Erling Haaland produced one of his worst performances in a BVB shirt as Borussia Dortmund slumped to a 2-1 defeat at 1.FC Koln.

One of Bundesliga’s bottom clubs 1.FC Koln secured their first win in the league this term in grand fashion as they beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 at the Signal Iduna Park on Saturday.

The Billygoats started the game in a positive manner, notably finding the early opener through Ellyes Skhiri. They were quite solid in defence, offering very little space in between the lines. Their resilience in the early stages of the game frustrated the home side, who were often denied any inroads into the penalty area.

In the second half, Borussia Dortmund fans were perhaps hoping their team to replicate their performance against Hertha Berlin last weekend. But instead, the Black and Yellows conceded another in the 60th minute. It was a carbon copy of the first goal as the chance originated from a set-piece and the goal was scored by Skhiri once again.

The second goal prompted Lucien Favre to make a few substitutions and the move paid off as Giovanni Reyna provided the assist for Thorgan Hazard’s goal in the 74th minute. Unfortunately for BVB, it wasn’t enough to help them salvage at least a point as they never really managed to restore parity.

Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Borussia Dortmund stars in their disappointing defeat to 1.FC Koln this evening.

Roman Burki: 5/10

Koln surprisingly amassed the same amount of shots on target as Borussia Dortmund. But it didn’t necessarily keep Roman Burki busy in goal as the Swiss star was not forced to make any extraordinary save. However, he may have reacted better for the second goal, even though the goalkeeper only blamed his teammates.

Thomas Meunier: 6/10

Thomas Meunier had a difficult evening dealing with the pacy Ismael Jakobs on the right flank. Although the Belgian did manage to keep a check on the Koln winger, for the most part, it minimised his overall influence going forward. He was unfortunate to pick up an injury in the second half, however, as he made way for Hazard.

Manuel Akanji: 4/10

Manuel Akanji was woeful at the heart of the Dortmund backline against Koln. He initially made a grave error by leaving the ball for Burki while losing the ball on multiple occasion as well. The Swiss international also looked abject with his passing and positioning, allowing the opposition to provide a threat on the counter.

Mats Hummels: 6/10

Mats Hummels was far better than Akanji in terms of his defensive contribution. He even provided a threat going forward with his headers, notably forcing a save from Timo Horn in the second half. However, the centre-back struggled with his passing, losing possession more than once.

Felix Passlack: 5/10

Starting in place of the injured Raphael Guerreiro, Felix Passlack failed to replace the Portuguese international effectively enough at left-back. He was often passive with his passing, offering very little ball progression. Surely needs to do better if he wants to remain at Borussia Dortmund in the future.

Emre Can: 8/10

Emre Can was by far the best performer for Borussia Dortmund this evening. He was a motivating figure throughout the game, influencing his team with darting runs in the final third. He also showed marvellous work-ethic, winning the ball back for his team while providing a lot of cover for the centre-backs. The ex-Liverpool man was unfortunate that his efforts weren’t reciprocated by his teammates.

Axel Witsel: 5/10

While Can was inspiring in central midfield, Axel Witsel was equally ineffective. The Belgian simply didn’t provide anything to the game aside from non-progressive short passes that did very little to break down the Koln defence. His inability to act as a ball-carrier also meant that the home side had to rely on the creative output of their attackers.

Jadon Sancho: 6/10

Following a scintillating performance against Club Brugge, Jadon Sancho failed to continue his good run of form. In fact, the Englishman was one of the worst performers on the pitch as he barely made any impact on the right flank. Although the likes of Czichos and Jakobs do deserve credit for defending his threat, the winger did also lose possession unnecessary on multiple occasions.

Things went further downhill later in the second half when Sancho had to operate as a right wing-back following the injury to Meunier and the substitution of Passlack.

Marco Reus: 7/10

Marco Reus was one of the bright sparks in an otherwise dire Dortmund attack in the first half. The club captain looked lively with his movement and created quite a few openings, with Haaland notably missing one of the opportunities. Reus’ influence faded in the second half, but his overall performance in this game should be a positive sign for any Dortmund fan.

Julian Brandt: 5/10

Much like Sancho, Julian Brandt struggled to make an impact on the proceedings. The German was arguably worse as he became the weak link in the Dortmund attack due to his inability to find useful passes in the final third. He was deservedly subbed off midway through the second half.

Erling Haaland: 3/10

Erling Haaland produced one of the worst performances since joining Borussia Dortmund in January. The Norwegian simply wasn’t up to the mark, which was evident when he missed an opportunity in the final third. He was also given very little time on the ball, with Sebastiaan Bornauw marking him tightly.

While the striker’s lack of involvement was acceptable given Koln’s deep defensive line and a strict man-marking system, he missed a glorious opportunity to restore parity in the dying embers of the game as his effort from Reus’ cutback went wide. It cost his team a point.


Thorgan Hazard: 7/10

Thorgan Hazard replaced the injured Meunier around the hour mark, forcing Passlack to shift to the opposite flank. The move made Dortmund much more effective on the left flank, with the Belgian often marching forward and linking up with teammates in the final third. He produced an excellent finish to score the goal as well and was a menace for the Koln defence for the rest of the match.

Giovanni Reyna: 7/10

Giovanni Reyna replaced Passlack in the 68th minute – a move that should’ve been made much earlier as the young American provided some much-needed creative essence in the final third. He notably provided the assist for the Hazard and probed the Koln defence during the final phase of the game.

Youssoufa Moukoko: 7/10

Youssoufa Moukoko was another substitute who made an immediate impact after coming on in the second half. The 16-year-old looked very lively with or without the ball at his feet, most notably creating an early chance for himself with a brilliant turn. His scuffed shot also led to the last chance for Dortmund, which was missed by Haaland.

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