Erling Haaland scored another brace as Borussia Dortmund secured a 4-2 win over Union Berlin on Sunday.
Borussia Dortmund kept the pressure on Bayern Munich after securing a 4-2 victory over Union Berlin on Sunday. The win helped them climb to third in the league table, only trailing Bayern and Wolfsburg after the end of MD5.
It was a dominating performance from the home side, who impressed going forward, running rings around the opposition backline. Union Berlin had nothing to provide in response, as they struggled to get into the game and pose a strong fightback. Their defensive resistance also did not look particularly strong, with Raphael Guerreiro scoring an extraordinary opener in the tenth minute.
Dortmund doubled their lead 14 minutes later through Erling Haaland, heading into half-time with a 2-0 advantage. The second half was mostly a stroll in the park as well with a Marvin Freidrich own goal making 3-0 until Axel Witsel unnecessarily fouled inside the box to concede a penalty, allowing Union to pull one back through Max Kruse.
Union maintained their hopes of a comeback by scoring another through Andreas Voglsammer in the 81st minute. But Dortmund were quick to respond, with Haaland netting his second two minutes later to secure all three points for his team. Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Borussia Dortmund players in their win over Union Berlin this weekend.
Gregor Kobel: 7.5/10
It was yet another unlucky evening for Gregor Kobel. The former Stuttgart goalkeeper made a couple of world-class saves to protect the net but had to settle for another lost clean sheet, no thanks to Witsel’s error that led to the penalty. His search for the first clean sheet with Dortmund continues.
Thomas Meunier: 8/10
Coming on the back of an excellent performance against Besiktas, Thomas Meunier once again impressed on the right flank. He registered the assist for Haaland’s first goal with a brilliant cross from the right flank. Moreover, he was much more confident in possession, rotating the ball around in the final third. Slightly to be blamed for the marking in the lead up to Voglsammer’s goal.
I don't know what crossing school Meunier went to over the summer, but I want their phone number.
— Fear the Wall (@FearTheWall) September 19, 2021
Manuel Akanji: 7/10
Manuel Akanji looked extremely solid at the heart of the Dortmund backline. His imposing presence at the back made life difficult for Taiwo Awoniyi. However, the Swiss international looked very shaky when defending set-pieces and it was evident with the way Dortmund defended the goal from Voglsammer.
Mats Hummels: 7/10
Mats Hummels’ return to the squad has certainly added solidity to the Dortmund backline. His ability to read the game complements well with Akanji’s raw strength and pace. Unfortunately, he, too, looked shaky when defending set-pieces.
Raphael Guerreiro: 8.5/10
Raphael Guerreiro was one of the star performers of the evening, causing a menace down the left hand side with his forays down the flanks. He was very effective in the attacking build-up, exchanging quick passes with the attackers and most notably scoring a gem of a goal to break the deadlock in the tenth minute.
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) September 19, 2021
Axel Witsel: 7/10
Axel Witsel fared well for the most part of the game. Filling in for the injured Julian Brandt and Giovanni Reyna, the veteran Belgian sat at the base of Marco Rose 4-3-1-2 setup, offering solidity in possession. Also read the game very well, but his error to concede a foul in the second half denied Dortmund the opportunity to retain a clean sheet.
Mahmoud Dahoud: 7/10
Mahmoud Dahoud was assigned a more versatile role in midfield, operating in the wider position, adjacent to Jude Bellingham. He wasn’t one of the standout players in the side, but the former Gladbach starlet did an excellent job of providing assurance in the build-up. He looked particularly dangerous when drifting in centrally to orchestrate the midfield.
Jude Bellingham: 7.5/10
Jude Bellingham once again showcased his talents, moving forward to attack the opposition. His ability to hold on to possession, wriggle past tight spaces and his sheer aggression is what made him a standout performer in the middle of the park. Sure enough, the Englishman played a vital role in the build-up to the first and third goal.
Marco Reus: 7.5/10
Marco Reus wasn’t directly involved in any of the goals, but he certainly looked much more effective than the game against Besiktas in midweek. His link-up play with Bellingham, Dahoud and Guerreiro made life difficult for the Union defenders and it was his cross that forced Marvin Friedrich to score the own goal for the third goal.
Marco Reus entering this game tied for third on the team in progressive passes. The players ahead of him are Akanji and Dahoud. Pretty remarkable when you consider that Reus isn’t usually playing deep.
— Adam Darowski (@fussballtwit) September 19, 2021
Donyell Malen: 7/10
Donyell Malen was given the nod once again alongside Erling Haaland. The Dutchman made some useful runs out wide, and his link-up play with Guerreiro was quite impressive. A good shift from the new signing as he continues to improve, after a difficult start to the campaign.
Erling Haaland: 9/10
Erling Haaland was the undisputed man of the match in this game, producing a stellar attacking display. There has been a noticeable improvement in his game under the leadership of Marco Rose, with the Norwegian international appearing more competent in the air. It was evident with the way he latched on to Meunier’s cross to score the second goal.
The second goal was even more special, with Haaland dinking the ball over Andreas Luthe in goal, leaving him completely stranded. In the build-up to the goal, he exhibited sheer pace and strength. He has now netted 68 goals in 67 competitive matches for Borussia Dortmund and is now joint Bundesliga top-scorer this season, alongside Robert Lewandowski.
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) September 19, 2021
Marius Wolf: 6.5/10
Marius Wolf offered freshness in the Dortmund midfield after coming on during the final phase of the game. Always a useful player to have for any side.
Thorgan Hazard: N/A
Made his return to the pitch late in the game. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Youssoufa Moukoko: N/A
A late replacement for Reus. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Marin Pongracic: N/A
A late replacement for Hummels. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.