Christian Pulisic was Dortmund's 'best player' in defeat to Bayern - Peter Bosz
Borussia Dortmund coach Peter Bosz praised Christian Pulisic as the best player on his team on Saturday, as they were swept aside by Bayern Munich in a 3-1 loss.
U.S. international Pulisic excelled with tearing run through midfield. He took on Bayern players one-v-one 14 times -- eight successfully -- both the most by any player in a Bundesliga game this season.
Only Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar have attempted 14 or more one-v-ones in a game in one of Europe's top five domestic league this season, and Bosz singled out Pulisic's efforts for praise.
"For me, Christian Pulisic was the best player on our team," Bosz said. "[He was] on a level with our fans, who still supported us despite the 3-0 deficit.
"That was incredible, I've hardly ever seen that before. Christian exuded a lot of pressure and showed great maturity but our fans but our fans were incredible today."
The 19-year-old, though, had little interest in breaking down his own performance after the game.
"We didn't come out ready to play in the first half. Not at all," Pulisic said after a frustrating night on home soil. "Bayern were doing whatever they wanted. They were finding the spaces and we just weren't ready to play.
"Second half, we had a little bit more intensity but in the end, it just wasn't enough."
Asked if there was a simple explanation for the defeat, Pulisic said: "No, I don't know. We just didn't come out ready to play right from the start of the game and obviously, against a good team like [Bayern] it's not possible to win."
Bosz was also unhappy with his team's performance in the first half as the Bavarian league leaders took a 2-0 lead into the break thanks to goals from Arjen Robben and Robert Lewandowski in the 17th and 37th minute.
"We were not a top team in the first half," Bosz told Sky, after he was asked whether his team was able to compete in high-profile games.
He added: "Bayern were clearly better, especially in the first half. We were always running behind, one step behind. You can't talk about us being a top team then, even though we had big chances."
Despite the lacklustre defending at the back, the Black and Yellows squandered excellent chances in the first half as Ukrainian international Andrey Yarmolenko was denied twice by a superb Sven Ulreich in Bayern's goal, while Shinji Kagawa's shot in the 32nd minute was kept out by the post.
"In the second half, we were closer to our opponents and then it was an even game, where we demonstrated that we are able to play on that level," Bosz said.
But before Marc Bartra got Dortmund on the scoresheet in the 88th minute with a curler past Ulreich, David Alaba had already put a lid on the contest in the 67th minute with a cross turned shot that found the net.
The Dutch coach was especially disgruntled with the freedom his defenders awarded Bayern's attackers in the 16-yard-box.
"Robben's goal in the first half underscored that we awarded [Bayern] too much space within the penalty area," Bosz said hinting at Omer Toprak's passive defending among others.
Asked whether Dortmund are out of the title race after a streak of poor results in the Bundesliga which saw them drop six points behind their Southern rivals, Bosz answered: "We gave away a lot in the past three weeks, but we still have six or seven months in the Bundesliga to get back [to the top].
"I think our players showed at the beginning of the season that we have the quality and also that we can play well with a lot of space behind our backline. We sadly did not show that today in the first half because the players are far better than we saw today."
Borussia Dortmund have now conceded three goals in all of their high-profile matches against Tottenham, Real Madrid, Leipzig and Bayern, setting a worrying trend for Bosz's team, while Dortmund's attacking woes also continued. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's scoreless run in all competitions has reached 474 minutes.
Stefan Buczko covers Borussia Dortmund for ESPN FC. Twitter: @StefanBuczko.