Erling Haaland’s late goal helped Borussia Dortmund snatch all three points against TSG Hoffenheim on Friday.
Borussia Dortmund left it late to secure a 3-2 victory against TSG Hoffenheim at the Signal Iduna Park. It was a vital win for the Black and Yellows, who head to the international break as the temporary leaders of the Bundesliga table.
It was a sloppy performance from Dortmund, who were the dominant side during the first half of the game. They dominated possession and created chances, though Hoffenheim did try to put pressure on their ball-carriers. Neither of them, though, were able to find a breakthrough in the first half at Signal Iduna Park.
Surprisingly, it was the visitors who upped the ante in the second half, trying to attack Dortmund and keeping them defensively occupied. However, the move backfired as they conceded in the 50th minute through Giovanni Reyna. It didn’t break Hoffenheim’s rhythm, though, as they continued to attack, eventually finding the equaliser in the 60th minute.
This time around, Dortmund were quick to respond, restoring their lead through Jude Bellingham in the 69th minute. Hoffenheim showed immense character to stay in the contest, however and were eventually rewarded when Munas Dabbur scored a very late equaliser, in the 90th minute.
But there was still drama in store as Borussia Dortmund immediately attacked in search of a winner. And this time, it was Erling Haaland’s sheer determination that saw them beat Oliver Baumann in the 91st minute, sealing all three points for the home side. Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will rate the Borussia Dortmund players in their narrow victory over Hoffenheim this Friday.
Gregor Kobel: 8/10
Gregor Kobel had an excellent outing in between the sticks for Dortmund. He made multiple crucial saves to keep his side in the contest, denying Andrej Kramaric at least twice in the game. He was also alert to any danger posed by any long balls from Hoffenheim, thus emerging as one of Dortmund’s best performers of the night.
Meet 23-year-old, Gregor Kobel 🇨🇭💫
I’m not gonna lie, At first I wasnt the biggest fan about this signing but he has proved me wrong
— 𝙁𝙎 🐝 (@Fs_BVB) August 27, 2021
Thomas Meunier: 5/10
Returning to the team sheet after a long injury layoff, Thomas Meunier had an awful game at right-back. He lacked quality in possession, often looking like a liability on the ball whilst offering minimal creativity. The defender should have done a lot better in marking players as well, particularly in the set-piece that led to Hoffenheim’s late goal.
Axel Witsel: 6.5/10
Axel Witsel was beaten for pace on many occasions but was bailed out by Kobel at least twice. It wasn’t a polished defensive performance from the ageing Belgian, who looked vulnerable whenever the pressure was applied. The former Zenit star would certainly prefer to play in his favoured midfield role as soon as Mats Hummels returns to full fitness.
Manuel Akanji: 7/10
Manuel Akanji was once again the pick of the Dortmund defenders on the night. He wasn’t as influential as some other games this season, but he marshaled the backline quite well. The Swiss international had the pace to recover and showed a lot of aggression. Should have done a bit better in defending set-pieces, though, while he missed two clear cut headed opportunities to score as well.
Raphael Guerreiro: 7/10
Raphael Guerreiro had a mixed game at left-back. He was defensively poor, allowing Christoph Baumgartner to run in behind and net Hoffenheim’s first equaliser. But at the same time, Guerreiro got forward well, often appearing as the extra man in the Dortmund attack, helping them put pressure on the opposition throughout the ninety minutes.
Jude Bellingham: 8/10
Jude Bellingham started the game slowly, misplacing a host of his forward passes. But he settled into the game quite well, using his aggression, skill and commitment to rev up the Dortmund midfield before eventually scoring the all-important second goal. Unfortunately, the youngster picked up a knock and was subbed as a precaution.
🎙️ Jude Bellingham:
"It was great. The fans are amazing with how loud they are. I can’t even imagine how it’s going to be with 80,000." pic.twitter.com/ovkM95g7FW
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) August 27, 2021
Mahmoud Dahoud: 7/10
Mahmoud Dahoud started the game quite well, finding neat passes all around the park. He was even one of BVB’s top performers in the first half, but his influence faded in the second half as Hoffenheim started to push forward. Made some rash tackles and was lucky not to be sent off late in the game.
Giovanni Reyna: 7.5/10
Giovanni Reyna was frustrating to watch, at times, but he made the desired influence by scoring the all-important opener in the 49th minute. He often acted as Dortmund’s main ball carrier and has really improved his game under Marco Rose. The American, though, must work on his physical attributes, as he looked very tired in the second half.
The youngest player in Bundesliga history to reach 50 appearances, Gio Reyna 🌟🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/5ganZfbyCY
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) August 27, 2021
Marco Reus: 8/10
It was not the luckiest game for Marco Reus as far as the goalscoring was concerned, with the German missing at least two good opportunities. But he was Dortmund’s creator-in-chief, getting the ball to important areas. He played a key role in the build-up to the first and third goal while also putting in a lot of defensive work throughout the ninety minutes. A real captain’s performance.
Donyell Malen: 8/10
Donyell Malen was highly criticised due to his lack of influence at Dortmund in his first few games. But the Dutchman kicked things up a notch against Hoffenheim, often looking like a danger man for the opposition with his clever movements, quick feet and determination in the final third. He linked up better with his teammates as well, so this performance could go a long way in building up his confidence.
Erling Haaland: 8/10
Erling Haaland had to endure a frustrating game as chances came few and far between for him. However, his work ethic was simply exemplary, with the forward winning several headed duels. He was given a few excellent chances to score in the second half, but he failed to convert any of them.
The Norwegian’s fighting spirit prevailed at the back when he single-handedly created a late opportunity for Dortmund, burying the ball in the back of the net to seal all three points for his club.
ERLING HAALAND WITH AN INJURY TIME WINNER FOR DORTMUND! 💛 pic.twitter.com/S1t2GZNRTv
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 27, 2021
Julian Brandt: 7.5/10
Julian Brandt made a noticeable impact after coming on for Reyna in the 64th minute. He looked quite crafty in possession, also creating one excellent chance for Akanji from a corner. A smart sub by Rose.
Marius Wolf: 7.5/10
Marius Wolf was excellent after coming on as a substitute for Bellingham during the final phase of the game. The former Frankfurt attacker offered a lot of energy, winning balls in midfield and instigating multiple counter-attacks. Clearly deserves a bit more recognition in the first-team.
Youssoufa Moukoko: N/A
Youssoufa Moukoko should have scored on two instances, but he did offer energy and skill in the final third. Did not play enough to warrant a rating, though.
Felix Passlack: N/A
A late replacement for Guerreiro. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.