Erling Haaland bagged a brace as Borussia Dortmund swept aside Greuther Furth 3-0 at the Signal Iduna Park on Wednesday.
Borussia Dortmund return to winning ways in the Bundesliga after securing a 3-0 win over Greuther Furth on Wednesday. The victory helps them bridge the gap at the top back to six points, ahead of their final game of the Hinrunde on the weekend.
Although the scoreline may suggest otherwise, Dortmund produced one of their worst performances of the season against the Furth side that played with a lot of heart and had a proper gameplan. Indeed, the bottom club had started the game quite well, impressively retaining a 4-4-2 diamond to deny any sort of space in between the lines for the opposition midfielders.
The visitors also managed to apply a lot of pressure on the Dortmund ball-carriers, leading to a cagey affair between the two sides. In many ways, Marco Rose’s men were lucky to score the 33rd-minute opener from Erling Haaland, as it prevented them from having to chase the game for the large parts of the proceedings.
That said, Furth were on top in the second half as well, retaining their defensive solidity despite losing the game. Their patience had almost paid off when they were awarded a couple of brilliant goalscoring opportunities. But their failure to make use of their chances cost them at the end, with Haaland completing his brace in the 82nd minute to secure the three points.
There was still a time for a third, though, as substitute Donyell Malen applied the final gloss in the scoreline that will certainly mirror the team’s poor performance overall. But here, at The Hard Tackle, we will rank the Borussia Dortmund players in their hard-fought victory over Greuther Furth this midweek.
Gregor Kobel: 6/10
Gregor Kobel didn’t have much to do as Greuther Furth weren’t able to create too many goalscoring opportunities. The minnows only registered one shot on target, which was comfortably handled by the Borussia Dortmund ‘keeper. He will be certainly delighted with the clean sheet in what has otherwise been a busy start to his career at Dortmund.
🎙 Gregor Kobel:
“It wasn't our best game, we didn't quite get into a rhythm. But in the end, 3 points are what count and it's always a great feeling to keep a clean sheet." pic.twitter.com/Dp4Jcqf3AF
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) December 15, 2021
Thomas Meunier: 6/10
After enjoying a boost in performances during the early parts of the campaign, it appears Thomas Meunier is once again finding it difficult to impose his presence. It was evident against Furth as he struggled to offer any creativity going forward, other than the routine rotation of passes.
Mats Hummels: 6.5/10
Mats Hummels was a mixed bag for Borussia Dortmund this midweek. The veteran defender used his experience and game-reading ability to intercept multiple counter-attacking threats for Furth. At the same time, though, he looked vulnerable against pacy opponents and was rather lucky to keep the clean sheet, as the visitors failed to make use of their scoring opportunities.
Dan-Axel Zagadou: 6/10
Filling in for the injured Manuel Akanji, Dan-Axel Zagadou had another dicey game. While the Ivorian was certainly looking better than he did against Bochum on the weekend, he was often caught lagging at times, especially in the build-up. Moreover, Zagadou was beaten way too easily on certain occasions, which could have ended badly for his team.
Zagadou looks awful again BTW. Surely, we let him walk in the summer right?
— Mike Solak (@realmikesolak) December 15, 2021
Nico Schulz: 6/10
After a horror display against Bochum, it was a much-improved performance from Nico Schulz. The left-back showed a lot of commitment, especially when chasing the ball down. However, his lack of creativity continues to hurt BVB, who may want to sign a replacement in the upcoming January transfer window.
Axel Witsel: 6.5/10
Axel Witsel was given the nod ahead of Emre Can in midfield. The Belgian did well to offer security in possession, thus making it difficult for Furth to create turnovers. But he was highly passive, and his presence in midfield slowed Dortmund’s build-up play from the back.
Jude Bellingham: 6.5/10
Jude Bellingham was an active presence in the Borussia Dortmund midfield, as usual. Unfortunately, though, the youngster picked up an early yellow card that prompted Marco Rose to take him off at half-time. The Englishman is also set to miss the next game due to the accumulation of too many bookings.
Julian Brandt: 8/10
Julian Brandt was the main creative spark in this Dortmund setup that struggled to navigate through the Furth defence. The German even registered the assist for Haaland’s second goal and Malen’s late strike. He looked extremely sloppy with his passing, but the former Bayer Leverkusen was by far the most influential figure for the home side, especially in the final third.
Julian Brandt has reached that point where he’s not just having a good spell but truly returning to form and cementing himself as a top footballer again.
— BM (@BorussianMyth) December 15, 2021
Marco Reus: 6.5/10
It was not the best of performances from Marco Reus. He was the most-pressed player in the game, as Furth tried to nullify his impact in the final third. The captain still managed to create a few chances, especially with his passes in behind, but it was not enough to help his team sustain the pressure on the opposition.
Thorgan Hazard: 6.5/10
Thorgan Hazard was not very influential in the final third, but his ability to run in behind defences caught the opposition off-guard on multiple occasions. He even scored a goal around the first quarter of the game, but it was ruled out due to offside. Hazard was taken off during the final phase of the proceedings.
Erling Haaland: 7.5/10
Erling Haaland barely had any sniff during the first half as Borussia Dortmund found it difficult to navigate through the Greuther Furth press. But the Norwegian did manage to score a goal through a penalty late in the first half and was much more influential after the restart. More importantly, he took his chances well, including another headed goal in the 82nd minute.
No player in Borussia Dortmund's history has scored more Bundesliga goals in a single year than Erling Haaland 🤖 pic.twitter.com/mQ5cXscHjZ
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 15, 2021
Mahmoud Dahoud: 6.5/10
Mahmoud Dahoud replaced Bellingham at half-time after the youngster picked up a booking. The German was not quite clinical with his passing, as he tried to pass the ball forward way too often, ultimately losing possession on many occasions.
Donyell Malen: 7/10
Donyell Malen came in late to add more energy and creativity to the Dortmund attack. He was rewarded with a goal late in the game, as the Dutchman continues his brilliant run of form.
Gotta say though, that Malen goal was superb. The way he got that shot off was really not easy to do. Flick of the ankle kinda stuff. Numbers now really looking up since I've called him a terrible flop. 😀
— Stefan Buczko (@StefanBuczko) December 15, 2021
Emre Can: 6.5/10
Emre Can added more defensive resilience after coming on for Reus in the 75th minute. It was a smart move by Rose as the former Liverpool midfielder marshalled his troops well during the final phase of the game.
Steffen Tigges: N/A
A late replacement for Haaland. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Reinier Jesus: N/A
A late replacement for Brandt. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.