Erling Haaland fires in two goals and three assists as Borussia Dortmund secure a majestic 5-2 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in their opening Bundesliga match.
Borussia Dortmund kickstarted their 2021/22 Bundesliga campaign in an emphatic fashion, securing a thumping 5-2 win over Eintracht Frankfurt, in front of 25,000 fans at the Signal Iduna Park on Saturday.
It was a dominant performance from the Black and Yellows, who were simply too hot to handle, as the offensive combinations of Erling Haaland, Marco Reus and Thorgan Hazard ran rings around the opposition backline right from the beginning.
Dortmund eventually made their breakthrough in the 23rd minute through Reus. But just as when it seemed like they were about to add another, an unfortunate own goal from Felix Passlack gifted Frankfurt an equalizer out of nowhere. Fortunately for the home side, it didn’t affect the game too much as they quickly restored their lead in the 32nd minute through Hazard before Haaland gave them a two-goal cushion a few minutes later.
It was a similar story in the second half, as Marco Rose’s men dominated the game and even found the fourth around the hour mark, thanks to Giovanni Reyna. Ten minutes later Haaland capped off the performance with a fifth goal, though the hosts did end up conceding another in the late moments of the game.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over Borussia Dortmund players in their thumping over Eintracht Frankfurt this weekend.
Gregor Kobel: 8/10
It was a fantastic league debut for Borussia Dortmund colours for Gregor Kobel. The former Stuttgart shot-stopper made the defence so much better with his sweeping ability and awareness. Although he conceded two goals, the Swiss international made up for it with a few excellent saves to prevent Eintracht Frankfurt time and time again. He is already proving to be a smart buy for Dortmund.
Felix Passlack: 8/10
Felix Passlack scored the unfortunate own goal and looked flustered after that period. However, the right-back was an essential element in Marco Rose’s tactical philosophy as he caused multiple turnovers on the right-hand side whilst minimizing the impact of the excellent Filip Kostic. A rather impressive showing from the Dortmund academy starlet, filling in for the unavailable duo of Mateu Morey and Thomas Meunier.
Axel Witsel: 7/10
It was bizarre to see Axel Witsel starting in central defence but perhaps not surprising given Dortmund’s lack of options. The Belgian didn’t disappoint either, using his experience to good effect, though the midfielder did look quite slow at times. He is certainly a better fit in his favoured holding midfield position, where his composure could be useful in helping his team dominate the proceedings.
Manuel Akanji: 7.5/10
Manuel Akanji started the game slowly and frankly wasn’t tested much by either Daichi Kamada or Rafael Santos Borre. But the Swiss international didn’t take long to establish himself as the undisputed leader of the BVB backline, offering useful passes forward while making a couple of crucial blocks in the second half.
Nico Schulz: 7.5/10
Following an impressive showing against third-tier side Wehen Wiesbaden in the cup, Nico Schulz was able to carry his form into the Bundesliga. He wasn’t as involved in the game as Passlack on the opposite flank, but the former TSG Hoffenheim star was energetic and offered a good work ethic to help his team dominate the proceedings.
Mahmoud Dahoud: 8/10
Mahmoud Dahoud was the main midfield lynchpin for Borussia Dortmund, the unsung hero who knit the fabric and helped the team tick. His aggression and tenacity, in particular, made him an ideal cog in the intense pressing that led to multiple turnovers in the middle of the park, with the German international also offering excellent forward passes. Picked up from where he had left off last season.
Jude Bellingham: 8/10
Jude Bellingham produced an impressive display in midfield after getting the nod ahead of Thomas Delaney. He tirelessly pressed the opposition, winning possession back on several occasions while showcasing his attacking abilities by positioning himself in Zone 14, thus opening up multiple passing options in the final third. An absolute machine!
Jude Bellingham has been excellent today. So much energy from him. Hard to believe he's only 18. Wow. #BVBSGE
— Daniel Pinder (@DanielJPinder) August 14, 2021
Giovanni Reyna: 8.5/10
Giovanni Reyna was the first of the four Dortmund players that impressed the most in this win. He was The Hard Tackle’s Player to Watch heading into this game and the American international certainly lived up to the expectations, linking up well with his teammates and creating multiple chances in the final third. He was rewarded with a well-deserved goal in the second half. It has been a stunning start to the season for the 18-year-old.
Marco Reus: 9.5/10
Marco Reus showed no signs of rustiness and dominated the game right from the beginning. He was the focal point of the Dortmund attack, as the forward made numerous runs in behind the backline while also linking up extraordinarily with the likes of Haaland. Not to mention, he scored the all-important opener, while supplying both of Haaland’s goals. He and the Norwegian can really open up many defences under Marco Rose this season.
Marco Reus has now scored as many goals for Borussia Dortmund (141) as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Only four players in the club's history have more. 🤝 pic.twitter.com/TdMZCNU9jO
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 14, 2021
Thorgan Hazard: 9/10
Thorgan Hazard was perhaps the most important attacker for Dortmund as it was his smart movement that made life difficult for Eintracht Frankfurt. Indeed, the Belgian was very energetic and attacked Kostic at every given opportunity, ultimately getting rewarded with a goal in the first half. A good start to the season for the ex-Gladbach forward.
Erling Haaland: 10/10
Erling Haaland was the undisputed player of the match in this game, having scored twice while registering a hat-trick of assists. It was truly an unprecedented display, even by his lofty standard, as the youngster annihilated the Frankfurt defence with his power, pace and effectiveness in front of goal.
However, what struck fans the most about his performance this weekend was the ease with which the striker was able to craft scoring opportunities by linking up with teammates. He was quite selfless in front of goal, showing the hunger Dortmund need in order to thwart Bayern Munich for the Bundesliga title this season.
61 games with Borussia Dortmund.
62 goals and 18 assists completed.
2 games 2021/2022 new season.
5 goals and 3 assists completed.
Directly involved in all BVB goals.
Official BVB debut: 574 days ago.
21 years old.
…to be updated soon.
Erling Haaland is not human. 🤖🧘🏼♂️ pic.twitter.com/kHxxy1wSlq
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 14, 2021
Donyell Malen: 6.5/10
Donyell Malen made his Bundesliga debut by replacing Hazard during the final phase of the game. He was unfortunately subject of a knock that looked nasty, to say the last. The forward got back and didn’t provide anything special in front of goal, despite being given the opportunity to do so.
Thomas Delaney: 6/10
Thomas Delaney was more or less culpable for conceding the second goal for Borussia Dortmund. Perhaps not the best ending for a midfielder who may have already played his last game for the Black and Yellows.
Antonios Papadopoulos: N/A
Antonios Papadopoulos made his Bundesliga debut by coming on for Witsel during the final 12 minutes of the game. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Youssoufa Moukoko: N/A
A welcome return to the Bundesliga for the league’s youngest ever goalscorer. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Steffen Tigges: N/A
A late replacement for Reyna. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.