Edin Terzic was totally satisfied. Any coach would have been satisfied with the team's performance last night. They demonstrated in impressive fashion that they are a force to be reckoned with again by beating Sevilla 3-2 away in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League tie. All objectives – both domestic and international – can still be achieved.
"We saw an outstanding and almost flawless team performance that makes us very proud," said Terzic late last night at the virtual press conference. "To come back like that against a fully in-form" opponent impressed him. The favourites took an early lead with their first shot, which took an unfortunate deflection. But Terzic's team remained unperturbed by the setback, stayed faithful to their match plan and were rewarded. "We didn't want to give up the centre; we wanted the game to take place in front of us and not between us," revealed the coach. Possession turnovers by Haaland for the first and second goals, and by Reus for the third goal, were the starting point for several perfectly-worked goals. A stunning equaliser from Mo Dahoud was followed by brilliant assists by Sancho and Reus to tee Haaland up for the second and third goals. "We showed a lot more passion today. That was very good from us," said the Norwegian.
Even though Sevilla had the upper hand in the second half and also had slightly more of the chances, the facial expression of opposition coach Julen Lopetegui – which featured prominently on the TV coverage – suggested how dissatisfied he was with the match: an indirect compliment for the visitors from Dortmund, who also refused to be rattled after conceding the second goal in the 84th minute – even if, in the words of Mo Dahoud, "the energy levels were dwindling slightly". In the previous games it was "individual errors that proved our downfall," remarked Edin Terzic. "We need to get back this consistency as soon as possible." Consistent work on the training pitch is the way to achieve this. "We need to work towards this intensity, this enthusiasm and this team spirit every day on the training pitch so that we don't have to switch it on on matchday but instead can call upon it."
Before the return leg on 9 March, BVB have league games against Schalke 04, Arminia Bielefeld and Bayern Munich plus a cup tie with Borussia Mönchengladbach on the agenda. Only then will they turn their attentions to qualifying for the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, which they last reached in 2017. "It's only half-time in the tie with Sevilla," declared Terzic. "We've put ourselves in a good position. But we still have a lot of work to do to reach the next round."
If 66,100 spectators were allowed into Signal Iduna Park for the return leg, 3-2 would be a formidable advantage. In front of empty stands it is only a narrow lead – but a lead nonetheless.