Borussia Dortmund took a big step towards the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League on Matchday 3. BVB won their group game away to Sevilla by a 4-1 (3-0) scoreline and now hold a five-point lead over the Spaniards.
Boris Rupert reporting from Seville
In a thrilling match with 22 shots in the first 45 minutes alone (10 for Sevilla, 12 for Dortmund), BVB took an early lead via Guerreiro (6) and extended their advantage via a two-goal salvo before half-time, with Bellingham (41) and Adeyemi (43) scoring to make it 3-0. But they also had goalkeeper Meyer to thank, who made three outstanding stops to keep out En-Nesyri. The Moroccan reduced the deficit to 3-1 at the start of the second period, only for Brandt to complete the scoring with a quarter-hour to go.
Manchester City topped the group with two victories. Sevilla (one draw and one defeat before kick-off) are regarded as BVB's (one win, one defeat) biggest challengers in the race for second spot and a place in the knockout stages. In the two previous away meetings, the Black & Yellows drew 2-2 (back in 2010) and won 3-2 (in the spring of 2021 also under Edin Terzic).
Hummels, Reus and Wolf joined the sidelined Reyna, Dahoud, Bynoe-Gittens, Morey and of course Haller in not boarding the plane to Seville. Compared to the Cologne game, Moukoko and Can replaced Modeste and Malen (both bench) in the starting XI.
The personnel changes made for a more defensive approach from BVB, who lined up in a 4-3-3 formation with Can in the holding midfield role flanked by Bellingham and Can slightly further forward. It was exactly the same midfield triumvirate from the strong showing in Manchester. Adeyemi and Brandt were charged with accelerating the play with balls to Moukoko. Sevilla played in a 3-4-3 system, adopting a noticeable man-marking approach in defence and pressing high in attack...
The match & analysis:
...but when that line of pressing was beaten, Sevilla were left totally vulnerable to counter-attacks and BVB created numerical superiority several times in the opposition half. One such instance came in the 20th minute when three Dortmund players bore down on goal, but Özcan could not pass the ball as his two team-mates would have been offside. Centre-forward En-Nesyri came charging back and brought Özcan down, prompting referee Mariani to brandish a red card. But it was overturned by VAR, with Adeyemi having committed a foul in the centre-circle in the build-up.
The warm temperatures of 30 degrees on the pitch were matched by the fiery atmosphere in the stands. Sevilla had started their season with a run of five defeats, three draws and only one win in all competitions – and there were numerous instances where it showed. An early first booking – shown to defender Gudelj, who simply could not stop Adeyemi (2) – was followed by the early opener for Borussia: Can and Bellingham won the ball back in a centre-right position and Bellingham's cross-field ball found its way to Guerreiro, who controlled it at full sprint, cut inside and fired home courtesy of a slight deflection (6).
But defensive negligence allowed Sevilla to get into the game and create three major chances. Jordán lofted a 35-metre pass from the halfway line towards En-Nesyri on the edge of the box. Meyer managed to save his powerful strike but spilled it in front of him, allowing En-Nesyri a second attempt that was also kept out by Meyer. The goalkeeper also displayed lightning-quick reactions in the 36th minute as he clawed En-Nesyri's header away from the corner. The unmarked Carmona met the resultant corner-kick with a volley from seven metres but fortunately missed.
But then it was BVB's turn again. Özcan fed Adeyemi on the right of the box but none of his team-mates managed to latch on to his ball in behind the defence (33). Bellingham went one better in the 41st minute, though. Guerreiro and Özcan had driven the ball forward down the left before threading it through to the young captain, who fooled Gudelj and fired in from an acute angle. Moukoko turned skilfully on the edge of the box two minutes later, carrying the ball with him and outpacing centre-back Gudelj. He shot first-time and Bono parried it into the path of Adeyemi, who poked home.
The second half continued in the same wild – at times extremely wild – vein. En-Nesyri brought the stadium back to life with his headed goal from a corner (51), then Moukoko immediately embarked upon a sensational run from his own half and could have made it 4-1, only to see his shot kept out by goalkeeper Bono. The 17-year-old's next opportunity came in the 60th minute, but this time he blazed Meunier's through-ball over the target from 16 metres.
But with no composure on the ball for long spells – and therefore no composure in their play – Borussia also conceded chances. Lamela was afforded space following Telles' pass, but his shot from the centre-left of the box went narrowly wide of the post (56).
At the other end, substitute Malen missed the target from a very tight angle after doing well to create space for himself in the penalty area (72). But three minutes later, Brandt quietened the crowd down considerably. Bellingham played the ball over into space on the left wing, where Moukoko received it, looked up and delivered a precise cross that was headed home by Brandt off the inside of the post. Bono denied Malen to stop it becoming 5-1 (79). The Dutchman then failed to pick out Modeste, who would have been able to run the ball into the net from 16 metres out, on another counter-attack.
Next Tuesday, six days from now, the two teams will play out the return fixture in Dortmund. It will be the second big game on home turf in the space of 72 hours, following on from the German "Klassiker" against Bayern Munich which will take place on Saturday evening.
Teams & goals
UEFA Champions League Matchday 3
FC SEVILLA 1-4 (0-3) BORUSSIA DORTMUND
FC Sevilla: Buno – Carmona, Gudelj, Salas – Navas (Montiel, 46), Jordán (Dolberg, 77), Rakitic (Delaney, 63), Telles – Suso (Lamela, 46), En-Nesyri, Isco (Gómez, 63)
Bor. Dortmund: Meyer – Meunier, Süle, Schlotterbeck, Guerreiro (Rothe, 80) – Can – Bellingham, Özcan (Papadopoulos, 85) – Adeyemi (Malen, 64), Moukoko (Modeste, 80), Brandt (Hazard, 85)
Substitutes: Dmitrović, Flores; Januzaj, Rafa Mir, Nianzou, Pérez – Kobel, Ostrzinski; Coulibaly, Passlack
Goals: 0-1 Guerreiro (Bellingham, 6), 0-2 Bellingham (Guerreiro, 41), 0-3 Adeyemi (Moukoko, 43), 1-3 En-Nesyri (Telles, 51), 1-4 Brandt (Moukoko, 75)
Corners: 5-4 (2-1 at half-time), chance ratio: 7-11 (3-4)
Referee: Mariani (Italy), yellow cards: Gudelj, Lamela – Özcan
Attendance: approx. 35,000, weather: dry, 30 degrees at kick-off