Lukasz Piszczek receives an emotional farewell as Borussia Dortmund finish their 2020/21 campaign with a 3-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen.
Borussia Dortmund cap off their 2020/21 campaign in a positive manner, securing a resounding 3-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday. It was pretty much a dead-rubber for both the clubs, with the game largely revolving around the farewell of Lukasz Piszczek as well as the Bender brothers.
The Black and Yellows had a dream start to the game as Erling Haaland found the opener inside five minutes – putting Leverkusen on the back foot. Dortmund looked in control for the most part of the game, and though the opposition did cause some problems on the counter, it was dealt with well by the BVB defence.
The hosts deservedly doubled their lead early in the second half, through a direct free-kick from Marco Reus. They continued to rotate the ball comfortably, trying to add the third goal that came in an unlikely fashion as Wendell’s backpass reached straight to Haaland. Dortmund, as a result, were cruising to a 3-0 victory before a late penalty allowed Lars Bender, a substitute for his brother Sven, to score a goal in the final match of his career.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a closer look at the Borussia Dortmund players in their relatively comfortable 3-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen this weekend.
Roman Burki: 8/10
Roman Burki was one of the best performers in the game, making a couple of extraordinary saves to prevent Leverkusen from getting back into the game. The Dortmund goalkeeper also offered a nice gesture at the end, when he allowed Lars Bender to score a late penalty, in the final match of his career, at the expense of the clean sheet. A classy figure all around!
Lukasz Piszczek: 8/10
This game was all about Lukasz Piszczek. Playing his last game for BVB, the right-back captained the side, offering solidity on the wide defensive position. He kept Demarai Gray in check and despite the disparity of pace, he managed to keep up with the former Leicester City winger. The defender’s long diagonal passes were also useful for Dortmund going forward.
LUKASZ PISZCZEK for Dortmund:
2x Bundesliga winner 🏆
3x Pokal winner 🏆
3x Super cup winner 🏆
A main stay in Dortmund’s team for 10+ years, always put in 100% and was there whenever the team needed him.
Dortmund Legend 💛 pic.twitter.com/iFw4o95KwM
— Abdullah (@BVB_Abdullah) May 22, 2021
Piszczek was eventually taken off around the 75th minute, leaving him in tears as he left the pitch for the very last time at the Signal Iduna Park – deservedly receiving a guard of honour. It was an emotional moment not just for him, but also for the fans, with the choreo in the empty Yellow Wall reading “Forever Borusse, Forever German Champion, Thank you Piszczu”.
Manuel Akanji: 7.5/10
Manuel Akanji looked very comfortable at the heart of the Dortmund backline, despite the absence of his usual partner in Mats Hummels. The defender read the game well, making some key interceptions to neutralise potential counter-attacking opportunities for Leverkusen. He seems to be growing in confidence and could become one of BVB’s most important players next season.
Emre Can: 7/10
Emre Can was given the nod ahead of Hummels in a central defensive position. The midfielder played well for the most part, against his former club – making one very important tackle. Unfortunately, it was he who conceded the late penalty, although Lars Bender will be very pleased.
Nico Schulz: 6.5/10
Nico Schulz started ahead of Raphael Guerreiro in this final matchday of the campaign. The former Hoffenheim defender didn’t provide too much to the table, especially when it comes to the creativity going forward. He also had occasional difficulties navigating through Leverkusen’s aggressive press, due to his slow nature in ball rotation.
Mahmoud Dahoud: 7.5/10
Mahmoud Dahoud operated in the double-pivot alongside Thomas Delaney. The midfielder had an energetic start to the game, offering some nice forward balls. After the game settled down a bit, Dahoud kept things neat and tidy in the middle of the park, before making way for Jude Bellingham at half-time.
[insert Dahoud superlative here]
— Adam Darowski (@fussballtwit) May 22, 2021
Thomas Delaney: 7/10
Thomas Delaney had a slow start to the game, looking a bit blunt with his tackles. He then got better as the game progressed, recycling possession well, though his lack of skillset on the ball made it a bit difficult for the home side to navigate through Leverkusen’s second line of press. Much like Piszczek, though, Delaney may have played his final game for Dortmund, having been heavily linked with a move to England in the summer.
Reinier was given his first start for Borussia Dortmund in his dead rubber. The on-loan Real Madrid playmaker started the game exceedingly well, registering the assist for Erling Haaland’s opener. After that, the Brazilian faded away, mostly trying hard to rotate possession in the final third rather than offering any penetration going forward. A decent display nonetheless.
Marco Reus: 7.5/10
Marco Reus looked bright in the number ten role, covering a lot of ground and pressuring the opposing ball carrier. Although the German’s influence wasn’t immense, he was rewarded for his creativity in the 51st minute when the attacker scored from a free-kick. Reus finishes the campaign with 16 goals involvements, nine of which have come since mid-February.
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) May 22, 2021
Julian Brandt: 7.5/10
Julian Brandt was given a run out against his former club following a disappointing campaign. The playmaker lost possession multiple times, but also offered a spark of creativity in the final third of the pitch. Indeed, Brandt was often masterful in squeezing through tight spaces and certainly deserves an opportunity from Marco Rose next season.
Erling Haaland: 8.5/10
Erling Haaland started the game in a majestic fashion, scoring an early opener that marked his 40th goal of the campaign in all competitions. Apart from the goal, the Dortmund forward was a useful presence in the final third, thanks to his back-to-goal play and ability to hold the ball up using his stretch.
Haaland was also a scourge from the counter, thanks to his electric pace. He was eventually rewarded with his second goal in the 84th minute when he intercepted a sloppy backpass from Wendell. The Norwegian international finishes the campaign with 27 Bundesliga goals and eight assists.
Erling Haaland swapped shirts with veteran Bundesliga referee Manuel Grafe after officiating his final match 👏 pic.twitter.com/AlDbo1Yjlh
— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 22, 2021
Jude Bellingham: 7/10
Jude Bellingham replaced Dahoud at half-time. The youngster didn’t do much since the restart but kept things neat and tidy in the middle of the park. Always a useful asset for Dortmund in midfield.
Jadon Sancho: 5/10
Jadon Sancho replaced Reus around the hour mark, looking determined to find a goal for himself. The Englishman was a bit selfish, but that is understandable in this final match of the season.
Mats Hummels: 6/10
Mats Hummels came on for Akanji after the hour mark. The veteran centre-back looked shaky after coming on, although he cannot be blamed for Leverkusen’s consolation goal.
Felix Passlack: N/A
Replaced the main man Piszczek in the 75th minute. It will be interesting to see whether or not he has a future next season under Rose. Did not play enough to warrant a rating in this one, though.
Giovanni Reyna: N/A
A late replacement for Reinier. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.