The games keep coming thick and fast for Borussia Dortmund, who managed another triumph in their fixture-packed schedule. With the injury list beginning to ease and ample rotation permitted in the midweek match, Edin Terzic had a strong side available to him for the home match against Bochum. It was star striker Youssoufa Moukoko who stole the headlines, returning to the starting lineup to snag a brace and kill the game off in the first half. Solid performances from Donyell Malen and Gio Reyna bolstered the attack, with the former earning a penalty for the latter. In the second half, Marco Reus would make his return to the squad, ending a month-long wait for the captain’s recovery from an ankle injury during the last North Rhine-Westphalian derby. It was an important win for Die Schwarzgelben, who absolutely must keep the train rolling in the games against Wolfsburg and Gladbach.
Moukoko Makes His Mark
What. A. Player. Dortmund needed a striker this summer, and when their first choice fell ill, they scrambled for a second, looking to replace the generational Erling Haaland. It has been academy product and BVB starlet Youssoufa Moukoko who has stolen the headlines, however, and for good reason. A first brace for Moukoko showed that the young striker has all the traits necessary to succeed in the Bundesliga: strength, confidence, pace, and a finisher’s instinct. Moukoko’s first goal was an absolute stunner, showcasing his rapidly improving finishing ability. His strength to hold onto the ball and find a pocket of space to unleash his strike was something to behold. Moukoko’s second showed exceptional control and awareness to find the net from such a long distance. Goals from that range can be difficult to score in training, and Moukoko was almost celebrating before it went in, so assured of himself and his finish.
Edin Terzic will have a massive selection headache when Sebastian Haller returns because if Moukoko keeps up this form or, better yet, gets a ticket to the World Cup, he might become undroppable. Either way, it is time for some CONTRACT CONTACT, MR. KEHL!
Listen, folks, bonks are no laughing matter. But in all seriousness. There were two collisions in the match today where players hit the turf after a clash of heads. Despite the medical staff taking the field on both occasions (which arguably made it worse), none of the four players affected were taken off the field for a serious concussion check.
When is the league going to start taking head injuries more seriously? Mats Hummels, despite carrying on for 90 minutes, was flat out on the ground for at least a minute, blood pouring from his brow. As a good ole’ red-blooded A’murican, I have seen former NFL players age into mush, as the wear and tear of their careers takes its toll later in life. There are no helmets in the beautiful game, and we need to protect these guys and their futures. A three-minute concussion check is worth the time, every time.
It was great to see the captain back on the field after his difficult ankle injury in September. Reus will be hoping to make his marc(o) in the final World Cup of his career, and Hansi Flick was surely nervous that the talismanic forward would be unavailable for the (ridiculous) midseason tournament. Reus looked rough, certainly, with his performance characterized but a lack of game chemistry and some loose touches, but hopefully the two games before the cup will be enough time to regain match fitness for Reus. Edin Terzic will also be pleased to have another forward at his disposal, but Julian Brandt, who has flourished in Reus’s absence, will be wondering if his place on the field is at risk despite his best efforts. Such has been the unfortunate story of Brandt’s time at BVB.
What were your thoughts on the match? Is Moukoko a shoo-in for a role at the World Cup after today? Let us know in the comments.