Borussia Dortmund showed plenty of heart and cool heads as they claimed the first three points of the new Champions League season. "It was an important victory," declared Erling Haaland, who continued his unbelievable scoring run by netting his 21st goal in the competition in only 17 matches. "That," the Norwegian said, "is my job".
Jude Bellingham was voted UEFA's "Man of the Match". German football magazine kicker gave the young Englishman a player rating of 1. "Jude is fantastic. He is only 18 years old, younger than me, and he plays so unbelievably well," said Haaland in praise of his team-mate, whose modesty shone through in an interview with BVB TV. "As a Borussia Dortmund midfielder, it's my job to win spaces and help my team."
By scoring the opening goal at the age of 18 years, two months and 16 days, Bellingham became the youngest player to score in two successive matches in Europe's elite club competition – in this case across two different seasons – and helped put his team on the path to victory following a even but tough start to the match.
"My ears hurt a bit at times. The place was bouncing. It was a lot of fun," said goalkeeper Gregor Kobel – who was once again outstanding – as he reflected upon the atmosphere in the stadium, adding: "It was important that we stayed patient and focused on our game. We took the lead in the 20th minute and could have scored more goals in the end."
After Haaland's goal to make it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time, only the crossbar, the side-netting and the goalkeeper stood in the way of a third goal – which would have put the game completely to bed – in what was at times a wild second half. Though every fan probably assumed the game was over when the seven minutes(!) of injury time got under way, defender Montero reduced the deficit to 2-1 on 94 minutes. "It once again showed that the game is only won when the final whistle goes," said the prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia Armin Laschet, who was cheering on the Black & Yellows on TV and later congratulated the team on their "strong start" on Twitter.
"Annoying," said Kobel of the goal Borussia Dortmund gave away – the first they have conceded in five matches in Turkey. "I would've really, really liked to keep a clean sheet. But I'm ultimately happy we won the game. That's the main thing."
Marco Rose was also satisfied. "But we missed the opportunity to score the third goal. Besiktas really applied a lot of pressure from the back." The coach was full of praise when he was asked about Jude Bellingham's performance. "Jude is a great lad." Then he started listing his qualities. "Mentality, willingness to work for the team. The intensity with which he plays football. The will to win. The footballing solutions that he finds. The way he set up Erling's goal and scored the first one himself is extraordinary."
But the goalscoring duo of Bellingham and Haaland were not the only ones to make their mark on the game. The performance of Thomas Meunier, who had a difficult pre-season but played a decisive role in three goals across the games in Istanbul and Leverkusen, was once again remarkable; and that tally would now stand at four if Bellingham's goal in the BayArena had not been disallowed. Next up is a clash with Union Berlin on Sunday.