Borussia Dortmund have put themselves in a good position for the return leg in three weeks: BVB drew 1-1 (1-0) away to PSV Eindhoven in the first leg of the Champion League round of 16.

Boris Rupert reporting from Eindhoven

Former PSV player Donyell Malen fired BVB into the lead in the 24th minute with a wonderful individual goal in front of 33,500 supporters at a sold-out Philips Stadium, but Luuk de Jong restored parity at 1-1 10 minutes into the second period via a spot-kick that was awarded for a foul.

The scenario:   
As Group F winners, BVB were away in their first leg against the runners-up of Group B. Eindhoven had qualified for the last 16 courtesy of two victories (away to Sevilla and at home to Lens), three draws and one defeat (4-0 at Arsenal).

Personnel matters:   
Muscular problems forced Gregor Kobel to withdraw following the warm-up. Alexander Meyer replaced him between the sticks. Hours earlier, Niklas Süle had been ruled out with illness. He was replaced in the starting line-up by Mats Hummels for the first time this year. There was also a third change compared to the game in Wolfsburg: Donyell Malen replaced Julian Brandt to begin with. Julien Duranville was involved for the first time since May 2023 and Kjell Wätjen, 18, for the first time ever. Karim Adeyemi, Sébastien Haller and Felix Nmecha did not make the journey.

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Tactics:   
PSV lined up in a very attack-minded 4-1-2-3. But their approach was rather cautious to begin with. It certainly did not prove to be an onslaught that BVB, in a 4-2-3-1 formation, had to fend off in the first period. Similarly to the previous league matches, Maatsen advanced from the left side of defence into defensive midfield alongside Sabitzer in possession, while Can dropped back between the centre-backs from this position.

The match & analysis:
On a slippery surfaced that visibly caused problems for players on both sides, BVB largely kept PSV at bay at the outset and even registered the first shot at goal of the match via Malen from 16 metres (15). But it was the hosts' turn seconds later: Tillman pulled away into an unmarked position on the edge of the box following de Jong's pass but fired narrowly wide of the left post.

A Reus corner-kick brought about the first BVB chance of what was an even first half overall, but a Dutch player blocked Schlotterbeck's header in the six-yard box (20). Then came the 24th minute: After receiving the ball from Sabitzer, Malen took on two opponents on the right of the penalty area, beat them with a burst of energy and shot from around eight metres; the ball took a minor deflection before striking the underside of the bar and landing in the net for 1-0.

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PSV only started to grow stronger at the end of first 45 minutes and BVB made a few mistakes, particularly down the left side of defence. Bakayoko fired wide (37) and Saibari tested Meyer (40). Schlotterbeck was booked and will miss the return fixture.

Eindhoven re-emerged from the changing rooms with a spring in their step but Dortmund initially withstood the pressure. In the 54th minute, Hummels challenged Tillman in the box and got the ball first, then the opponent. Referee Jovanovic pointed to the spot. An incorrect call that nonetheless passed the video review. Meyer went the right way, but de Jong's shot into the bottom left corner was too accurate (56).

The Black & Yellows succeeded in taking the emerging euphoria out of Eindhoven's sails. Ryerson and Hummels did a brilliant job at the back! The next opportunity for the home team did not occur until the 81st minute and was once again preceded by an incorrect decision (a foul on Malen that went unpunished), but Meyer was on hand and saved Dest's shot from a narrow angle.

Outlook:
The return leg at SIGNAL IDUNA PARK will kick off at 21:00 CET on Wednesday 13 March. BVB are next in action when they play host to TSG Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Sunday (17:30 CET).

Teams & goals

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UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg
PSV EINDHOVEN 1-1 (0-1) BORUSSIA DORTMUND

PSV Eindhoven: Benitez – Teze, Schouten, Boscagli (Obispo, 90), Dest – Veerman – Tillman, Saibari (Mauro Júnior, 83) – Bakayoko, de Jong, Lozano (Pepi, 75)
Bor. Dortmund: Meyer – Ryerson, Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Maatsen – Sabitzer, Can – Malen (Özcan, 82), Reus (Brandt, 62), Sancho (Wolf, 68) – Füllkrug (Moukoko, 82)
Substitutes: Drommel, Waterman; Sambo, Ramalho, Babadi, van Aanhol – Lotka, Bensebaini, Duranville, Wätjen, Bynoe-Gittens, Bamba
Goals: 0-1 Malen (Sabitzer, 24), 1-1 de Jong (penalty for foul on Tillman by Hummels, 56)  
Corners: 4-4 (3-1 at half-time), chance ratio: 4-2 (2-2)
Referee: Jovanovic (Serbia), yellow cards: Lozano – Maatsen, Schlotterbeck
Attendance: 33,500 (sold-out), weather: dry, 9 degrees