Home » Thanks to Malen’s goal in Eindhoven, Dortmund have a good starting position in the Champions League

Thanks to Malen’s goal in Eindhoven, Dortmund have a good starting position in the Champions League

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Thanks to Malen’s goal in Eindhoven, Dortmund have a good starting position in the Champions League

As of: February 20, 2024 11:43 p.m

Despite a shaky defense and many mistakes in the forward game, Borussia Dortmund achieved a good starting position in the Champions League round of 16 in Eindhoven with a 1-1 draw on Tuesday evening (February 20, 2024) – thanks to ex-PSV star Donyell Malen. The equalizer came due to a wrong decision.

Dortmund had to overcome their first setback shortly before kick-off. Regular goalkeeper Gregor Kobel signaled muscular problems during the warm-up, and Alexander Meyer had to spontaneously step in. The 32-year-old was unable to complain about a lack of employment afterwards. The very active ex-Napoli star Hirving Lozano finished too harmlessly in the 12th minute, and the completely free Malik Tillmann also failed after a good quarter of an hour on a pass from Luuk de Jong from the edge of the penalty area.

Round of 16 arrow right Live ticker for reading arrow right

Filling jug and painting fail – then painting hits

But BVB, which sometimes defended with plenty of air, quickly sought its way to the top after winning the ball. Donyell Malen narrowly missed in the 15th minute, then Niclas Füllkrug put the ball, completely free-standing, well over the crossbar from a central position.

From a scene that promised far less goal danger than the previous two, Dortmund took the lead in the 24th minute. Emre Can had won the ball on the sideline, and Malen marched over Füllkrug into the penalty area on the half-right. The angle was actually unfavorable for a finish. But the former Eindhoven player, who stormed for PSV between 2018 and 2021 before joining BVB for 30 million euros, was confident enough to take the shot: the ball hit at a right angle after a slight deflection from Sergino Dest.

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BVB is very vulnerable defensively

PSV reacted with furious counterattacks, Dortmund had no security on the defensive. But the hosts were too imprecise in the end, Ismael Saibari and Johan Bakayoko missed further great chances, and BVB was lucky to save the 1-0 lead at the break.

Even after the break, Eindhoven remained in control, Dortmund lost the ball far too quickly in their own attempts to attack and were hardly able to relieve the pressure. A controversial decision by the referee brought the equalizer.

Hummels first hits the ball, then Tillman

In the 55th minute, Dortmund’s defense chief Mats Hummels first hit the ball during a clearance, then Tillman fell over his tackle. Srdan Jovanovic pointed quite decisively to the penalty spot and tried to appease the onrushing Dortmund players with gestures by checking the decision on the video screen. However, they apparently didn’t think the whistle was so seriously flawed that a correction was necessary – de Jong gratefully accepted and scored to make it 1-1.

After the game, Mats Hummels and Nico Schlotterbeck were rightly upset about this serious intervention in the game: “Zero percent penalty,” said Hummels on Prime. “I’m clearly hitting the ball first. The Eindhoven team also knew that; Tillman kept grinning at me for minutes after this scene.” Hummels in a rage: “I don’t understand the referees at the moment. They’re on the completely wrong path and unfortunately I think the video referee made the referees worse.” Schlotterbeck saw it the same way: “Clearly the ball was played. No defender in the whole world whistles for a penalty like that.”

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Wolf’s heel hits the post

Even after that, Dortmund continued to wobble defensively, but almost regained the lead thanks to a stroke of genius from substitute Marius Wolf. Wolf circled a free kick from Ian Maatsen, a PSV-trained Chelsea loanee, to the left post with his heel (72′).

Dortmund still has a promising starting position for the second leg on March 13th in Dortmund. Schlotterbeck commented confidently: “9 p.m. Champions League in our stadium – we’ll definitely get ahead.”

Now at home against Hoffenheim

BVB coach Edin Terzic summarized: “We can live with the result quite well. If you want to progress in the Champions League, you have to win your home games. We defended well here in many phases, even if we lost a lot in the second half had to run after them and suffer a lot.” Regarding the penalty, he said: “We can’t change it, it’s just part of the game. What we have in our hands is the second leg.”

Before that, the Bundesliga continues on Sunday (February 25, 2024, 5:30 p.m., live ticker at sportschau.de) at home against TSG Hoffenheim, where the goal is to qualify for the champions again with a one-point lead over fifth-placed RB Leipzig League.

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