The Bundesliga returns!
Opening proceedings today with one of its biggest rivalries, Borussia Dortmund hosting Schalke 04 in the Revierderby. Red cards, goals & 4-0 leads surrendered, this fixture has had it all in recent seasons.
American Gio Reyna was scheduled to make his first league start for BVB but went out in the warm-up with an injury.
Both teams lined up in a 3-4-3 formation but only Dortmund turned up running out comfortable 4-0 winners against a Schalke side lacking energy & creativity.
Julian Brandt was the architect of Dortmund’s dominant display. Involved in all 4 goals & grabbing 2 assists he constantly found space & played through balls for Hazard, Guirriero & Hakimi to run onto. Erling Haaland picked up where he left off making it 10 goals from 9 appearances. A brace from Guirriero & strike from Hazard rounded off the afternoon for BVB moving them within 1 point of Bayern.
Borussia Dortmund Player Ratings
Lucien Favre (7) –
With Jadon Sancho nursing a reported calf injury, Favre gave American Gio Reyna a start. Then Reyna got injured in the warm-up. He got his game plan spot on with Brandt & Hazard drifting inside leaving space for Guirriero & Hakimi to break into. 2-0 at halftime & 3-0 by the 48th minute it was an easy afternoon with no tough decisions to make.
Roman Bürki (6) –
Rarely troubled all day & dealt comfortably with what little Schalke had to offer.
CB – (C) Lukasz Piszczek (7) –
Easy day at the office & received a harsh yellow card for handball.
CB – Mats Hummels (7) –
Marshaled the backline well & had Raman in his pocket.
CB – Manuel Akanji (7) –
Hardly broke a sweat & was solid all afternoon.
RWB – Achraf Hakimi (7) –
Was a constant threat down the right using his pace to get behind Schalke’s defence. Never neglected his defensive duties keeping Harit quiet.
LWB – Raphaël Guerriero (9) –
Scored 2 goals & caused problems for Schalke all afternoon breaking forward into the space left by Brandt. Took his first well with an excellent drilled finish into the bottom right & grabbed his second with a confident, outside of the boot finish. Subbed off in the 87th minute.
CM – Thomas Delaney (6) –
Controlled the center of the park & broke up play well. Shown a yellow after a high elbow on Serbar. Subbed off in the 68th minute for Balerdi.
CM – Mahmoud Dahoud (6) –
Solid performance he sat in front of the back 3 breaking up play. Subbed in the 87th minute.
LW – JULIAN BRANDT (9) –
Shone in his free role drifting across the pitch into space & dropping deep to receive the ball. Instrumental for the first 3 goals with a lovely flick to release Hazard down the right & perfectly weighted passes to put Guerriero & Hazard in. Schalke didn’t have an answer.
STR – Erling Braut Haaland (8) –
All he does is score goals. Haaland got BVB on the board in the 29th minute. Excellent pressure on Schalke’s GK Schubert to force the mistake in the build up to Dortmund’s second. Haaland turned provider with an excellent through ball to Guirriero for Dortmund’s 4th & was a constant threat with his runs in behind.
RW – Thorgan Hazard (7) –
Gets the nod after Gio Reyna goes down in the warm-up with an injury. Excellent cross to find Haaland for Dortmund’s opener & scored Dortmund’s 3rd thanks to poor reactions from GK Schubert. Hazard left the game injured in the 79th minute with a goal & assist.
CM – Leonardo Balerdi (5) –
Joined the action at 4-0 with the game dead & buried. Picked up where Delaney left off breaking up play.
RW – Jadon Sancho –
Entered with 12 minutes remaining.
CM – Mario Götze –
Joined in the 87th minute.
LWB – Marcel Schmelzer –
Joined in the 87th minute.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Julian Brandt
Head & shoulders above the rest with his movement, touch, passing & calmness in possession. Played a part in all 4 goals.