Borussia Dortmund player ratings from defeat to RB Leipzig

Niklas Sule and Marco Reus. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Niklas Sule and Marco Reus. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images) /
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Nico Schlotterbeck. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Nico Schlotterbeck. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images) /

Raphael Guerreiro (3/10)

There has been reason to be critical of Borussia Dortmund’s full-back situation. Though most of the negative attention has been attributed to Thomas Meunier, Raphael Guerreiro’s defensive shortcomings are being disproportionately overlooked. He allowed balls to be played behind on numerous occasions against Leipzig. He consistently lost track of the runner in behind.

Timo Werner, Christopher Nkunku, and even Konrad Laimer easily slipped past the Portuguese international’s sight far too often. He didn’t do himself any favors with supporters when he was quite literally seen giving up on a play in the 39th minute in which he once again found himself far too advanced in the attack. Abandoning any semblance of defensive intent or effort, he simply put his head down and walked as a ball was played directly into his assigned defensive area to Timo Werner.

Nico Schlotterbeck (4/10)

The central defenders were always going to be tested in this match regardless of the attacking output. For all of Werner’s shortcomings in terms of finishing ability and ball control, he understands how to exploit space with blistering speed. Schlotterbeck dealt with this well at times, yet also must take responsibility for conceding the first goal.

He was unable to mark Orban and allowed the Hungarian to open the scoring after just 5 minutes. Leipzig’s final goal featured another careless turnover at the back from Meunier and Schlotterbeck botched an attempted sliding tackle that resulted in Haidara’s exclamation point to finish off the game.

Niklas Sule (6/10)

Again, the partnership of Sule and Schlotterbeck would inevitably have to deal with Leipzig’s counter-attacking pace. In this regard, I actually felt that Sule performed well. His handling of 1v1 defending situations is of particular note. On numerous occasions, Dortmund’s midfield and forward line failed to come up with anything resembling progressive passing into Leipzig’s defensive third.

Many of these scenarios resulted in Sule having to extend wide to compensate for Werner’s movement and Guerreiro’s awful positional awareness. The success of Sule in the ensuing 1v1 situations shouldn’t be overlooked, with Werner and Nkunku unable to get past the German international in the majority of these engagements. Sule registered Dortmund’s highest passing completion on the day at 88.5% and the most clearances (3).

Thomas Meunier (4/10)

Thomas Meunier has received his fair share of media criticism in the last few weeks. Both from shaky performances and a very public desire to push a move to Barcelona only for the deal to fail to materialize. Against Leipzig, he did little to rewrite the narrative. Offering little in attack, he was largely confined to a defensive posture on the right wing.

Unfortunately, his only real action of note was an extremely lazy turnover which directly led to Leipzig’s third goal. One can question Meyer’s decision to pass to him at all in that situation, but upon being dispossessed, Meunier’s lack of effort to close down the passing window to Nkunku resembled that of Emre Can’s laughable staring contest with the ball that lead to Werder Bremen’s third goal a few weeks ago.