A disappointing result in Dortmund, where we fell to a 2-0 defeat. There was a 20,000-strong Geordie Invasion across Dusseldorf and Dortmund, but we were a few levels below our best, conceded two sloppy goals and missed one or two big chances on the night. It’s fine, fine margins at this level and unfortunately, we just came up short.
Here’s the ratings from a frustrating night in Germany:
Nick Pope – 7 – Made a solid saves to keep us in the game and couldn’t do much about the goals. Made six saves overall and claimed a few high balls into the box.
Kieran Trippier – 4 – Thought he really struggled throughout the game, where his passing was well off all night. Gave it away in bad areas and his set-piece delivery was so poor also, where he too often failed to beat the first man from a free-kicks, allowing them to break on the counter (as they did for their second goal). Really poor display from the England man who will be looking for a response on Saturday.
Jamaal Lascelles – 7 – Can hold his head up high and defended pretty well. Won seven duels and made two clearances in a solid showing from the club captain. Passing was pretty decent also, releasing the ball a lot faster than normal and helping us sustain attacks. He also pinged a stunning long pass that almost put Willock in behind early on.
Fabian Schar – 6 – Partly at fault for the first goal, getting sucked out and leaving the back four exposed as a result. A rare blip for the usually superb Swiss international. Didn’t look as confident at left sided centre back without his trusted Dan Burn beside him, but his passing was a lot better second half; one in particular over the top to Livramento which created a big opening.
Lewis Hall – 5 – Booked early on for a 50/50 shoulder challenge, which looked extremely harsh on second viewing. Looked to be playing within himself after that and that and was taken off at half-time to protect him. Could’ve done better for their opening goal, allowing the ball to run across him before Sabitzer’s cut-back. Better days ahead and a big experience he’ll learn from.
Sean Longstaff – 5 – A bit of a bystander in the game and didn’t offer enough on the ball, despite plenty of effort. Struggled with the physicality of the Dortmund midfield and failed to make his penetrative runs into the box or down our right-hand side. Looked a yard off it, but has played a lot of football these last few weeks and may need a rest.
Bruno Guimaraes – 6 – Struggled to dictate the tempo of our play in the way he often does in the Premier League. Dortmund had an obvious game plan trying to stifle him. Played a few beautiful cross field passes but they came to nothing. Won six duels and won plenty of fouls in midfield to get us up the pitch, but Dortmund played him well.
Joelinton – 6 – Competitive as ever in midfield, putting himself about and winning fouls. However, he HAD to score from that header in the six yard box from Livramento’s cross. Had a half chance before the break, but this felt like THE moment that could’ve changed the game for us. Won seven duels and two tackles, but will be kicking himself after that horrible miss early in the second half.
Tino Livramento – 8.5* – An unbelievable performance at both ends of the pitch. By far our best player, full of energy all night, a real threat going forward on the right and defended superbly when moved to left-back in the second half. He played three different positions on the night and never looked out of place, showing real pace and athleticism. Should’ve had an assist after a brilliant cross that Joelinton somehow headed wide. Looked so mature throughout the game and will only get better. Has to start at right back now for me.
Joe Willock – 5 – Full of energy and endeavour on the left hand side of our midfield but nothing really came off for him. Dortmund defended him extremely well in fairness and have obviously done their research as Adeyemi (who was outstanding) was doubling up on him every time he got the ball. The former Arsenal man got space in our away win at Old Trafford but didn’t get that here. A tough night for him.
Callum Wilson – 5 – Starting his first Champions League game he struggled from the off. Tried to offer an out-ball, made runs into the channels and won the odd corner, but was muscled off the ball on multiple occasions and didn’t pose enough of a threat.. Taken off at half-time with a ‘tight hamstring’, which perhaps explains his tame display.
Miguel Almiron – 6 – Expected more from the Paraguayan off the bench but definitely brought some energy.
Anthony Gordon – 6 – Shocked he didn’t start the game, but it seems he may have emptied the tank against Arsenal. Looked lively through the middle but was rarely given space to work in as Dortmund defended him well.
Lewis Miley – N/A – Only on for the final 10 minutes but looked assured. The youngest ever Mag to play in the Champions League at 17-years-old.