Dream goal is not enough against PSV: BVB is struggling with itself and the controversial penalty whistle

Dream goal is not enough against PSV
BVB struggles with itself and the controversial penalty whistle

Borussia Dortmund will remain unbeaten in 2024: In the CL round of 16 first leg against PSV Eindhoven, BVB leads early thanks to a dream goal, but leaves many chances. In the end, an ex-Bundesliga star equalized for the Dutch after a controversial penalty kick to make it a 1-1 draw.

Despite a poor performance, Borussia Dortmund can still hope for their first quarter-finals in the Champions League since 2021. With the 1:1 (1:0) at PSV Eindhoven, coach Edin Terzić’s team gained a reasonable starting position for the second leg of the round of 16 on March 13th in Dortmund. But unlike in the successful group phase, BVB, which was already far behind in the Bundesliga title fight, did not show its best face in the premier class.

In front of 35,000 spectators in the sold-out Philips Stadium, Donyell Malen (24th minute) gave his former club the lead. But Luuk de Jong’s goal (54th penalty) gave the Dutch, coached by former Dortmund football teacher Peter Bosz, a deserved draw.

The first few minutes went as expected – or better: as feared from Dortmund’s perspective. Because PSV put pressure on them. Unbeaten in the league with only two draws but 20 wins, the hosts pushed BVB into their half. Even in front of keeper Alexander Meyer, who had to move into the visitors’ goal at short notice, the attackers did not stop in their forechecking in the front row. And Terzić’s team struggled with their style of play – as they have done so often this season. The result: the build-up game was faulty, the ball was lost immediately, and the relief didn’t last.

BVB is missing two important players at short notice

In addition to regular goalkeeper Gregor Kobel, who apparently sustained a muscle injury during the warm-up, Westphalia’s Niklas Süle was also unavailable for a short time due to illness. In his place, veteran Mats Hummels moved into the four-man defense chain, which had to watch out for PSV captain de Jong. But not just one of the top scorers in Europe, in the 17th minute Malik Tillmann appeared in the penalty area completely unchallenged. But his aim was too imprecise.

Previously, Malen, who was fit again in time, had made an attempt towards the PSV goal, but the shot from the former professional of the 24-time Dutch champions was not strong or placed enough. At least the hosts’ first phase of intense pressure had been overcome.

BVB got a bit stuck in the PSV half and the ball landed at Malen via Marcel Sabitzer. The Dutchman, who moved from Eindhoven to Dortmund in the summer of 2021, prevailed while dribbling and shot into the near corner, and the ball was also deflected. Out of respect, Malen refrained from excessive cheering at his old place of work. He probably also suspected that the home team wouldn’t admit defeat at all. And they had chances again because BVB acted too incorrectly in defense.

Hummels tackle leads to a penalty

Ultimately, substitute Meyer kept Borussia’s goal clean until the end of the first half. There was only a breather during the break, after which PSV dominated the game again. As at the beginning of the first half, BVB appeared too passive, lost the ball too easily during the build-up to the game and were again unable to provide any relief.

When Hummels hit the ball on a tackle and Tillmann too, the referee decided on a penalty. Much to Hummels’ displeasure, his decision was also confirmed by the video referee. It didn’t matter to De Jong, the PSV captain coolly and flatly converted the penalty into the corner for his 28th goal of the season in all competitions.

After a good hour, Terzic took Marco Reus out of the team after an inconspicuous performance and brought in a fresh player for the offensive in national player Julian Brand. A little later, Marius Wolf came on in midfield for Jadon Sancho and then narrowly failed with a free kick. But Eindhoven was significantly closer to the winning goal overall. BVB only saved the draw with a lot of effort.

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