Marco Reus, Jadon Sancho & Erling Haaland shine as Borussia Dortmund win the DFB Pokal with a 4-1 victory over RB Leipzig in the final.
Borussia Dortmund secure their fifth DFB Pokal in the club’s history, following a 4-1 win over RB Leipzig in the final at the Olympiastadion on Thursday.
Although the scoreline may suggest otherwise, it was a difficult and tense game for the Black and Yellows, though they did dominate the entirety of the first half – securing a 3-0 lead thanks to a brace from Jadon Sancho and a goal from Erling Haaland.
In the second half, however, things started to change radically as Julian Nagelsmann brought on difference-makers like Yussuf Poulsen and Christopher Nkunku. Dortmund’s rather passive approach also allowed Leipzig to find more spaces in the central areas of the pitch, and it was only a matter of time when Dani Olmo pulled one back for Die Roten Bullen, in the 70th minute.
At the same time, though, Leipzig left acres of space in behind the defence – allowing the likes of Sancho and Haaland to bombard the backline, with the latter eventually netting the fourth goal in the 87th minute – sealing the trophy for Die Schwarzgelben.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Borussia Dortmund players in their astounding win over RB Leipzig in this DFB Pokal finale this midweek.
Roman Burki: 6.5/10
Roman Burki may have been a little lucky to not concede more than one goal, as Leipzig notably hit the post once in the second half. To his credit, though, the Dortmund goalkeeper, filling in for the injured Marwin Hitz, looked alert and sharp. He was reliable whenever he was called upon, ultimately helping his team getting over the line.
Lukasz Piszczek: 8.5/10
Despite the age of 35, Lukasz Piszczek emerged as one of the most athletic players on the pitch. He was willing to play his heart out to help Dortmund defend the flanks and did quite a good job as well. A fairytale end to his BVB career, as the right-back secured his third DFB Pokal title, deservingly receiving a lift-off after the game. A legend for the Black and Yellows.
here’s the most precious thing you’ll see today… the Dortmund team praising Łukasz Piszczek in his last ever cup final for the club that he’s been at for over a decade. 💛 pic.twitter.com/voBeASL4gq
— Michi (@Mica32x) May 13, 2021
Manuel Akanji: 8/10
Manuel Akanji had to step up in a game like that, which he did. The former Basel centre-back remained strong in ground duels, dealing with the Leipzig attackers extremely well. There were a few questionable moves, particularly with his pressures, but the Dortmund defender was solid for the most part of the game.
Mats Hummels: 8.5/10
Mats Hummels played a vital role in this Dortmund victory, as his ability to read the game, coupled with his experience made it difficult for Leipzig to play their natural quick passing game in the final third. Aside from that, the veteran centre-back was extremely strong in aerial and ground duels while also ideally making tactical fouls that disrupted the flow of the opposition.
Raphael Guerreiro: 6.5/10
Raphael Guerreiro certainly did not have the best of games for Dortmund in this final. The left-back looked shaky on the ball, struggling to deal with Leipzig’s high press, especially in the second half. Guerreiro still did venture forward, keeping Nordi Mukiele occupied on the flanks, while long balls out from the back were always dangerous during the final phase of the game.
Jude Bellingham: 6/10
Jude Bellingham had a slow start to the game. He wasn’t involved much in possession but played a vital role in the second line of press as his presence made it difficult for Leipzig to play through the middle. Unfortunately, the youngster picked up a needless yellow card that prompted his substitution at half-time, with Edin Terzic not willing to take any risks.
Emre Can: 7/10
Emre Can had a very shaky start to the game, looking almost destined to make a needless error within the first 15 minutes. However, the former Liverpool man recovered brilliantly, remaining composed in midfield and repelling the Leipzig chance-creators in and around the final third. A commendable display indeed, from the midfielder.
Emre Can is a ticking timebomb I kid you not
— ً (@ffsMatthis) May 13, 2021
Mahmoud Dahoud: 7/10
It wasn’t the brightest of games for Mahmoud Dahoud, who struggled to navigate through the Leipzig high press as he usually does. The midfielder, though, was always a danger on the counter, particularly with his forward balls that led to multiple attacking chances for Dortmund. Another hard-working display from the midfielder, who clearly deserves a chance for Germany in the upcoming Euros.
Marco Reus: 9/10
As the captain, Marco Reus led the Borussia Dortmund from the front. It was he who won the ball off Kevin Kampl to launch a counter-attack that led to Sancho’s opener. The German also had a key role to play in the remainder of the goals, except the fourth goal, as the attacker tirelessly pressed the Leipzig ball carriers throughout the ninety minutes.
Marco Reus lifts the #DFBPokal trophy into the Berlin night sky 🏆🎉
— The DFB-Pokal (@DFBPokal_EN) May 13, 2021
It was indeed a captain’s performance from the long-serving Borussia Dortmund superstar, whose seemingly telepathic understanding with Sancho and Haaland was enough to down Leipzig for the second consecutive time this weekend. Totally deserved his medal and indeed, the cup at the end.
Jadon Sancho: 9/10
Speaking of Sancho, the Englishman was Dortmund’s main force on the counter. His speed and trickery caused all sorts of problems for the Leipzig backline. It was, though, his sumptuous finish that led to the all-important opener while the winger also registered the assist for Haaland’s late goal. Two goals and one assist in total, in this cup final. Not a bad return at all.
Erling Haaland: 8.5/10
Returning to the pitch after failing to appear in the last few matches, Erling Haaland gave Dayot Upamecano a nightmare with his physicality and speed. The Leipzig defender, in fact, was muscled to the floor for the second goal, although the fourth goal was extremely lucky, as the ball deflected off of the striker’s other foot to deceive Peter Gulacsi. A sublime attacking display nonetheless from the Norwegian, who wins his first trophy with the Black and Yellows.
— The DFB-Pokal (@DFBPokal_EN) May 13, 2021
Thorgan Hazard: 6/10
Thorgan Hazard’s introduction in the second half was a puzzling one, as it made Dortmund vulnerable in the middle. The attacker didn’t do much going forward, except missing a goalmouth opportunity.
Thomas Delaney: 7/10
Thomas Delaney was a sensible substitution for Dortmund in the 74th minute. The Dane offered the much-needed aggression in midfield, even winning a couple of key challenges.
Thomas Meunier: N/A
A late replacement for Sancho. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Julian Brandt: N/A
A late replacement for Reus. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Giovanni Reyna: N/A
A late replacement for Haaland. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.