Borussia Dortmund used the second match point in the fight for entry into the round of 16 of the Champions League. With the 0-0 win over the star ensemble from Manchester City around former BVB professional Erling Haaland, the fifth in the Bundesliga made the return to the circle of European football elite perfect.
Two weeks after missing the first chance at the same venue against Sevilla (1-1), coach Edin Terzic’s team got an early happy ending in front of 81,000 spectators in the sold-out Dortmund stadium. Because the direct duel with the Spaniards (4: 1 / 1: 1) was won, the last group game next Wednesday in Copenhagen is meaningless. One year after the embarrassing first-round elimination, the Revierklub can once again count on lavish additional income.
Unlike Borussia, the Group G leaders from England could afford to rest stars like Kevin de Bruyne, who initially only sat on the bench. Former Bielefeld Stefan Ortega made his first competitive appearance for regular keeper Ederson. Coach Pep Guardiola’s waiver of a few key players made things a little easier for BVB.
Haaland out for the break
Even without captain Marco Reus and winger Donyell Malen, he got off to a lively start and tried to defy the favorites with fast-paced football. The opposing defense faltered for the first time when Karim Adeyemi (16th) came to the end in a promising position, but failed with a shot that was too weak for Ortega.
Borussia could get over the fact that Manchester were using their well-known ball possession football as the playing time increased. In the end, the defense was stable and Haaland was also under control. Black and yellow switched to counterattacking and had the next chance through Giovanni Reyna (26th), but Ortega defused it again. And if Youssoufa Moukoko had scored from close range nine minutes later after a nice pass from Adeyemi, the hosts would have deservedly taken the lead. Three minutes before half-time, Moukoko had another chance to take the lead. But like Adeyemi and Reyna before, the undershot shot wasn’t a problem for Ortega.
The visitors, however, had their first chance just before half-time when Nathan Aké headed the ball over the goal from a Phil Foden free-kick. 6: 3 shots on goal in favor of Borussia adequately reflected the balance of power until the break.
The fact that Guardiola even replaced Haaland, who had been inconspicuous until then, at half-time spoke for Dortmund’s successful tactics. However, Manchester did not appear particularly weakened. When Emre Can brought down his opponent Riyad Mahrez in the penalty area and thus caused a penalty kick, the lead for the guests was close: Mahrez failed despite a placed penalty kick at BVB keeper Gregor Kobel.
This gave the Terzic team only a limited boost: the defense came under more and more pressure because their own relief attacks failed to materialize. As in their 2-1 win in the first leg, England took control in the closing stages. But Kobel was there again and again, who made a brilliant parry against Foden, among other things, and ultimately secured progress.