Bundesliga

Bundesliga Top Five, Round 26: Havertz picks up where he left off

The German top flight returned with a bang at the weekend, with Dortmund and Bayern stars among the top performers

 
7:30am on Tuesday 19th May 2020
By
Martin Macdonald
Raphaël Guerreiro
D, AM (L) - Dortmund - 26 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
87'
9.5
May 16, 2020
87Minutes played
2Goals
4Total shots
1Crosses
9Final third passes
5Touches in box
7Duels won
92Successfull passes %

Dortmund had an easy time of it on Saturday, comfortably defeating Schalke 4-0 thanks to goals from Erling Haaland, Thorgan Hazard and a Raphael Guerreiro double.

The latter was in majestic form, constantly eating up the space awarded to him on the left wing. For his first goal he overlapped Julian Brandt on the flank before flashing a finish across the keeper into the bottom right corner.

For his second, he found himself as BVB's most advanced player on the pitch, latching on to a neat through-ball from Haaland to stab a strike past the hapless Markus Schubert. The visitors' three at the back allowed Guerreiro plenty of freedom on the wing and he took full advantage.

Kerem Demirbay
DM, M (C) - Leverkusen - 26 yrs
90'
8.7
May 18, 2020
90Minutes played
1Goals
1Assists
29Final third passes
3Dribbles
7Duels won
7Ball recovered
89Successfull passes %

Leverkusen moved to within a point of the Champions League positions after easily defeating struggling Werder Bremen 4-1.

Kerem Demirbay contributed to two goals, with one of his own as well as an assist. He would score the goal of the game with a gorgeous dink over the keeper after previously assisting the second for Kai Havertz with a whipped cross into the area.

The 26-year-old oozed class in the middle of the pitch, completing 89% of his attempted passes with 29 of these passes being sent into the final third, more than anyone in this round of Bundesliga fixtures. He also won 7/10 duels and made seven ball recoveries.

Kai Havertz
AM (CR) - Leverkusen - 20 yrs
85'
8.6
May 18, 2020
85Minutes played
2Goals
5Total shots
13Final third passes
7Touches in box
3Duels won
80Successfull passes %
59Touches

Havertz captained Leverkusen, and it would be the 20-year-old who would open the scoring just before the hour mark, drifting to the back post to head home from Moussa Diaby's excellent cross.

His second, just five minutes later, was another header bulleted in from a Demirbay cross.

Every time he touched the ball inside the opposition box, the Bremen defence looked panicked and he arguably should have scored a hat-trick, taking the ball around the keeper only to go to too wide an angle to finish. But the Havertz of old is most definitely back and reminding Europe's big clubs that there is a lot to love about this generational player.

Benjamin Pavard
D (RC) - Bayern - 24 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
8.2
May 17, 2020
90Minutes played
3Total shots
1Goals
2Crosses
3Interceptions
18Final third passes
9Duels won
5Ball recovered

Defending champions Bayern had a straightforward afternoon, too, as they defeated Union Berlin 2-0 in the German capital, with Robert Lewandowski and Benjamin Pavard grabbing the goals.

The Frenchman was Bayern's top performer of the weekend, contributing both in attack and in defence from his position at right-back.

With Joshua Kimmich moving into midfield, Pavard has made the full-back spot his own, and from the start provided an outlet on the wing as Thomas Muller ahead of him naturally drifted inside.

He sent 18 passes into the final third as well as two successful crosses into the area. Defensively, he was solid, winning 9/14 duels, 3/4 aerial duels, as well as making five ball recoveries, three interceptions, and one clearance. With 10 minutes remaining, he would grab a deserved goal with a brave header into the bottom corner from a corner kick.

Julian Brandt
M, AM (C) - Dortmund - 24 yrs
90'
8.1
May 16, 2020
90Minutes played
2Assists
5Crosses
4Tackles won
14Final third passes
3Dribbles
10Duels won
9Ball recovered

While the goalscorers will grab many of the headlines for Dortmund, the performance of Brandt eclipsed most on the pitch.

With key players missing for BVB, the German was once again deployed in a deep midfield role by Lucien Favre and, again, he flourished in the responsibility awarded.

To record his two assists, he sent a perfectly-weighted pass down the channel for Guerreiro for the second before breaking beyond Haaland on the counter to pick out Hazard for Dortmund's third.

HONOURABLE MENTION

Marcel Halstenberg (8.1) was one of RB Leipzig's better performers on the day and was unlucky not to be on a winning side as they toiled to a draw against Freiburg.

ROUND TO FORGET

Markus Schubert's (4.4) performance against Schalke was so bad it was almost meme-worthy. For two of Dortmund's goals - Guerreiro's first and Hazard's goal - he may as well have not been standing in between the posts.

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