Jadon Sancho makes a perfect return to the pitch as Borussia Dortmund seal a comfortable 2-0 win over Union Berlin on Wednesday.
Borussia Dortmund keep their hopes of a top four finish alive after securing a 2-0 win over Union Berlin on Wednesday. Although the Black and Yellows weren’t able to bridge the gap to the Champions League places, the result gives him them a huge opportunity to pull off a late heist, as they gear up for a real six-pointer against Wolfsburg on the weekend.
Dortmund were the better side in this game throughout the course of the ninety minutes, as they created a plethora of goalscoring opportunities. A relatively early goal from Marco Reus, who pounced on the rebound of a missed penalty from Erling Haaland gave BVB the lead, although there were growing signs of the team appearing extremely wasteful in front of goal.
It was evident particularly in the second half as Dortmund kept missing clear cut opportunities, with Haaland, in particular, having an off day. It led to a nervy final phase of the game for the Bundesliga giants, almost allowing Union Berlin to get back into the game. Die Eisernen got close as well, with Max Kruse notably hitting the post.
In the end, though, Edin Terzic’s men did find their deserved second goal through Raphael Guerreiro in the 88th minute. It sealed all three points for Borussia Dortmund and here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over their players in this relatively comprehensive yet nervy performance against Union this midweek.
Marwin Hitz: 7.5/10
Marwin Hitz didn’t have too much to do for a large period of the game as Union Berlin were not able to create chances on a consistent basis. However, the Dortmund goalkeeper made an extraordinary save in the second half to deny Kruse from scoring the equaliser from a direct free-kick. Saved two points for his side.
Lukasz Piszczek: 7/10
Seeing Lukasz Piszczek start a Bundesliga match was a welcome sight for Borussia Dortmund fans. The veteran defender did not make any errors and though he struggled early on, in getting used to the pace of the game, he eventually settled in well – keeping the Union attackers quiet on the flanks.
Lukasz Piszczek starting a game of football. A pleasantly surprising sight for sore eyes.
— Lars Pollmann (@LarsPollmann) April 21, 2021
Manuel Akanji: 8/10
Manuel Akanji was a rock at the back for Borussia Dortmund. The Swiss international used his imposing presence to keep the likes of Petar Musa and Max Kruse quiet throughout the course of the game, emerging as a real leader at the back. He was also extremely useful with his vertical passes – something he has improved significantly during the second half of the campaign.
Mats Hummels: 7/10
Mats Hummels complemented Akanji’s defensive work, helping Dortmund keep things neat and tidy at the back. His passing was useful as well, but the experienced centre-back made a silly foul in the second half that earned him a yellow – meaning he will miss Dortmund’s next game against Wolfsburg.
Raphael Guerreiro: 8/10
Raphael Guerreiro looked bright right from the start, as he was extremely crafty in possession and was looking very dangerous with his forays down the flanks. He was even more influential during the final phase of the game and certainly deserved the goal that he scored in the end – sealing all three points for his side.
Emre Can: 6.5/10
Emre Can made an early error that led to Union hitting the post within the first minute of the game. The German had a couple of more such nervy moments, but they were minor blips in an otherwise decent display in the holding midfield role. His physicality and aggression were vital in helping Dortmund dominate the game.
Jude Bellingham: 8/10
Jude Bellingham didn’t have the best of starts to the game and his decision-making in the final third was questionable. However, the youngster showed his quality with some brilliant runs as well as excellent link-up play with his teammates. His ability to win loose balls, in particular, helped the Black and Yellows have complete control of the game.
Jude Bellingham stats against Union Berlin📊 :
Total Shots – 2
Shots on Target – 0
Goals – 0
Passing Accuracy – 82%
Passes – 45
Touches – 58
Fouls – 3
Dribbles won – 0
Tackels – 2
— BorussenStats (@BorussenStats) April 21, 2021
Giovanni Reyna: 8/10
Giovanni Reyna could not replicate the performance he showed against Werder Bremen. However, the American international was once again very active in the final third, showcasing excellent skill, movement and link-up play that kept Union busy. Reyna also created a number of excellent goalscoring opportunities, though he also missed a few chances himself. A solid performance nonetheless.
Marco Reus: 9/10
Marco Reus was arguably the best performer for Borussia Dortmund in this vital win over Union. Operating in his old number ten role, the German international was the brains behind most of the Dortmund attacks and his seemingly telepathic combination with his teammates kept the opposition guessing throughout the course of the game.
Reus was ultimately rewarded for his efforts around the hour-mark when he not only won the penalty but also scored from the rebound. It appears the BVB captain is slowly getting back to his best, which is a welcome sight for any Dortmund and indeed, Bundesliga fan.
Marco Reus has now been directly involved in 11 league goals for Borussia Dortmund this season:
⚽️ 5 goals
🅰️ 6 assists
Still going strong at 31. 💪 pic.twitter.com/6LQlMX4TSe
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 21, 2021
Thorgan Hazard: 7.5/10
Thorgan Hazard looked in inspired form during the early stages of the game – making some exquisite runs and offering a couple of defence-threading passes in the final third, one of which led to Reus’ penalty. His influence did fade in the second half, but it was a promising performance nonetheless from the attacker who has struggled to settle in after returning from injury this year.
Erling Haaland: 6/10
It was not the day for Erling Haaland, who missed at least three clear-cut goalscoring opportunities in the final third. He looked wasteful, often missing his target and looked frustrated. That said, the youngster put in a valiant shift in the number nine role, using his physique and pace to constantly make life difficult for the Union Berlin defenders.
Jadon Sancho: 8/10
Jadon Sancho marked his return to the pitch around the hour mark, replacing Hazard. He barely looked like he was out for a few months, as the Englishman was completely unplayable at times, especially with his link-up play with Guerreiro, Reus and Haaland. His cameo was a key factor behind Dortmund’s constant pressure even in the second half.
Just some more @Sanchooo10 sorcery 🪄
Great to see him back out on the pitch this evening 🙌 pic.twitter.com/yyFS90TE5f
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 21, 2021
Mahmoud Dahoud: 7/10
Mahmoud Dahoud replaced Can around the hour mark to add more energy in midfield. His tenacity made life even more difficult for the Union ball-carriers.
Julian Brandt: 7.5/10
Julian Brandt made an instant impact after coming on for Reyna in the 76th minute. He looked bright and determined while his brilliant first touch and pass led to Dortmund’s second goal.
A late replacement for Bellingham. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.