A long-range effort from Julian Brandt helped Borussia Dortmund seal a crucial victory over Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

Borussia Dortmund continued their surge up the Bundesliga table following a comfortable win over Hertha Berlin on Saturday. The 2-0 triumph at the Signal Iduna Park helped them climb to fifth place, though Bayer Leverkusen do have a game in hand, to be played on Sunday.

Despite what the scoreline suggests, it was a cagey game for the most part, though, with Hertha primarily looking to contain the Dortmund onslaught throughout the first-half. The Black and Yellows unsurprisingly found it difficult to find a breakthrough because of the lack of spaces offered in between the lines.

Unfortunately for Hertha, though, a vicious strike from Julian Brandt from long-range, coupled with a slight error from their goalkeeper Rune Jarstein helped BVB find an unlikely opener in the 54th minute. It was followed by an awful tackle by Vladimir Darida on Marco Reus that earned him a straight red while Reus himself was subbed off in favour of Youssoufa Moukoko.

The substitute worked out wonderfully from Dortmund’s perspective, as the youngster doubled their lead in the 90th minute, effectively sealing all three points for the hosts. Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a closer at look how the Borussia Dortmund players performed in their comfortable 2-0 victory over Hertha Berlin this weekend.

Marwin Hitz: 6/10

Marwin Hitz had absolutely nothing to do as Hertha Berlin failed to even get a single shot on target. It is a slightly embarrassing record for Pal Dardai’s men, but for Hitz, it was yet another useful clean sheet as the Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper continues to get the nod ahead of Roman Burki in between the sticks.

Mateu Morey: 7.5/10

Starting ahead of Thomas Meunier, Mateu Morey once again produced a polished performance at right-back. He was neat and tidy in possession, barely looking startled by the opposition’s intense pressing. The youngster also got forward whenever necessary, offering the offensive support to his teammates.

Emre Can: 7.5/10

Emre Can continued his excellent run of form with yet another solid defensive display. The former Liverpool star was indeed faultless during defensive phases, using his game-reading to good effect. However, it was his passing and ball-progression that played an integral in Dortmund’s build-up play from the back.

Mats Hummels: 7.5/10

Mats Hummels, too, had a comfortable evening at the heart of the four-game backline. The experienced centre-back was strong in possession and almost unbeatable in the air, helping Dortmund keep Hertha at bay. Unfortunately, the defender’s night was cut short when he picked up an injury in the second half and had to be replaced.

Nico Schulz: 7/10

Nico Schulz once again looked good touch in the left-back position, especially in the defensive department. He didn’t look vulnerable at all, even playing a crucial role in the build-up play. His offensive support needs improvement, but the German certainly deserves credit for stepping his game in the absence of Raphael Guerreiro.

Jude Bellingham: 7.5/10

A star in midweek, Jude Bellingham once again produced a valiant effort in the middle of the park. His aggression, tenacity and commitment were eye-catching against the high spirited Hertha Berlin midfielders. In possession, meanwhile, the 17-year-old offered the ball-progression while making a host of tackles that were crucial, especially as Dortmund lacked a proper holding midfielder in this game.

Mahmoud Dahoud: 7.5/10

Mahmoud Dahoud fared well in midfield, although with no number six, he had to adapt to a more defensive role against Hertha Berlin. As such, the former Gladbach man took part in a lot more tackles than usual, though he did also impress with his ball-distribution in the middle of the park. A top-notch performance from the midfielder.

Marco Reus: 7/10

Marco Reus did not offer the penetration as he did in the midweek game against Sevilla. However, he worked hard and covered a lot of ground with his tireless running and willingness to win the ball back for his team. A horror tackle from Darida, though, forced him off injured, although it remains to be seen whether it is a serious one.

Julian Brandt: 7.5/10

Julian Brandt was nowhere to be seen for the most part, but a long range effort in the 54th minute revitalised him during the remaining portion of the game. He looked more useful in his movements and linked up well with his teammates, even though Dortmund did not penetrate Hertha that well.

Thorgan Hazard: 6.5/10

Thorgan Hazard could not really shine in the final third, as he was often hurried and hassled by the Hertha Berlin defenders. As such, the Belgian had problems holding on to the ball and running at defences. He was ultimately taken off in the 71st minute of the game.

Erling Haaland: 6/10

It was a bad day at the office for Erling Haaland, who was bereft of service throughout the ninety minutes. The Dortmund forward accumulated a total of just 17 touches while attaining just one shot on goal, which, too, was off target.

SUBSTITUTES

Dan-Axel Zagadou: 7/10

Dan-Axel Zagadou replaced the injured Hummels in the 58th minute and didn’t look troubled at all. His imposing presence at the back made it even more difficult for the likes of the Piatek and Lukebakio to penetrate the Dortmund defence.

Giovanni Reyna: 6.5/10

Giovanni Reyna replaced Hazard in the 71st minute, offering some good runs in the final third. Deserves more game-time in the upcoming matches though.

Thomas Meunier: 6.5/10

Thomas Meunier was introduced during the final phase of the game. His experience helped Dortmund see out their slender one-goal advantage, which later became 2-0.

Youssoufa Moukoko: 7.5/10

Youssoufa Moukoko looked intent on making an impact after replacing the injured Reus in the 84th minute. Although the 16-year-old was selfish, at times, hardly anyone can blame him after a near-impossible finish from a steep angle to find the second goal.

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