his physical and aerial presence, Edmond Tapsoba’s discipline and ability to read the game helped Leverkusen keep Dortmund at bay.
Wendell had an excellent game at left-back for Bayer Leverkusen, keeping the Dortmund wingers quiet. Unfortunately, he was unable to continue after picking up a knock around the hour mark.
Florian Wirtz: 9/10
Florian Wirtz was one of the best players in this game, simply dominating the midfield with his passing, movement and chance creation. Capped off an excellent display with the winner in the 80th minute.
🇩🇪 Florian Wirtz (17) v. BVB:
✅ 90 minutes
⚽️ 1 goal (matchwinner)
🚀 3 shots on goal
🔑 4 key passes
🔀 5/6 dribbles won
⚔️ 8 duels won
❌ 3 interceptions
✈️ 2 clearances
🦶 62 touches
😳 2-1 win
One of the best on the pitch, Wirtz just keeps on getting better! 🔴⚫️ pic.twitter.com/yECvRMZ9BA
— Football Wonderkids (@fbwonderkids) January 19, 2021
Charles Aranguiz: 8.5/10
Starting ahead of Julian Baumgartlinger, Charles Aranguiz’s discipline and commitment made him an invincible figure in the Leverkusen midfield. A rock in the second line of press for the hosts.
Nadiem Amiri: 8/10
Nadiem Amiri was not as impressive as Wirtz. But, the former Hoffenheim man had his moments, especially in the Leverkusen approach play and the counter-attacks.
Moussa Diaby: 9/10
Moussa Diaby was a menace for the Borussia Dortmund defence throughout the course of the game. His blistering pace made it a difficult evening for Raphael Guerreiro and Mats Hummels. Joint man of the match alongside Wirtz.
Lucas Alario: 8/10
Lucas Alario vindicated his selection ahead of Patrik Schick with a hard-working shift in the number nine slot. He dropped deep whenever it was necessary and was a vital cog in the Leverkusen build-up.
Leon Bailey: 8.5/10
Bailey provided that exquisite pass that led to the opener. Aside from the assist, the Jamaican international made life increasingly difficult for Thomas Meunier. His craft and pace proved to be a deadly combination for the opposition.
Daley Sinkgraven: 7/10
Replaced the injured Wendell around the hour mark and provided a more attacking touch to Leverkusen’s game from the left-back position.
Patrik Schick: 7/10
Schick became a nuisance for the Dortmund defence after coming on for Alario during the final phase of the game. Always hard to defend.
Kerem Demirbay: 6.5/10
Kerem Demirbay was a threat from set-pieces during the final phase of the game.
Roman Burki: 9/10
Roman Burki was the hero of the match for Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday. The Swiss star made nine saves in the game – more than any other goalkeeper in a single Bundesliga match this season. Single-handedly kept his team in the contest.
Thomas Meunier: 6/10
Meunier had a mixed game against Leverkusen. Some of his forays down the flanks proved to be useful, especially in the second half. However, he was lacking the final ball and was culpable of conceding the winner as he lost possession in a dangerous area.
Manuel Akanji: 6/10
Manuel Akanji impressed with his laser passing, but the volume just was not there. Defensively, he could not do much against a Leverkusen attack that was completely overwhelming.
Mats Hummels: 2/10
Hummels had a miserable evening against Diaby, whose pace and trickery was simply too much for the veteran Dortmund defender. One of the worst performances of his career, especially when it comes to personal duels.
Looking at the highlight of their goal, Bürki didn’t exactly cover himself in glory, but Guerreiro and Hummels were so slow to react. Diaby way ahead in a second.
— Caoimhín (@Eireskadi) January 19, 2021
Raphael Guerreiro: 4/10
Raphael Guerreiro also produced one of the worst displays of his Dortmund career. He completely lost track of Diaby for the first goal and was not influential enough going forward, although he did technically register the assist for the Brandt goal
Jude Bellingham: 6.5/10
Jude Bellingham struggled to impose his authority in the middle of the park, failing to use his box to box qualities to good effect. The Englishman did improve in the second half, but it was not enough to make a difference.
Thomas Delaney: 6/10
Thomas Delaney produced a miserable first half performance as he struggled to cope with the opposition. Improved after the restart, but lacked the consistency to help Dortmund sustain the pressure on Leverkusen.
Jadon Sancho: 5/10
Jadon Sancho showed glimpses of his talents at times but failed to provide that consistency. Also missed a glorious opportunity to score a potential winner, shortly after Dortmund had netted the equaliser.
Marco Reus: 7.5/10
Marco Reus enjoyed a decent game against Leverkusen, despite the disappointing result. He looked bright in the build-up, linking up well with his teammates and was always a threat in the final third. Unlucky not to score a goal.
Julian Brandt: 7.5/10
It was a positive display from Julian Brandt, who broke his Bundesliga scoring duck by netting the all-important equaliser, and that too against his former side.
— Borussen ✍🏼 (@BorussenEdits) January 19, 2021
Erling Haaland: 5/10
Erling Haaland’s struggles continued as the Norwegian international once again lacked the adequate supply to make a difference. He was defended well by the Leverkusen centre-backs, though.
Giovanni Reyna: 6/10
Replaced Sancho around the 74th minute mark, but failed to make any telling difference on the proceedings.
Youssoufa Moukoko: N/A
A late replacement for Bellingham. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Steffen Tigges: N/A
A late replacement for Reus. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.