Donyell Malen struggled to make an impact as Borussia Dortmund crashed to a 1-0 defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach.

Marco Rose’s return to Borussia Park comes to a disappointing end as his Borussia Dortmund side stumbles to a 1-0 defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday. It was a poor result for the Black and Yellow who lose valuable ground in the early season title race, with things further compounded by the training injury of Marco Reus and Erling Haaland.

The absence of these two key forwards had a grave impact on Dortmund’s attacking performance. They even failed to register a single shot on target, looking devoid of ideas in the final third. Rose’s newly implemented 3-5-2 didn’t fare all too well, with the Gladbach midfielders in Denis Zakaria and Kouadio Kone eating up BVB’s build-up play from the middle.

The excellent pressing show from the home side was eventually rewarded with a goal in the 37th minute through Zakaria. And moments later, referee Deniz Aytekin spilt water on the dynamics of the game by dismissing Mahmoud Dahoud for his second yellow card, a questionable decision that left even the Gladbach fans to feel sorry for the opposition.

Rose did change things after the restart but his team could not muster any scoring opportunities with the numerical disadvantage, ultimately ending the game with zero shots on target.

Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Borussia Dortmund players in their disappointing defeat to Gladbach this weekend.

Gregor Kobel: 8/10

Gregor Kobel was the only bright spot in an otherwise dire and depressing performance from Borussia Dortmund. The former Stuttgart goalkeeper made a host of brilliant saves to keep his side in the contest whilst trying to motivate his team from in between the sticks. He has been quite the bargain for the Bundesliga giants this summer.

Manuel Akanji: 4/10

Manuel Akanji produced a disappointing display on the right hand side of BVB’s three-man backline. His passing wasn’t up to mark with the Swiss international struggling to play the ball out from the back properly. He defended well but it was not an impressive display whatsoever.

Marin Pongracic: 6/10

Marin Pongracic started the game well. He looked confident in his tackles, fending off the threat from Gladbach defenders. Unfortunately, the late first-half dismissal of Dahoud saw him getting sacrificed at half-time, with Marco Rose opting to make a more attacking substitution while reverting to a back-four.

Mats Hummels: 6.5/10

Mats Hummels has certainly improved the Dortmund defence after coming back from injury. The veteran centre-back made quite a few excellent challenges against Gladbach, dealing well with the pressure thrown at him by the opposition. But he was rather passing in moving the ball forward, often taking too much time on the ball.

Thomas Meunier: 6.5/10

Thomas Meunier looked rather decent when operating in his favoured right wing-back position. He looked confident when taking on the Gladbach defenders, but the Belgian wasn’t supposed by his teammates out wide. The right back then looked clumsy and devoid of spirit during the final phase of the campaign.

Axel Witsel: 4/10

Axel Witsel was expertly overrun in midfield by the Gladbach duo of Zakaria and Kone. His lack of speed in midfield is indeed quite detrimental to Dortmund’s approach play and Rose needs to find an alternative sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, with Emre Can out injured and Thomas Delaney leaving to Sevilla, the German will have to wait until the January transfer window.

Jude Bellingham: 6/10

Jude Bellingham started the game well, notably creating an early chance by beating Tony Jantschke. After that, the youngster struggled to make his presence felt in the middle of the park. He was closed down well by the opposition and the lack of a fellow ball-carrier made life even more difficult for the former Birmingham City starlet.

Mahmoud Dahoud: 1/10

Mahmoud Dahoud sabotaged Dortmund’s chances in this game by committing too very silly fouls in the first half, getting himself sent off by Aytekin just before the half-time whistle. He has been criticised for his lack of temperament in the past and though the call was harsh, it was more than what he deserved.

Raphael Guerreiro: 5/10

Raphael Guerreiro could not replicate his performance from last weekend’s game against Union Berlin. He was defended extremely well by Adi Hutter’s men in the wide position as they doubled up on him whenever the Portuguese tried to get forward.

Youssoufa Moukoko: 3/10

Youssoufa Moukoko was tasked with the responsibility of replacing Marco Reus and the youngster simply did not live up to the expectations. He was completely outmuscled by Gladbach defenders, who offered him very little space and freedom in the final third. A poor performance from the 16-year-old, who is not yet ready for the highest level of football.

Donyell Malen: 2/10

Donyell Malen had some big boots to fill as well, replacing Erling Haaland in the starting eleven. The Dutchman was somehow even more ineffective than Moukoko as he kept on running into defenders. It was a rather questionable performance in many ways, as the attacker’s struggles at Dortmund continue.


Thorgan Hazard: 5/10

Thorgan Hazard replaced Pongracic to add more attacking impetus going forward. The Belgian worked hard for his team but was unable to make things happen in the final third, notably missing a late header.

Ansgar Knauff: 2/10

Ansgar Knauff produced a disappointing performance after replacing Moukoko around the hour mark. The youngster simply did not work hard for his team and looked more tired than starters. He is clearly not ready for first-team action.

Marius Wolf: N/A

A late replacement for Meunier. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

Reinier: N/A

A late replacement for Meunier. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

Nico Schulz: N/A

A late replacement for Meunier. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

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