Borussia Dortmund continued their winning streak in 2023. BVB won 1-0 (1-0) against TSG Hoffenheim. The winners and losers of the game as well as the grades and individual reviews of the BVB pros.
Goalkeeper Gregor Kobel was once again the celebrated man in the narrow win, while a Dortmund youngster learned the hard way. At TSG, one striker in particular remained pale.
WINNER OF THE GAME: Gregor Kobel
The Swiss proves week after week why not a few call him the best goalkeeper in the Bundesliga. Baumgartner, Kramaric Dolberg and Kabak failed in series due to the strong reflexes of the BVB goalkeeper. If he can keep this form, he will secure many more important points for Dortmund. Grade 1.5.
LOSER OF THE MATCH: Ihlas Bebou
In contrast to his neighbors Baumgartner, Kramaric and later Dolberg, the TSG attacker was not involved in Hoffenheim’s offensive game at all. Recorded the fewest ball contacts and passes of all starting eleven players, and not a single shot in the direction of Kobel’s box. Was redeemed and substituted by coach Matarazzo after 65 minutes. grade: 5
Gregory Kobel: Confirmed his form, which has been excellent for weeks, against Hoffenheim. Strong save against Baumgartner after 16 minutes, also got the ball again decisively before Kabak, who was ready to score. Was called for more often in the second half, also because Hoffenheim invested more in the offensive game. Thanks to good saves, he kept his clean slate. Grade 1.5.
Marius Wolf: Wasn’t challenged very much defensively and therefore always got involved in the attacking game. Had a huge chance to make it 2-0 just before the break, but his shot sailed over the TSG box. He then did better after the change of sides: his remarkable goal to make it 2-0 was rightly disallowed. Note 3.
Niklas Sule: Always there as the last man when he was needed. Hard to beat, especially in the air (100 percent duels won). Blocked many important balls in Hoffenheim’s urge phase. Note 3.
Nico Schlotterbeck: Saved with a strong tackle against Baumgartner immediately before Kabak’s header chance. Also offensive with many dangerous actions. Won more than two-thirds of his duels – both in the air and on the ground. There is only a point deduction for his foul before the denied wolf hit. Grade 2.5.
Raphael Guerreiro: When TSG became dangerous, it was primarily through their left-back. Didn’t have the easiest position against Kaderabek and Baumgartner, but didn’t get much support from Bynoe-Gittens either. Dared a little more after the break and could have scored a second Dortmund goal twice. Grade 3.5.
Emre Can: As so often in recent weeks, the German-Turk dropped between the two central defenders Süle and Schlotterbeck in possession of the ball and boosted the build-up game from behind. This worked well for long stretches. Was very lucky in half-time two that his kick against Akpoguma wasn’t penalized with a penalty. Grade 3.5.
Jude Bellingham: Not quite as conspicuous as one is used to from him. Apart from a good chance just before the end with practically no move to goal. Was mostly in the shadow of the strong Reus and tried to keep his back free. Grade 3.5.
Julian Brandt: Was found all over the field. Stuffed a lot of holes in the backward movement and was not above going long distances to win the ball. Curiously scored the goal of the day with his back. Grade: 2.
Marco Reus: Very strong game by the BVB captain. Was involved in almost every dangerous BVB campaign. Could have been on the scorer list a few times in the first half, but his free kick on Brandt ultimately made it 1-0. Grade: 2.
Jamie Bynoe Gittens: Recorded Dortmund’s first half-chance after a nice one-two with Reus after four minutes, but his shot was blocked. As a result, he repeatedly lost the ball unnecessarily, which destroyed many BVB counterattacks in the first half. As the game progressed, the color faded, which is why Terzic was the first player to take him off the field. Grade: 4.5.
Sebastien Haller: Was completely invisible for the first half hour before he gave BVB the first shots on goal with a double chance (32′, 33′). Was better involved in the offensive game afterwards, tied up a lot of balls and distributed them to Brandt, Reus and Wolf. But he was no longer dangerous himself. A quarter of an hour before the end, gave way to the more defensive Özcan. grade: 4
Donyell Paint: Substituted for Bynoe-Gittens after 64 minutes. Did his job only marginally better than the youngster, he hardly attracted attention. However, you have to give him credit for the fact that BVB almost completely stopped their offensive efforts towards the end. grade 4
Salih Ozcan: Substituted for Haller in the 77th minute. No rating.
Mats Hummels: Was allowed to play for Reus for the last two official minutes of the game. No rating.