Borussia Dortmund won 3-2 (3-1) away from home in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie against Sevilla to put themselves in pole position ahead of the return fixture on 9 March! Haaland (two) and Dahoud scored the goals.
Boris Rupert reporting
The team produced one of their performances of the season and showed their ability away to the six-time Europa League winners from Andalusia. The visitors kept their cool after Suso's opener (7) and turned the game around thanks to a Mo Dahoud stunner (18) and an Erling Haaland brace (27, 43), before De Jong pulled one back to make it 3-2 (84).
Both teams qualified for the knockout stages with 13 points (W4 D1 L1). BVB won their group, while Sevilla finished as runners-up. The Andalusians had lost only one of their previous 15 matches in all competitions, while BVB went into the game having won eight of their previous 13 European games.
Bürki, Hazard, Piszczek, Schmelzer, Witsel and Zagadou were joined on the injury list by Delaney, but Meunier returned to the squad. There were three changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Saturday, with Morey, Dahoud and Reus replacing Delaney, Reyna and Brandt.
BVB stuck with the 4-3-3 formation that they have deployed recently, while opponents Sevilla opted for the same system. Bellingham and Dahoud operated in front of Can in midfield, who covered a lot of ground and produced an energetic display in front of the back four. Up front, wing forwards Sancho and Reus frequently switched sides.
The match & analysis:
It was a mature and focused display from the first minute by a Dortmund side that looked transformed and back to their performance levels from the league game in Leipzig. Even conceding an early opener did not deter them: in the seventh minute, Suso was afforded slightly too much space on the edge of the box and although his shot from 17 metres should have been a comfortable save for Hitz, it took an unfortunate deflection off Hummels' foot and flew into the net. It was the Andalusians' first shot of the game – and their only one on target in the opening 45 minutes.
Borussia made intelligent use of space and hit back with a spectacular equaliser in the 18th minute. Haaland showed great strength to keep three Spaniards at bay on the right touchline before passing into the centre to Dahoud, whose stunning shot from 22 metres flew into the top corner!
The move for the next goal was started and finish off by Haaland, who won the ball back on the halfway line and drove forward before playing a one-two with Sancho on the edge of the area and poking the return ball over the line to make it 2-1 (27). BVB were in total control – and upped the temp when the moment was right. Dahoud threaded a ball from the halfway line through to Haaland, whose shot from 18 metres tested goalkeeper Bounou to the limit (34). Hummels then fired the ball into the ground and over from the resultant corner-kick.
BVB rewarded themselves with a third goal on the stroke of half-time. Reus, who had already tracked back to good effect on several occasions, won the ball back on the halfway line and drove towards the edge of the box before passing to Haaland, who converted to make it 3-1 (43).
Sevilla looked much livelier after the half-time break, with the majority of the action now taking place in Dortmund's half of the pitch. But it was not until the 64th minute that they next threatened, Escudero failing to connect properly with Navas' cross from the right flank and firing wide of the mark. Oscar came within a whisker of scoring when he struck the post from a free-kick with a quarter of an hour to go. Then came a double chance at the other end seconds later as Bellingham and Reus went close (71).
De Jong eventually pulled a goal back when he converted Oscar's free-kick – which hung in the air for ages – from the corner of the six-yard box six minutes from time to make it 3-2. Sancho then went close from 16 metres on a rare foray forward but fired just wide of the upright (90).
Next up for the Black & Yellows is the 158th Ruhr derby away to FC Schalke 04 on Saturday (18:30 CET).
Teams & goals