Gregor Kobel was a rare positive for Borussia Dortmund as they were beaten 2-1 by RB Leipzig at the Red Bull Arena on Saturday.
Borussia Dortmund were under the cosh right from the early moments of the game, with the absence of key players hitting them hard. With Marco Rose unable to make many alterations to his side, fatigue was visible after a gruelling European fixture earlier in the week. And RB Leipzig duly took advantage of the same.
The hosts deservedly went ahead in the 29th minute, as Christopher Nkunku beat the offside trap when released by Josko Gvardiol before rounding Gregor Kobel to score the opener. However, the Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper was key in keeping his side in the game with several important saves.
Kobel’s showing in goal would prove to be crucial in the first half when Dortmund were barely in contention to score. However, early in the second half, the visitors got back on level terms through Marco Reus, who beat Peter Gulacsi from close range to make it 1-1. That was as good as it got for Dortmund, though, as Leipzig then took control of the game.
Kobel was forced into a few big saves before finally going ahead midway through the second half through Yussuf Poulsen. After that, Leipzig managed to retain control over the proceedings, meaning Dortmund suffered a second straight defeat, losing ground to Bayern Munich in the title race following the champions’ win over SC Freiburg. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Marco Rose’s men.
Gregor Kobel: 8/10
Full-time, 2-1 for Leipzig
So many things to comment on, Axel hasnt been great, Malen hasnt stepped up to make a difference for us but I cant shift all the blame on him when our whole midfield was non-existent
— 𝙁𝙎 🐝 (@Fs_BVB) November 6, 2021
The clear standout performer for Borussia Dortmund. Kobel made some wonderful saves to keep his side in the game, with a double save in the second half standing out. However, he was powerless to deny Leipzig their goals after being sold short by the defenders.
Marin Pongracic: 5/10
Pongracic is viewed as a solid addition to the Borussia Dortmund defence. However, on Saturday, he was anything but solid as he played Nkunku on in the build-up to the opening goal and constantly suffered against the Frenchman. So, it was hardly surprising that Rose took him off at half-time.
Manuel Akanji: 5/10
Akanji was one of the players at fault when Nkunku scored the opener, as in an attempt to create an offside trap, he lost track of the French attacker. The Swiss defender did improve in the game’s final hour, but the damage had already been done.
Mats Hummels: 5/10
Coming into the fixture on the back of a frustrating outing against Ajax, Hummels would have hoped for a better evening against Leipzig. However, that was not the case as the German defender suffered greatly against Nkunku, who was extremely rampant on the day. His aerial presence was a saving grace, but he needed to do much better in ground duels.
Thomas Meunier: 6.5/10
Meunier was one of the few Dortmund players who left a positive mark on the game. The Belgian international was critical in bringing the visitors back into the game as he slipped Marco Reus through for the equaliser. He posed a lot of creative threat for much of the game, but his output was also poor at times, which brings his rating down slightly.
Axel Witsel: 5/10
It is no secret that when Witsel is not on song, Dortmund suffer. The same was the case against RB Leipzig as well, with the hosts overrunning the Belgian international with ease at times in the middle of the park. While the experienced midfielder hardly ever lost the ball, his defensive output was simply horrendous.
Jude Bellingham: 6/10
A difficult outing for Bellingham, who was clearly affected by fatigue. After all, the English prodigy has played almost every game for Dortmund this season without getting a lot of rest. And his struggles were evident in his lack of ball progression while off the ball, he was not as aggressive as he usually is. It was a rare blip, though.
Thorgan Hazard: 5/10
Hazard has impressed as a wing-back in recent times. However, Leipzig found a way to expose the chinks in his armour, directing many of their plays down his side. The Belgian international’s job became even tougher in the second half when he played as a left-back. However, his rating gets a slight hike because he was one of the few Dortmund players who posed a creative threat.
Julian Brandt: 5/10
Having earned a call-up to the German national side on the back of some fine form recently, Brandt would have hoped to fare better than he did against Leipzig. However, the 25-year-old struggled a great deal on Saturday, losing the ball several times in sloppy fashion (19 times in all) while failing to create a single chance. He has to do better.
Marco Reus: 7/10
Reus was a rare positive among the outfield players for Dortmund. The BVB captain ran his socks off and tried to make things happen. However, apart from when he netted the equaliser, there were hardly any other chances coming his way. Leipzig’s press also forced him to lose possession cheaply at times.
102 – Marco Reus has scored his 102nd Bundesliga goal for Borussia Dortmund, moving level with Stéphane Chapuisat – only three other players have scored more often for the club in BL history. Icon. #RBLBVB pic.twitter.com/rLTdbxwthG
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) November 6, 2021
Donyell Malen: 5/10
It was largely a game to forget for Malen, whose rating only gets bumped up slightly as he put in the hard yards defensively to help his team out in a difficult fixture. However, the Dutchman was almost entirely ineffective in the attacking phases of the game and did not even take a single shot in his time on the pitch.
Ansgar Knauff: 5/10
In what was an attacking change by Rose at half-time, Knauff looked to make things happen from the left flank but struggled to get involved as much as he would have liked.
Youssoufa Moukoko: 6/10
A decent enough cameo by Moukoko, who looked better than the player he replaced, although he could not get the elusive second goal for his side either.
Reinier Jesus: N/A
On for Brandt, Reinier barely got any time to make an impact.
Dan-Axel Zagadou: N/A
A late introduction, Zagadou got some minutes under his belt on his return from a seven-month injury layoff.