Dortmund-Schalke: Revierderby player ratings as Bundesliga returns
The black and yellow's ran out comfortable winners as the German top flight returned after two months due to the Covid-19n pandemic.
Before today’s Revierderby a lot was made of Schalke’s dramatic four goal comeback in the 2017/18 season but as the game played out in front of an empty Westfalenstadion it became clear there would be no repeat today.
Match fitness was always likely to be a key issues and so, naturally, the deadlock was broken by one of the sharpest shooters in the game. After a couple of early sightings, Erling Haaland scored the first goal since the Bundesliga’s return with a typically deft finish from a devilish Thorgan Hazard cross.
Dortmund’s first was nicely made but their second was an absolute gift with Schalke goalkeeper Markus Schubert punting his clearance hopelessly short. The ball found Raphaël Guerreiro in space on the left wing and he finished coolly. That came shortly before half-time and the game was decided soon after when Schalke were hit with a devastating Dortmund counter attack. Haaland found the impressive Julian Brandt in space, who slipped the ball through for Hazard to finish confidently.
The game slowed to a jog as Schalke seemed content to write off this first foray back into competitive football. They made their maximum five substitutions but rarely managed to trouble the Dortmund defence. Midway through the second half Guerreiro added his second, and Dortmund’s fourth, with a nonchalant flick that really emphasised the home side’s dominance.
The 4-0 defeat sees Schalke slip out of the European places but Dortmund showed that, despite their mounting injury list, they are a force to be reckoned with. They have eight games remaining and if they can get Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus, Axel Witsel and Emre Can back quickly, they will push Bayern all the way.
Borussia Dortmund: player by player ratings
Roman Bürki – Did well to rebuff an early effort from Caligiuri but rarely called upon after that, will have few easier days than this - 6
Łukasz Piszczek – Caught in position by Schalke’s aggressive pressing at the start but was unflappable from then on. A solid enough return to action from the Dortmund skipper - 7
Mats Hummels – Rarely tested but eluded calm from his central role. Not as expansive on the ball as he can be, but did not need to be today - 7
Manuel Akanji – Untroubled throughout and gave Guerreiro the license to charge forward as he did. Hard to fault but faced almost no attacking threat on his side - 7
Achraf Hakimi – With Jadon Sancho out of the starting XI it fell to Hakimi to provide attacking threat down the right and the Real Madrid loanee performed admirably. Was a regular out ball in a game often congested down the middle - 7
Thomas Delaney – Combative in midfield on his return to the side and showed that Dortmund have no need to rush Emre Can and Axel Witsel back prematurely - 7
Mahmoud Dahoud – His role was largely a defensive one and did well with Schalke’s only forays forward coming through the middle. He was rarely involved in the second half as his side looked to counter - 6
Raphaël Guerreiro – Was initially the more defensive of Dortmund’s wing-backs but grew in influence to score two great goals. Constant threat down the left flank and caused problems with his running - 8
Julian Brandt – Grew in influence as a floating playmaker and had a hand in all four Dortmund goals. Has played both in midfield and as a forward since arriving last summer and showed himself capable of both today - 8
Thorgan Hazard – His low whipped cross from the right wing for the opener showed his creative talents and the Belgian finished comprehensively for the third. Moved intelligently across the frontline - 8
Erling Braut Haaland – Despite the unprecedented circumstances it was business as usual for the Norwegian, notching his 11th goal in ten Bundesliga games. Direct and dynamic throughout - 7
Leonardo Balerdi – Rarely involved but appeared a game runner as Dortmund looked to counter attack – 6
Jadon Sancho – Was ruled out of the team with a slight muscle injury but was fit enough to play the last 15 minutes. Looked a bit rusty but will count this as a fitness test more than anything - 5
Mario Gotze – N/A
Marcel Schmelzer – N/A
Schalke 04: player by player ratings
Markus Schubert – Could do little with the first goal but one of his many poor clearances led directly to Guerreiro’s goal before half-time. Was left high and dry by his teammates for the third but did not cover himself with glory – 3
Jonjoe Kenny – Made a few powerful runs forward but was completely outshone by his opposite number, Guerreiro. May feel he could have tracked better for Dortmund’s second - 5
Jean-Clair Todibo – Appeared to struggle with a fluid Dortmund front-line and found himself increasingly exposed, culminating in being sorely outpaced by Guerreiro for his first goal. Wisely removed at half time - 4
Matija Nastasic – Coped fairly well with Hakimi’s foraging runs but struggled to deal with Brandt and Hazard’s movement. Looked slightly more comfortable in the second half in a back four - 4
Salif Sané – Made a sensational headed block from a fierce Akanji strike but struggled to stamp his authority on the game. Looked worried by Haaland’s directness throughout - 5
Bastian Oczipka – Left his defence overrun at times and struggled to get into the game throughout, possibly lacking the required match fitness for his wing-back role - 5
Weston McKennie – Made some important tackles and interceptions but was fighting against the tide, could do little to stop Dortmund’s incisive counter-attacks - 6
Suat Serdar – Made some incisive forward passes in the first half but found little movement from the Schalke forwards. Continued to probe but a day to forget for the Schalke captain - 6
Amine Harit – Began on the left wing but soon drifted inside as it become clear he would be getting little support. Grew frustrated and offered no goal threat - 5
Daniel Caligiuri – Carved out a decent early chance but was quickly smothered and failed to have any real impact from then on - 5
Benito Raman – Ran around a lot but produced precious little from the limited opportunities he was given. Made way at half-time as Schalke reshaped in search of a goal – 5
Rabbi Matondo – Brought on at half-time as Schalke switched to a back four and made some enthusiastic runs in the channels but contributed little else - 5
Guido Burgstaller – Manufactured a couple of decent openings in the second half, but by that point the game was gone - 6
Alessandro Schopf – Brought on in an act of damage limitation and helped stem the tide at least - 5
Juan Miranda – N/A
Tino Becker – N/A