Real Madrid’s two full backs on loan put in 90 minute shifts each with Dortmund drawing but extending their lead in the Bundesliga to 7 points and Real Sociedad earning all the bragging rights in the Basque region of Spain.
Achraf vs Eintracht Frankfurt
Dortmund against Frankfurt was billed as a match between the two most attacking teams in the Bundesliga. The opening ten minutes was all Frankfurt. Dortmund were locked in their own half and continually pushed back by the attacking threat of Rebic, Jovic, and Haller. It was rare to see Dortmund so far on the back foot, but they did snap out of it and began to find a rhythm as the match wore on. It would be the black and yellow who struck first, after a brilliant individual run from the Portuguese, Raphael Guerreiro, who set Marco Reus up for a tap-in. Eintracht would get their deserved equalizer in the 36th minute when Bundesliga top-scorer Luka Jovic poached home his 14th goal of the season. The match would ultimately end in a draw, but Dortmund were able to extend their lead at the top of the table to seven points after Bayern Munich lost 3-1 to Bayern Leverkusen.
It was another very solid game from Achraf, although he could maybe have done better on Eintracht’s equalizer. It was the Moroccan who cleared the initial corner from Frankfurt and then followed the ball out of the box in order to close down the opposition. He was a bit over zealous and mis-kicked the ball when attempting to clear it from Danny da Costa’s foot. Aside from that blunder, Achraf locked down the left side and was heavily involved in the team’s build up play. As always, he utilized his speed to motor down the flank and cause the opposition defense problems with his overloads.
Key Passes: 0
Passing: 77 (84.4% PA)
Touches: 108 *team high
Shots: 2 ( 0 OT)
Dribbles Completed: 3
Match Rating: 7/ 10
Theo Hernandez vs Athletic Bilbao
Whenever a Basque derby rears it’s head, one should rightfully expect grit, passion, and an all out physical battle. This derby was subdued when compared against those standards. Real Sociedad were the better team in the first half and capitalized on their two shots by converting those into two goals. Oyarzabal and Willian Jose were the goal scorers for the side from San Sebastian. The match ended in a 2-1 victory for La Real.
Theo had a quiet match. There were a few good runs— those where he barrels down the flank. It’s funny, Theo doesn’t really have any go-to move or skill, he simply puts his head down and goes. Against most sides, that searing speed and strength allows him to beat 1, 2, and usually up to 3 men as he glides up the field at a frightening pace. But much like last season with Madrid, his final ball is desperately lacking. He needs to find the right pass after those lung busting runs if he is to polish his game.
Key Passes: 0
Passing: 29 (79.3% PA)
Dribbles Completed: 2
Fouled: 4 * Once again the most on the field
Match Rating: 5.5 / 10