Borussia Dortmund were beaten 3-1 (2-0) by Italian runners-up Napoli in the seventh and penultimate friendly of their preparations for the 2018/19 season. It was the first defeat of pre-season for the Black & Yellows, whose only goal of the evening was scored by Maximilian Philipp.
Boris Rupert reporting from St. Gallen
Lukasz Piszczek, who has been named as vice captain by Lucien Favre, wore the armband in Marco Reus' absence. The coach had divided the squad into two groups ahead of their double-header, with the group that featured in the 4-3 win over Zurich in the morning predominantly consisting of players who had returned late to training after the World Cup.
Sahin occupied the defensive midfield role in front of the back four, with Dahoud and Götze either side in a 4-3-3 formation. But they switched to a 4-1-4-1 system when Napoli, who broke the deadlock early in the game, had the ball. The goal came about through a misplaced pass and Leder picked out Milik, who hit a clean and unstoppable shot past Bürki to make it 1-0 (7).
Dahoud hits woodwork from 17 metres
The match – as is normal for this stage of pre-season – was a slow-burner at times, but there were highlights for Dortmund too. Dahoud hit the woodwork from 17 metres (13) and Philipp's placed shot towards the bottom right corner from a Dahoud pass was denied by the goalkeeper on 27 minutes. At the other end, Maksimovic was largely unimpeded as he headed in the second goal from a corner. Two chances and two goals for Napoli; two chances and superiority for Dortmund, who still found themselves 2-0 down largely against the run of play at the break.
Philipp pulls one back
Pulisic was the most energetic and agile Dortmund player, going close on several occasions against a Napoli side that made seven changes midway through the second period. His shot in the box on 65 minutes was blocked, only for the ball to land at the feet of Philipp to slot home from close range. 2-1! Schmelzer (77) and Pulisic (89) had further efforts that were denied by the keeper and instead it was Napoli who scored next, with Callejon making it three goals from four chances in stoppage time.
The team will return to Dortmund on Wednesday. The eighth and final friendly – against Lazio in Essen on Sunday – will be the dress rehearsal for the DFB Cup tie in Furth on 20 August. Tickets for the friendly with the Italians are still available in all categories.
BVB: Bürki – Piszczek (Bockhorn 76), Toprak, Diallo, Schmelzer – Dahoud (Rode, 86), Sahin, Götze – Pulisic, Philipp, Sancho
Goals: 0-1 Milik (7), 0-2 Maksimovic (29), 1-2 Philipp (Pulisic, 65), 1-3 Callejon (90+1)
Attendance: 13,382 in St. Gallen