Borussia Dortmund marked the start of their UEFA Champions League campaign by gifting the 66,099 spectators at a full-to-the-brim Signal Iduna Park a wonderful evening of football and impressing all of Europe with an excellent performance. The players walked off with their heads held high – yet it still felt very much like a case of two points dropped.
"This BVB can compete with the top European clubs," declared Ruhr Nachrichten to its readers the following morning. That sentiment was echoed by the international press, who were full of praise and felt that last night's clash boiled down to a duel between Marc-André ter Stegen on the one hand and a Dortmund team in fine form on the other. AS wrote: "Barca miraculously managed to pick up a draw. The real saviour was the goalkeeper, who helped Barca salvage a point with which they will be more than satisfied given that Valverde's charges sweated blood and water on their European debut." El Pais wrote: "Ter Stegen helped keep his floating team above water against an great opponent." Meanwhile, El Mundo said of the goalkeeper: "He saved Barcelona from a certain defeat in Dortmund."
But glowing words will not earn you any points. The outstanding Mats Hummels – of whom Mundo Deportivo wrote: "Hummels underscored that he can still deliver world-class performances" – spoke of two points dropped given the amount of outstanding chances spurned in the 0-0 draw. "We could've put ourselves in an outstanding position in what is a strong group." The consolation will be that Inter Milan did not pull away. The Italians were held to a surprising 1-1 draw against an unexpectedly strong Slavia Prague side and only salvaged a point in stoppage time.
"Mixed feelings" after the 0-0
"In the second period, we were closer to winning the match. So we go away with mixed feelings," said Sebastian Kehl. Marco Reus, who missed a penalty – which, if the otherwise so consistent referee had applied the rules of the game consistently, should have been retaken – and was denied on two other occasions by the keeper – not because his shots were weak or lacking precision, but because ter Stegen was on great form – added: "It would've been the optimal start. It's all open now." The shot-stopper, who used to a team-mate of Reus back in their Gladbach days, said: "I think he had a superb game and caused us problems between the lines."
Even though no goals were scored – a source of frustration to Reus in particular – it was a strong display from a team in the truest sense of the word. No-one shied away and everyone rose to the occasion. "In the end, it's a 0-0 but a positive one," declared Lucien Favre.