Borussia Dortmund suffered the first defeat of their UEFA Champions League campaign on Matchday 3 as they were beaten 2-0 (1-0) away to Inter Milan. The Bundesliga runners-up are now level on points with the second-placed side in Serie A.

Boris Rupert and Timo Lammert reporting

A crowd of around 70,000 – including some 4,400 Borussia Dortmund fans – at the Guiseppe Meazza Stadium saw Inter take the lead in the 22nd minute with the only dangerous attack of the opening half. De Vrij's pass from the centre-circle put Martinez clean through on Bürki and he slotted home. Sancho was denied by shot-stopper Handanovic on the stroke of half-time, as was Brandt with a deflected shot on the 64-minute mark. The Black & Yellows piled on the pressure in the closing stages and were handed a reprieve when Bürki denied Martinez from the spot on 82 minutes, but their fate was sealed when Candreva rounded off a counter-attack to make it 2-0 with a minute to spare.


The scenario: 
It was the first meeting between the teams in European competition for 25 years and only the third in total. The Italians had the better head-to-head record, although it was the Black & Yellows who won their last meeting – by a 2-1 scoreline at the San Siro in March 1994. BVB opened their Champions League campaign with a draw against Barcelona and a victory in Prague, while Inter went into this one with only a point to their name from the opening two matches – earned thanks to a stoppage-time leveller against Slavia Prague.


Personnel matters: 
Götze and Sancho were back in action, but BVB were without Reus (recovering from illness) plus the injured duo of Alcácer (muscular problems in calf) and Schmelzer (right hip flexor strain) in Milan. Bürki had passed a fitness test the evening before (knee capsule sprain) and was cleared to play. There was one change to the starting XI that had beaten Gladbach 1-0 in the league on Saturday, with Sancho stepping in for Reus. Hummels wore the captain's armband for BVB for the first time in 1,250 days.

Favre lined his team up in a 3-4-3 formation for the first time. The back three consisted of Hummels, Weigl and Akanji, with Schulz (left) and/or Hakimi (right) at times dropping back to expand the defensive line to four or five men when Inter Milan had possession. Witsel and Delaney occupied their usual positions in central defensive midfield, while the attacking triumvirate consisted of Sancho (right), Brandt (centre) and Hazard (left). Milan opted for a back three too – plus two centre-forwards in Martinez and Lukaku, who were marked by Akanji and Hummels respectively. There was a lot of variation in the Inter midfield, with Gagliardini frequently shifting from a centre-right position to the right flank while Candreva pushed further forward and Brozovic plugged the gap in the centre.

Favre brought on Bruun Larsen in place of Akanji with almost 20 minutes to go, prompting a switch to a back four (Hakimi, Weigl, Hummels and Schulz) and a 4-2-3-1 formation with Brandt in the hole behind Bruun Larsen.

The match & analysis:
Borussia Dortmund looked solid in the opening quarter of an hour but did not produce any notable moments going forward and it was Inter who took a 1-0 lead with the first chance of the match. Centre-back de Vrij lofted a pass in behind the BVB defence towards centre-forward Martinez, who was played onside by Schulz, and the Argentine forward slotted home from close range with aplomb.


The travelling contingent of approximately 4,500 fans were made to wait almost half an hour to see their side threaten the opposition goal, with Sancho dancing past Godin down the left and cutting the ball back only for Witsel to shoot wide from 25 metres. There were few moments of note in the period that followed, with BVB edging possession but lacking penetration in the final third. Their one moment of danger in the opening half came in stoppage time when Brandt played a through-ball to Sancho, but his low shot from a tight angle was well parried by Handanovic.


Favre opted against making any personnel changes at the half-time interval. The first opportunity of the second period fell to the home side when Brozovic teed up Candreva, but his shot on the turn was off target. The Black & Yellows, meanwhile, only showed their offensive potential in fits and starts, consistently managing to either overcomplicate their attacking efforts or make their intentions too obvious. Only on rare occasions did BVB manage to get in behind the Inter defence – like when Hakimi broke through in the 62nd minute. Shots were few and far between too, with Inter shot-stopper Handanovic having almost nothing to do aside from making a strong reflex save in the 64th minute when Brandt's long-distance effort took a deflection off de Vrij.

With the Italians managing to keep their visitors at arm's length, Favre brought on Dahoud to replace Delaney just after the hour mark. BVB pushed further forward, took greater risks and succeeded in injecting greater tempo into the match. The next substitution came with 15 minutes left as Akanji made way for Bruun Larsen. There was an opportunity soon after for the visitors but, having been teed up by Hazard, Sancho saw his shot from close range cleared off the line by Brozovic.

It was during this period that Inter launched a counter-attack via substitute Esposito, who was hauled down in the penalty area by Hummels. Bürki saved the ensuing spot-kick from Martinez to keep his team in the game. But with all the Black & Yellows camped inside the Inter half, Guerreiro lost the ball and the home side launched a ruthless counter-attack, with Candreva getting the better of Bürki in the 89th minute to make it 2-0 to the Italians.

Watch all the goals and highlights at a click

The return fixture between the teams will take place in just under a fortnight at Signal Iduna Park (5 November at 21:00 CET). Until then, attentions will turn to the Bundesliga with BVB set for one of their highlights of the season on Saturday (15:30 CET) when they travel to FC Schalke 04.

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