Erling Haaland and Jude Bellingham struggled as Borussia Dortmund registered a disappointing draw with VfL Bochum.

Borussia Dortmund suffered a massive blow in their title aspirations after being held to a 1-1 draw by VfL Bochum. The disappointing result at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion means the Black and Yellows are now six points adrift of league leaders Bayern Munich as we head closer towards the mid-season hiatus.

With no Marco Rose on the touchline, Dortmund looked dejected right from the get-go. They failed to showcase any real fighting spirit and were bogged down by a sturdy Bochum backline that remained resolute and held their shape throughout the game. Their discipline was even rewarded with a Sebastian Polter goal just before half-time.

Dortmund responded well in the second half, showing much more passion and commitment to push for the equaliser. While they did score through Marius Wolf, the goal was ruled out by VAR. The long review also tainted their momentum, resulting in Bochum regrouping themselves once again.

It wasn’t until the 85th minute when Dortmund scored the equaliser through Julian Brandt. But it was too little too late, as Bochum held on for a point, to help out themselves and their close friends, Bayern Munich. Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Borussia Dortmund players in this disappointing defeat at the Ruhrstadion this weekend.

Gregor Kobel: 5.5/10

Gregor Kobel made a rare mistake late in the first half when he charged down on Christopher Antwi-Adjei to concede the penalty. He was unable to save the spot-kick, effectively costing the game for Dortmund. The Swiss international will hope to recover from this, in the midweek game against Greuther Furth.

Thomas Meunier: 5.5/10

Thomas Meunier offered very little threat down the right flank. He did make marauding runs forward, but most of his crosses weren’t particularly threatening, to say the least. The defender also made some questionable decisions in the final third while his passing was all over the place. Meunier’s bad run of form is not a good sign for Die Schwarzgelben given their lack of depth in the right-back unit.

Mats Hummels: 6.5/10

Mats Hummels was relatively decent, particularly with his long passes that tested the Bochum centre-backs. He did a good job of keeping Polter quiet, but the veteran defender should have been a bit more effective on the other end, especially from corners. Nevertheless, Hummels was by far the best defender for Dortmund in the afternoon.

Dan-Axel Zagadou: 5/10

Filling in for the injured Manuel Akanji, Dan-Axel Zagadou produced a woeful display against Bochum. He was often the weak link in possession, lumbering with the ball and struggling to offer any progressive passes forward. This performance may cost him his future at Dortmund, as the club decide whether they should extend his contract in January.

Nico Schulz: 4/10

Raphael Guerreiro getting injured prior to a game often leads to a bad result, largely because his replacement in Nico Schulz simply isn’t good enough to play at this level. Today was no exception, as the former Hoffenheim left-back failed to showcase any creativity on the far side and was lucky not to get sent off late in the game.

Emre Can: 6.5/10

Emre Can looked solid in midfield, especially in possession, as he managed to evade the Bochum press. But in fairness, the German international wasn’t challenged much, as the opposition wanted to focus on closing down the more attack-minded players in the middle of the park. He remains a favourite to start ahead of Axel Witsel in the midweek game, though.

Mahmoud Dahoud: 5/10

Mahmoud Dahoud was one of the players that really struggled to find a bearing in this game. He was closed down very quickly by the Bochum midfielders, resulting in a slew of misplaced passes and meaningless one-twos with teammates. He was subbed off midway through the second half, as Rose opted for more creativity in the middle of the park.

Jude Bellingham: 6/10

It was one of Jude Bellingham’s worst performances as a Dortmund player, as the youngster struggled to provide any creativity other than an early chance for Erling Haaland. The Englishman certainly needs to improve his shooting if he wants to become more effective in the final third of the pitch. He also conceded turnovers during key attacking moments, causing his team to restart their attacking sequences.

Marco Reus: 7/10

Marco Reus was the only real Dortmund player that looked sharp and was willing to create a chance in the final third. He was very effective in evading the Bochum pressure, which allowed him the opportunity to spread the ball in key areas. But the German simply didn’t receive enough support from his attacking teammates.

Marius Wolf: 6/10

An underwhelming display from Marius Wolf, who was very ineffective on the left flank. His lack of technical prowess meant the former Eintracht man conceded a host of turnovers in the final third. Had a moment of brief euphoria in the second half when he scored the equaliser, but it was ruled out by VAR. He was taken off shortly afterwards.

Erling Haaland: 6/10

Erling Haaland endured a tough night against Bochum. He was given multiple chances in the final third, but the striker failed to convert them. In the second half, he was defended immaculately by the centre-backs, although the Norwegian did create the opportunity for Brandt’s late equaliser – a smart, lofted cross that found the former Leverkusen starlet, just in front of goalkeeper Manuel Riemann.

Substitutes

Julian Brandt: 7/10

Julian Brandt had his inconsistencies after coming on for Dahoud in the second half. But he had an undeniable impact on the proceedings, thanks to his creativity and willingness to make things happen. It was rewarded with a goal late in the game.

Thorgan Hazard: 6/10

Thorgan Hazard added the drive and determination that was missing in the Dortmund attack. But the Belgian was also frustrating to watch due to his occasional lack of concentration.

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