Marco Reus scored his first goal since January to hand Borussia Dortmund a 1-0 victory at Hoffenheim on Saturday afternoon.
A pretty tame start to proceedings saw chances come few and far between for both sides before the visitors started to grow into the contest. Giovanni Reyna went close for BVB prior to the break.
The dynamic of the game refused to budge until Lucien Favre turned to his bench just after the hour mark, with substitutes Erling Braut Haaland and Marco Reus combining to hand Dortmund the lead with 15 minutes remaining.
Favre’s side spurned numerous opportunities to then double their lead which left the door slightly ajar for the hosts to equalise, but BVB held on for a slender victory.
Here are Dortmund’s player ratings from Saturday afternoon’s triumph.
Marwin Hitz (GK) – 6/10 – Assured hands throughout but wasn’t really tested.
Lukasz Piszczek (CB) – 5/10 – Forced off in the opening 20 minutes through injury.
Mats Hummels (CB) – 8/10 – Pretty inactive in the first half but enjoyed a superb second period. Sprayed some wonderful diagonals out to Jadon Sancho and help thwart the visitors with some characteristically assured positional work.
Emre Can (CB) – 8/10 – Switched over to his favoured right once Thomas Delaney entered the fray and enjoyed a fine afternoon. Recovered well and was typically aggressive defensively. Commanding and progressive in possession as well.
Thomas Meunier (RWB) – 7/10 – Came close to opening the scoring with a header which flicked off the bar. Defended stoutly and contributed to Dortmund’s build-up play down the right effectively.
Axel Witsel (CM) – 5/10 – An indifferent outing for the Belgian whose most notable contribution was picking up a booking in the second period.
Mahmoud Dahoud (CM) – 5/10 – Another start for the elegant German and often displayed his distinct grace in possession. Flattered to deceive for the most part, however.
Felix Passlack (LWB) – 6/10 – There are things to like about Passlack; he’s nimble and brilliant in tight spaces, but he distinctly lacks conviction in the final third. That was laid bare in this one.
Giovanni Reyna (LW) – 6/10 – Grew into the contest as the game wore on with some determined surges. Should’ve doubled BVB’s lead but blazed his shot over.
Julian Brandt (CF) – 5/10 – Functioned as a false nine and his clever movement did open up space for Sancho to exploit in behind on occasions. He was quiet on the whole, though, apart from the odd majestic first-time combination here and there.
Jadon Sancho (RW) – 5/10 – A pretty erratic performance from the Englishman who looked bright and crisp at times but also endured some sloppy sequences. Substituted just after the hour mark.
Thomas Delaney – 7/10
Marco Reus – 8/10
Erling Braut Haaland – 8/10
Raphael Guerreiro – 7/10
Jude Bellingham – 6/10