A dominant performance by Borussia Dortmund saw them go top of the Bundesliga as they beat FC Köln 6-1 on Saturday evening. Dortmund ran riot in the first half scoring four with Raphaël Guerreiro, Sébastien Haller, Marco Reus and Donyell Malen all scoring. Davie Selke would score a consolation just before half-time.
In the second-half, Dortmund took their foot off the pedal but it didn’t stop Haller or Reus from doubling their tally.
Raphaël Guerreiro’s future is in midfield
After his performance in the Revierderby, Guerreiro was trusted in midfield once again with the suspended Emre Can and Salih Özcan missing through illness. The 29-year-old stepped up again, this time with a goal and two assists. With his contract at Dortmund expiring in the summer and there being talks about a possible extension, these type of performances shows he will be useful further up the pitch.
With his lack of defensive ability, playing in midfield allows Guerreiro to make use of his attacking qualities without the chance of Dortmund being countered. This has been seen two weeks in a row against Schalke and today against the Billy Goats. With the departure of Mahmoud Dahoud and the likely arrival of Ramy Bensebaini, Guerreiro is best suited to playing further forward and it may mean Dortmund don’t need to spend any money on the likes of Daichi Kamada now.
If Guerreiro continues this form, he may be the difference maker against Bayern Munich in two weeks time.
Jude Bellingham needs a rest
For the past few weeks, Bellingham has not been as influential in games. It is clear his knee injury and amount of game time is catching up to him. The 19-year-old has been called up for the England national team as well for their Euro qualifiers and Dortmund will have to be hoping that he does not play a lot which will give him some rest.
With the run-in of the season approaching, Dortmund will need Bellingham as close to 100% as possible and with Dortmund having several key games over the coming weeks, the likelihood of rest is very minimal.
FC Köln have slipped into the relegation fight
After a strong start to the new year, Köln has fallen off. After comfortably being in midtable, five winless games see them just six points from the relegation zone. The issue for Köln is the fact that the clubs below them are aware they are fighting for survival whereas Köln are slowly sleepwalking into trouble.
Their next four games are all crucial and will decide how their last month of the season pans out. Their next game is the Rheinderby and a poor result for them there could see them continue to spiral as they play Augsburg, Mainz and Hoffenheim over the course of April.
Köln’s European experience earlier on in the season may be starting to catch up to them at the worst possible moment.
GGFN | Jack Meenan