Dembele steals the show as Dortmund stifle second-place Leipzig

There was late drama at the Westfalenstadion between fourth-placed Borussia Dortmund and second-placed RB Leipzig, as the linesman rightfully held his flag up to rule out the last-second equaliser of Federico Palacios-Martinez. The Leipzig striker was marginally offside, which allowed the hosts to escape with a massive 1-0 victory.

Emotions already ran high before the game, as Dortmund made the game a clash of cultures, protesting the Red Bull funded club. "For the people's sport -- against those, who destroy it," read a massive banner spread out in front of the Yellow Wall before kick-off, while the stand itself was plastered in protest banners. The club itself chipped in with a cheeky dig at Leipzig's short history by putting a vintage scoreboard on their video screens, while there was an almost derby-like atmosphere in the ground. BVB vs. RBL is a rivalry in the making.


Thomas Tuchel was standing on the field, raising his arms and yelling "Come on! Come on!" toward the Yellow Wall after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang headed in the deciding goal in the 35th minute, which portrayed just how much it meant for Dortmund. If anything, this win should mark a much-needed confidence boost.


If there is anything to criticise it must be BVB's lack of finishing, which reached almost tragic proportions. "It was a 4-0 in disguise," Tuchel told Sky after the match. If the "expected goal" ratio is anything to go by (3.40 - 0.12), the Dortmund coach wasn't too far off. Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were both the culprits of wasting grade A counter attacks. Dortmund can pat themselves on the back for only allowing two harmless shots, but it might have been a very different setting, if Leipzig didn't have to make without four key players upfront.

Manager rating out of 10

8 -- He switched to a back-three, opting for Marc Bartra over Matthias Ginter to have more pressing resistance at the back, while Erik Durm was deployed on the right wing to keep an eye on Naby Keita. It worked out.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Roman Burki, 6 -- Had to come quick off his line a couple of times, but overall he didn't have much to do to hold on to a clean sheet.

DF Erik Durm, 7 -- Naby Keita, who is arguably Leipzig's most influential midfielder had one of his least influential nights. Erik Durm made sure of that.

DF Lukasz Piszczek, 6 -- Usual wobbles in build-up play, but kept his right side shut.

DF Sokratis Papastathopoulos, 9 -- The unsung hero of the game yet again. He led his backline, while chipping in with an almost flawless performance himself.

DF Marc Bartra, 7 -- Had one of his "moments" in the second half, which almost resulted in Leipzig's best scoring opportunity, but otherwise was the calming influence Tuchel aimed for.

DF Marcel Schmelzer, 7 -- Subbed off with cramps in the 85th minute after a solid performance.

MF Julian Weigl, 8 -- Got stuck in more than usual, which was important to shield the backline. Managed to evade the pressure time and time again.

MF Raphael Guerreiro, 6 -- The Portuguese had a slow start to the game, but improved in the second half, showing more oversight as the space opened up for him.

MF Ousmane Dembele, 8 -- Ousmane Dembele reminded everyone in the stadium why it's called the "beautiful game". His world class move that teed up Aubameyang was to be the difference on the night. The 19-year-old picked the ball out of the air with a perfectly weighted touch and moved past two Leipzig markers as if they were slalom cones with bursts of speed to place his cross perfectly for an easy tap-in for his striker. This kind of trickery will make it to the highlight reel of any Bundesliga advert. The midfielder had to be subbed off with muscle cramps in the 61st minute.

FW Marco Reus, 7 -- It could have been higher marks for the 27-year-old, but the lack of end product stands in the way of that. He'll have more clinical games eventually.

FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 7 -- Although he increased his Bundesliga goal tally to 17, Aubameyang's wastefulness kept the match open for longer than it should have been. If he wants to attract the likes of Real Madrid, he needs to improve his decision making to reach the required level to play on the biggest level.


MF Christian Pulisic, 7 -- Took over for Dembele for the last 30 minutes and made some terrific plays. Portrayed his maturity late in the game with excellent time-wasting skills.

MF Matthias Ginter, NR -- Replaced Guerreiro in the 77th minute, teaming up with Weigl in midfield, which helped to keep Leipzig's final onslaught in check.

DF Felix Passlack, NR -- Brought on as right-back for the final five minutes and helped his American friend in eating away valuable seconds.