Erling Haaland made the reunion with Thomas Tuchel for Borussia Dortmund a special day. The Norwegian rewarded a courageous and passionate BVB in the first knockout round of the Champions League against Paris St. Germain with two goals to cheerfully cheered 2: 1 (0: 0). In the second leg on March 11th in the Prinzenpark, the Dortmund team is satisfied with every draw to move into the round of the best eight.
Haaland’s first goal (69th) was a relief for BVB, who repeatedly troubled the French champions but for a long time lacked efficiency. Neymar (76th) only tore the 66,099 spectators out of the party mood in the sold-out stadium – because Haaland (79th) met again, this time with a formidable long-range shot. The BVB defense, which was criticized so severely recently, was excellent with a few exceptions against Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
Tuchel had previously addressed the fans on the south stand with charming statements. The mood there “could not be described in words,” said the German coach, who had split between managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke after two successful years at BVB. The trigger for the publicly held dispute was the question of how to deal with the bomb attack on the team bus in April 2017. Tuchel’s reception was friendly and neutral.
BVB gave its fans before the kick-off. Emre Can, initially a national player loaned by Juventus, will be committed for the summer for 25 million euros. He was in the starting line-up, which had convincingly defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 4-0 on Friday. Tuchel relied on his world-class storm series from Neymar, Mbappe and Angel Di Maria in 3-4-3. The German internationals Julian Draxler and Thilo Kehrer sat on the bench.
Both teams showed how high they are in offensive play. Neymar’s free kick (10th) was the first chance to score, at BVB Sancho and Haaland were waiting for steep passes in the interfaces after winning the ball. In addition, the Dortmund pressing phases sprinkled. The hoped-for spectacle, however, did not take place at first – the defensive lines were attentive, everything was middling in midfield.
The Dortmund were more dangerous in the game at the top, so Tuchel raged on the sidelines. Sancho (27th) almost surprised goalkeeper Keylor Navas with a shot through his opponent’s legs, Haaland failed on the outside net (35th). On the other hand, Neymar’s advances remained in place before the break, Mbappe was barely visible for a long time – also because Can and Axel Witsel triumphed at BVB headquarters.
BVB coach Lucien Favre’s tactics worked. The BVB defended in the collective and quickly looked for the way to the opposing goal, only the accuracy was still missing. PSG got into trouble – if it freed itself, the stars put too much on breadless art at the front.
After the half-time break, BVB went even more aggressively and increased the pressure in the hope of a better starting position. Again and again, however, the decisive centimeters were missing against a mobile and long amazingly harmless opponent – or simply luck. PSG, on the other hand, appeared to be satisfied with the result; in any case, the French continued to make no serious effort to attack. A big chance of Mbappe, who failed at BVB goalkeeper Roman Bürki (66th), was the first Paris flare up since the 10th minute.
The Borussia combined several times in front of the gate of Keylor Navas. But it was only in the 69th minute that Haaland forced the deserved lead with a long lunge. Shortly afterwards, world champion Kylian Mbappé marched through the entire BVB defense and laid down on Neymar, who only had to push in. But just two minutes later, the 19-year-old Norwegian banged the ball under the bar with great force from a free-standing position. Navas didn’t stand a chance. After the 2-1, Neymar hit the post again (81st).