Marco Reus bagged a brace as Borussia Dortmund maintained their title charge with a crucial 3-0 win over Union Berlin on Sunday.

Borussia Dortmund returned to winning ways after securing a formidable 3-0 victory over Union Berlin on Sunday. It was a remarkable performance that helped them once again bridge the gap at the top back to six points, following Bayern Munich’s shock defeat at the hands of newly-promoted VfL Bochum.

Coming on the back of a 5-2 drubbing at the hands of Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund showed a lot of intent to turn the tables right from the beginning. Valiantly led by captain Marco Reus, the visitors ran rings around the Union defence with their quality frontline and the ability to rotate possession quickly in the final third.

In the end, it was Reus himself who broke the deadlock in the 18th minute. The German international went on to score another goal seven minutes later to give Dortmund a comfortable 2-0 advantage heading into half-time.

Die Schwarzgelben did look a bit fatigued after the restart, but they regained control of the game thanks to a hard-working display from the likes of Jude Bellingham, Axel Witsel and substitute Emre Can. It led to a comfortable end to the proceedings, with Raphael Guerreiro adding more gloss to the scoreline by tapping home in the 71st minute.

Union did pull one goal back through Kevin Mohwald, but it was disallowed by VAR, which spotted Anthony Ujah’s foul on Manuel Akanji just before the goal, thus leading to Dortmund’s first away clean sheet in the Bundesliga this season. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Black and Yellows in their comprehensive victory at Stadion An der Alten Försterei.

Gregor Kobel: 7/10

Gregor Kobel had a rather quiet day at the office, which is quite unusual for a Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper. Indeed, Union Berlin mustered only two shots on goal, both of which were valiantly saved by the Swiss international. He will be extremely happy to have kept his first away clean sheet in the Bundesliga for his new club.

Manuel Akanji: 7/10

With Thomas Meunier, Mateu Morey and Marius Wolf all injured, Manuel Akanji was tasked with the responsibility of operating at right-back. He did not disappoint either, producing a solid display and keeping Taiwo Awoniyi and Levin Oztunali quiet throughout the game. His potential departure at the end of the season could serve as a massive blow for Dortmund.

Mats Hummels: 7/10

Mats Hummels operated at the heart of the Dortmund backline. Covered by Akanji and Dan-Axel Zagadou on both sides, the veteran centre-back had the freedom to express himself in possession. It led to a fairly comfortable evening for Hummels, who will be delighted with the clean sheet.

Dan-Axel Zagadou: 7/10

Dan-Axel Zagadou was under pressure to perform after a disastrous performance against Bayer Leverkusen. He did not offer anything extraordinary, but he managed to remain calm and composed in dealing with the threat of the opposition attack. Played a vital role in helping Dortmund keep the clean sheet.

Raphael Guerreiro: 7.5/10

After a couple of bad performances, Raphael Guerreiro made a solid impression with his attacking prowess down the left flank. He was a constant passing outlet for the Dortmund attackers in the final third and was rewarded for his efforts with a late goal.

Mahmoud Dahoud: 7/10

Mahmoud Dahoud controlled the midfield well; he offered the impetus going forward and played a lot of vertical passes that helped Dortmund speed up their build-up play.

Axel Witsel: 7.5/10

Axel Witsel produced one of his best performances in a long time. The Belgian used his experience to gain control of midfield, offering stability, composure and leadership in the middle of the park. His contributions were crucial in helping Dortmund remain on top of the proceeding for a large portion of the game.

Jude Bellingham: 7.5/10

After a somewhat slow start to 2022, Jude Bellingham regained his form with a brilliant display against Union Berlin. The youngster offered energy and enthusiasm in midfield while also offering excellent progression from midfield. In addition, the Englishman was a vital asset in the second line of press, as he tirelessly closed down the Union ball-carriers, even in the final phase of the game.

Julian Brandt: 6/10

Julian Brandt was one of the few Dortmund players who were unable to completely dominate the proceedings. The German disappointed with his occasional heavy touches and had to largely rotate the ball in the final third without offering any real breakthrough.

Donyell Malen: 7.5/10

Donyell Malen may not have scored a goal, but his overall work ethic was simply astonishing, especially in the absence of Erling Haaland. The Dutchman expertly made runs in behind the backline that kept the Union defenders occupied. He was deeply involved in the lead-up to Reus’s goals.

Marco Reus: 8/10

Speaking of Reus, the Dortmund captain produced one of his best performances of the season. With Haaland missing, the experienced German international took the mantle of becoming the club’s main goalscorer by running into channels and often taking advantage of the loose balls. He also showcased excellent finishing to convert two early chances in the first half.

SUBSTITUTES

Emre Can: 6.5/10

Emre Can was a crucial substitute for Borussia Dortmund in the second half. The former Bayer Leverkusen starlet offered energy and physical superiority in the middle of the park that was crucial in denying Union a late comeback.

Youssoufa Moukoko: N/A

A late replacement for Malen. 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.

Nico Schulz: N/A

A late replacement for Guerreiro. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

Steffen Tigges: N/A

A late replacement for Reus. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

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