Achraf Hakimi started his second game in a row for Borussia Dortmund after an excellent debut performance vs. Nürnberg where he scored a goal.
This time around, Hakimi endured a much rougher start. In the 9th minute, Achraf slipped just as the ball was played towards his defensive area, allowing for a free cross that resulted in the opening goal of the game.
Achraf was also partly at fault for the second goal Dortmund conceded. Though the primary blame must be placed on all the players that somehow failed to clear the ball on multiple attempts, Achraf easily lost the 1v1 duel that directly resulted in the goal.
These examples are hard to completely pin on Achraf due to the unlucky nature of the first mistake and the collective nature of the second, but there were a couple other occasions where Achraf looked defensively suspect.
In the first example, he shows a lack of awareness to stop his man from getting inside him to win the header, and in the second example, he voids his own good defensive work through his overzealousness.
However, these types of mistakes are expected from a raw teenager and it was encouraging to see positive defensive moments sprinkled throughout the game.
In all, he managed a solid 3/3 tackles, 1 clearance, and 1 blocked shot, and demonstrated a good attitude even after making mistakes. In the middle of the above clip, you can see Achraf make a bad pass before taking responsibility and fixing the error through his own industry.
On offense, Achraf’s game leaned more to the positive side. He showed off his athleticism and confidence on the ball by bursting down the overlap, running at defenders, and trying to instigate attacking play with passes into attacking areas.
But, like with his defense, some issues did arise.
Achraf made a number of ill-advised decisions off the dribble and ended up needlessly giving the ball away (whoscored has him completing only 1/5 of his attempted take-ons while being dispossessed twice).
However, Hakimi redeemed all with his crossing into the box.
His technique looked significantly improved from last season and two of his well-shaped shaped deliveries ended up sparking the comeback and creating the winner.
Thus, it’s fair to say that even though Hakimi suffered through some bad moments, his performance was a strong net positive for Borussia Dortmund. Part of that was down to his strong-willed character; he recovered well with the rest of the team after going two goals down to a difficult opponent and seemed intent on righting his own wrongs.
And that, more than anything, is reason to be optimistic about Achraf’s loan spell at Dortmund.