Not a good start: Dortmund loses in Lisbon
Lisbon After the turbulent days with Darmstadt bankruptcy and DFB penalty, it was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in particular that brought Borussia 0: 1 (0: 0) in the round of 16 first leg of the soccer premier class at Benfica Lisbon for the possible reward. The best Bundesliga shooter missed several great chances to score and also missed a hand penalty (58th minute) in a pathetic manner.
Former Gladbach Bundesliga professional Kostas Mitroglou (48th minute) was more effective and, in front of 55,124 spectators at the Estadio da Luz, used his only chance to score the Portuguese champions lucky winner. In the second leg on March 8th, BVB must win by two goals to reach the quarter-finals.
“Shit happens. We were exceptionally good and had so many chances,” said coach Thomas Tuchel. “We took two boils and were unlucky to get the goal,” he added. “There is a second leg for days like this,” said Tuchel.
But the result is “super complicated.” “We were better and we’ll show that in the second leg,” promised André Schürrle, who came on for Aubameyang on Sky after BVB’s first defeat against a Portuguese team after five wins.
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The situation in front of the arena was tense well into the first half. Numerous Dortmund fans did not come to the stadium due to technical problems with the card readers. Dortmund’s request to have the game kick-off later was not heeded by UEFA. According to the BVB fan department, there were violent actions by the Portuguese police against individual Dortmund fans.
Sporting director Michael Zorc admitted shortly before kick-off that the past few days had been exhausting for BVB. The defeat in Darmstadt and the DFB verdict after the Leipzig insults had to be processed. Coach Thomas Tuchel wanted to remember the positive moments of the recent past. In terms of personnel, he relied on the starting eleven that had defeated RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga and knocked out Hertha BSC in the DFB Cup. Captain Marcel Schmelzer and full-back colleague Lukas Piszczek were there again.
The duo acted very high in front of a back three. As the most dangerous team in the group stage (premium class record with 21 goals), Borussia wanted to start the knockout phase offensively, as befitted their status. In contrast to the Darmstadt game, they were much more active and tried to take over the direction right away.
Aubameyang (10th) had the best chance to take the lead after a very fine pass from Ousmane Dembelé, but fired over it. Dembelé (23rd) also missed his chance to score from a short distance. When Raphael Guerreiro got a cross while lying down, Aubameyang (38′) came a step too late.
The sloppy exploitation of chances was the only BVB shortcoming. Borussia had the game under control. The attitude was back to Champions League level, possession of the ball in the clear plus area. Benfica were also lucky that referee Nicola Rizzoli did not award a penalty when the otherwise outstanding goalkeeper Ederson (40th) let Dembelé run up on the edge of the penalty area.
But all superiority was wasted shortly after the restart. The Greek Mitroglou, who grew up on the Lower Rhine, punished a positional error by Sokratis after a corner kick. After all: Dortmund didn’t give up. Aubameyang was again unable to get past Ederson (51st), Marco Reus (55th) and Piszczek (55th) failed at the Brazilian.
And the peak of negligence followed. After a handball from Ljubomir Fejsa, Aubameyang fired the penalty kick into the middle. Ederson had no problems. Tuchel took the wrong shooter out of the game a little later. “I can’t imagine that he has a problem with my decision,” said Tuchel.
Match press kit on UEFA.com