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I understand why Pulisic didn't start against Real Madrid yesterday

We're all familiar with the saying, "Everyone's a general after the battle."

This is what sprang to mind when I thought of all the people criticizing Dortmund after their 3-1 loss to Real Madrid yesterday in Champions League Matchday 2.

The only problem is, people were saying all the criticisms about Dortmund before the match, i.e. that Dortmund's high back line left massive holes that Real Madrid would exploit.

Which is exactly what Real Madrid did. Forget about the the supposed Sergio Ramos handball in the first half. Was it a handball? Maybe. But it doesn't matter. Real Madrid simply had way, way, way more opportunities than Dortmund. The score after the first half could've just as easily been 3-0 as it was 1-0.

(Roman Bürki, can you cover your near post? Is this some kind of Swiss goalkeeping technique? Though to be fair, you did have some brilliant saves.)

But that's the thing: Brilliant saves should not keep the ball out of the net; your defense should. And Borussia Dortmund's defense lately has looked suspect. The question is, will Peter Bosz change tactics? Or will he run them off a cliff like a stubborn mule.

As for Pulisic, I can understand why didn't start. It was disappointing and awful and heartbreaking and -- this time the "general" saying makes sense-- in retrospect probably not a good decision, but I understand it. Maximilian Philipp has been incredible in the past two games. Yarmolenko has been great, too. But this game might've just exposed Yarmolenko's left foot for what it really is: just a left foot. He looked awkward at times trying to get the ball to his left foot. Instead of hitting the ball with his right foot at times where it would've been very appropriate, he hit it with the outside of the left. I don't think he played bad, per se, just that maybe he was exposed as the player he actually is instead of the player people dreamed he would be after his goal against Tottenham and his crosses in subsequent games. 

But also, here's the deal. Pulisic has come up through the youth development program in Dortmund. He's already give more to that team than, let's be honest, Yarmolenko ever will. And he's obviously the superior player. So sit him in the most important game of the season so far? Put him on for the last 11 minutes? Good one, Herr Bosz. Good one.

Luckily, CP has some time to forget all this with some sure minutes coming against Augsburg this weekend and USMNT games against Panama and Trinidad and Tobago (which I find myself strangely not caring about; watching Michael Bradley after watching Champions League is like watching tee ball after watching MLB). Let's hope that Peter Bosz has the trust in Pulisic that pundits claim he has.

Only time will tell.


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