Borussia Dortmund hosted Real Madrid for the third time in the last five years in the Champions League, this time earning a 2-2 draw against the holders.
Dortmund XI vs Real Madrid: Bürki, Piszczek, Sokratis, Ginter, Schmelzer, Weigl, Castro, Dembélé, Götze, Guerreiro, Aubameyang. #BVBRMA— Bundesliga Spotlight (@BundesligaSpot) September 27, 2016
This was the most highly anticipated match up of the week, and it lived up to the hype. Dortmund had the majority of possession, with Real Madrid seemingly content to strike on the counter, which they did effectively. Despite Thomas Tuchel claiming he would fit for the match, Marc Bartra missed his second straight game with an adductor injury. Matthias Ginter, who struggled against Freiburg, was once again thrown into the fire and didn't do too bad of a job against the likes of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The game began at a very fast pace with Dortmund on the front foot. Much of Dortmund's play ran through the right side, specifically through Ousmane Dembele, who had some slick moves as usual but seemed very much against passing the ball to Gonzalo Castro open in front of goal. However, Dortmund's lack of ability to capitalize on their opportunities came back to bite them on Real Madrid's first counterattack, as Ronaldo scored after Gareth Bale backheel-nutmegged Matthias Ginter for the assist.
Dortmund continued their strong first half despite Real's early lead. The reward finally came in the 43rd minute, as Keylor Navas palmed a free kick right into his own defender Rapahel Varane, and the ball was tapped home by Aubameyang. It was a very questionable goalkeeping decision, but Navas was strong for the rest of the game. The halftime scoreline of 1-1 was flattering to Real Madrid, who were on the back foot for most of the half.
Real Madrid's heatmap from the opening 30 minutes.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 27, 2016
Barely getting out of their own half, yet 1-0 up vs. Dortmund. pic.twitter.com/RTVSEC4aw7
Right after halftime, Dortmund fans held their breath as Matthias Ginter went down with what looked like a hamstring injury. However, the scare did not last too long as Ginter came back on shortly after. The match settled down around the 60th minute, while Real Madrid was given the chance to attack not just on the counter. Dortmund payed for this after a short corner, that was tapped home by Varane after Benzema put it off the post.
The subbing on of Christian Pulisic in the 73rd minute was game changing. The 18 year old American came on for Dembele, who had a good game himself. Pulisic's directness in attack was much needed, as Dembele's skill move after skill move had gotten worn out. Dortmund's equalizer finally came in the 87th minute as Pulisic broke away down the right flank and fired in a cross that fell to Andre Schürrle, who absolutely blasted it home perfectly.
Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images
The goal itself was beautiful, but made even more impressive as Schürrle had just been limping around on his knee beforehand. Schürrle immediately received treatment on the knee right at the final whistle, and could really benefit from getting the international break off.
Overall, Dortmund can't be too disappointed in not getting all three points they might have deserved. Dortmund played the best when the intensity was high and the pace fast. Real Madrid only converted on a counterattack and then when Dortmund took their foot off the gas. After Sporting Lisbon's 2-0 win against Legia, Dortmund sit on top of the group tied with Real Madrid at four points a piece.