When the Champions League group stages were drawn, very few of us would have expected Borussia Dortmund to be sat in first place heading into the final group game. Two games in to BVB’s Champions League campaign, even, fans were confidently predicting that they would finish the group stages rooted to the bottom of Group F. Yet here we are, three games later, with Dortmund through to the knockout stages and needing to avoid losing against PSG to win the group.
The game didn’t get off to a great start, with Dortmund conceding an early penalty, but Gregor Kobel saved Olivier Giroud’s lackluster effort. Marco Reus fared much better from the penalty spot just moments later, putting Dortmund ahead, but Samuel Chukwueze levelled things just before half time. It wasn’t until the second half when BVB started to pull away, taking the lead from a lovely team effort, finished off by Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, before Karim Adeyemi scored Dortmund’s third and gave them some breathing room.
The game was pretty even, and I don’t think I could confidently make a case for Dortmund being any better than Milan on the night, but BVB scored their chances, and that’s what matters!
Here are our ratings from Tuesday’s 3-1 win against AC Milan.
Giroud made it pretty easy on him, but got to give him the credit for saving a penalty regardless!
I thought Bensebaini had a solid game, but he let himself down a couple times getting absolutely rinsed on the wing.
Bens continues to struggle defensively against wingers like Chukwueze who are able to exploit his relative lack of mobility, but his aggression and work ethic were on full display today.
Couple rough moments for Schlotterbeck in the first half, though I’m not really sure either of them were actually his fault. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time more than anything.
This wasn’t far off a 10. Hummels was absolutely impeccable.
Terzic referred to Mats as a “football god” and I couldn’t agree more. Timeless.
Cleverly collected a yellow at the end; while he will miss P$G’s trip to the Westfalenstadion, he’ll be available for the round of 16 with his accumulated yellows wiped.
Kept the game flowing well with good work both in and out of possession and grabbed a neat assist.
Terzic returned Reus to the sole 10 role as Brandt got a much-needed rest and the decision paid off, with our veteran ex-captain running the show from start to (almost) finish.
Didn’t do a whole lot wrong, but struggled to really get into the game.
Offered absolutely nothing. One to forget for Donny.
Bynoe-Gittens seems to attract a lot of heat for a player that has only played a small number of minutes and done very well in that time. JBG was incisive and effective, and continues to prove the doubters wrong. I think he has earned a lot more credit than some are giving him.
It’s obvious JBG doesn’t have the game intelligence that an elite-level winger might, but what he does have is bags of confidence and a great turn of pace. While this does mean giving him the ball is always something of a gamble, he does have the ability to be a genuine difference-maker and usually looks rather sparky. Today, he looked really threatening in spells, winning the penalty for the first and taking the second himself, continuing his recent vein of productive form.
Could have done a little better with a couple of his chances, but I thought Füllkrug was linking up well when Dortmund were going forward, and he got himself in some really nice positions.
Should probably have scored, but he continues to offer a lot out of possession, recording the highest xA of any Dortmund player as well as looking strong and combative in the press. While he is supposed to be a goalscoring forward, he acts as a great foil for our more scoring-oriented and less creative wingers.
Extremely fortunate with the goal, but we did see flashes of the aggressive, tenacious Adeyemi we saw towards the end of the last season. Let’s hope he builds on this one.
I think the final score flatters Dortmund a little. I think it was a pretty even game and the difference ultimately came down to Dortmund scoring their chances and AC Milan not. Despite this, I think BVB still deserve some credit for a) scoring their chances, and b) defending the lead once they had it. Going to the San Siro and winning 3-1 is impressive, and there were some really big performances, on both ends of the ball, to make that happen. Now lets go win the group!
An interesting one, this game. Milan came out the traps a lot quicker than we did, and the game would probably have looked extremely different had Giroud not been denied from the spot by Greg. However, much like our recent Champions League games, we did a great job of making our chances count, as we came away with a convincing-looking scoreline despite losing the xG battle. Yet again, our experienced players came to the fore, with vintage performances from Hummels and Reus (plus typically mature showings from Greg and Fülle) carrying us through this one. With Brandt on the bench, I was a little worried that we’d see a drop in creativity, and this was definitely the case as we didn’t make a lot of real chances outside of the penalty. However, Reus and Fülle in particular softened the impact (to some extent) with their off-ball movement and clever passing. Out wide, it was great to see JBG continuing to be productive and Karim looking lively; the winger situation has been rather slack of late, and this is a much-needed boost.
Our mystifying run of form that has us simultaneously top of the Champions League group of death and fourth in the Bundesliga continues...