Ranking Borussia Dortmund's Top 5 Players for April
April was an up-and-down month for Borussia Dortmund. Winning five and drawing two of their eight matches across competitions wasn't a bad haul, but the one defeat—their first since the turn of the year—was a big one.
Crashing out of the UEFA Europa League in stunning fashion after a 4-3 loss to Liverpool at Anfield Road was arguably the Black and Yellows' lowest point of the season, but their reaction to the shock has been superb.
Winning all four of their games since that fateful night on Merseyside, Dortmund advanced to their third DFB-Pokal final in the same number of years with a 3-0 semi-final win over Hertha BSC and later annihilated Wolfsburg 5-1 on the last matchday of the month.
Here, Bleacher Report picks the five most impressive Dortmund players for April.
5. Adrian Ramos
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's loss was Adrian Ramos' gain in April.
With the Gabonese resting on the bench against Schalke and Hamburg and missing the matches against Hertha Berlin and VfB Stuttgart with a toe injury, it was Ramos' time to shine. The Colombian took the opportunity and ran with it, scoring four and assisting two league goals.
The 30-year-old received a well-deserved standing ovation when he left the pitch for Aubameyang against Wolfsburg at the weekend and praise from his head coach earlier in the month, per Dortmund-based football writer Stefan Buczko: "Adrian Ramos is completely accepted within the team. I'm happy he is now being rewarded for his efforts. He's of great value for us."
4. Marco Reus
Much like the entire team, Marco Reus left his best performances for late in the month. After seemingly living in an offside position in the first leg against Liverpool, the Germany international turned things around.
Scoring and assisting at Anfield announced his return to form, which he conserved over the rest of the month. As WhoScored.com noted on Twitter, Reus has scored in three of his last four matches for the Black and Yellows, after scoring in just two of his previous 10.
The 26-year-old might not be as much of a focal point this season, but he is almost quietly putting together a very solid campaign, having found the net 22 times across competitions.
3. Mats Hummels
Mats Hummels has arguably been Dortmund's most consistent performer in 2016, and that trend continued in April.
His request for a transfer to Bayern Munich was a shock to many supporters, with parts of the fans subsequently whistling at him in the only game since the club's announcement at the weekend against Wolfsburg, but his performance was unaffected.
Dortmund conceded six of the 10 goals they allowed in the month with the Germany international on the pitch, but one would be hard pressed to point out one goal that was his fault. Even if there was one, he more than made up for it with his usual brilliance in the build-up phase.
Dortmund's captain summed up his side's month after the Wolfsburg match, per Buczko for YellowWallPod.com:
We played brilliantly throughout the Ruckrunde [as the second half of the season is called in Germany], and only failed to deliver in those two games against Liverpool, which may have been down the emotional setting around those matches.
To this day, that’s still really vexing. However, the reaction we’ve shown—the three 3-0 wins and now the 5-1 success—has been outstanding.
2. Shinji Kagawa
April was arguably Shinji Kagawa's best month of the season. After not being a big factor in 2016, the Japanese playmaker exploded in the last few weeks.
Scoring or assisting a goal in all but one of his appearances, the 27-year-old sat on the bench for 90 minutes in the first leg against Liverpool. With the wisdom of hindsight, head coach Thomas Tuchel should've given his No. 23 a chance.
The Japan international scored the best goal of the month and a true contender for Goal of the Season with an audacious lob from distance in the 2-2 draw in the Revierderby against local rivals Schalke, as this video shows, and he was arguably the best player on the pitch in the 5-1 win over Wolfsburg at the weekend.
1. Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Henrikh Mkhitaryan's insane season continued throughout the month of April. Scoring three and assisting a whopping eight goals, the Armenian was involved in at least one goal in each of his seven appearances across competitions.
As YellowWallPod.com's Lewis Ambrose pointed out at the weekend, Dortmund's No. 10 "now has 23 goals and 32 assists (per Transfermarkt) in 50 games this season. A goal/assist every 76 minutes."
It's difficult to decide on one game as his best performance in April, seeing as he was the Black and Yellows' best player on the pitch a number of times.
The 27-year-old has been named the Bundesliga Player of the Month for April, per the official Bundesliga website, and who are we to disagree?
All performance data via Transfermarkt.co.uk