Youngster shines in San Siro
Ripped off BVB confidently survives CL group of death
November 28, 2023, 10:59 p.m
Borussia Dortmund is in the most difficult group in the Champions League – and can now look forward to the penultimate matchday. After a very mature performance against a weakened Milan team, BVB booked their ticket to the round of 16.
Thousands of BVB fans lit a huge fire under the roof of the old concrete temple of San Siro, and the players hugged each other overjoyed at the finish line. With a match point mentality and a very strong youngster Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, Borussia Dortmund even secured their ticket to the round of 16 early in the “group of death” of the Champions League. After a great fight, Dortmund won 3-1 (1-1) at AC Milan and can no longer be pushed out of one of the top two places; on December 13th, one point against Paris St. Germain is enough to win the group. This is a great success, even given the weaknesses in the Bundesliga.
“We did really well and created a lot of atmosphere with possession of the ball,” said defense chief Mats Hummels on Prime Video. “We clinched a well-deserved victory and were more inspired than impressed. It’s a shame that we’re not yet firmly in first place.” This time the best offensive player was the youngest. Winger Bynoe-Gittens took the penalty, which Marco Reus safely converted to make it 1-0 (9th). After Samuel Chukwueze’s equalizer (37th), the 19-year-old led BVB into the knockout rounds with his first Champions League goal (59th). Karim Adeyemi (69th) followed up. Goalkeeper Gregor Kobel parried a hand penalty from Olivier Giroud early in front of 75,292 roaring spectators (6th).
The game begins with a moment of shock
BVB also had an infection in Milan. Niklas Süle was unavailable due to illness, but at least Nico Schlotterbeck, who was also injured, was able to play in central defense alongside the strong “anchor” Mats Hummels. Julian Brandt and Salih Özcan were also initially weakened and sat on the bench, as sports director Sebastian Kehl reported shortly before kick-off. They came into play later.
The Dortmund team had “pushed away” the league crisis talk with a 4-2 win against Borussia Mönchengladbach (Kehl), and now the previously successful European Cup appearance should be continued. 4,500 BVB fans tuned in all day at the cathedral or the canal in the Navigli district.
But the game began with a moment of shock and was extremely strange. Schlotterbeck tackled a shot from the ever-dangerous Chukwueze, but accidentally blocked the ball with his arm. Giroud’s penalty was taken by Kobel in his right corner – immediately afterwards, referee Istvan Kovacs (Romania) also pointed to the spot on the other side. Davide Calabria had fouled the lively Bynoe-Gittens, Reus didn’t miss the chance in the shrill whistle concert of the Curva Sud.
Star player Rafael Leao is missing everywhere
Milan had little to do without their star player Rafael Leao. BVB had control with Emre Can and Marcel Sabitzer and followed up: Bynoe-Gittens almost scored the second goal after a fine hook (19th). When right-back Ramy Bensebaini rushed into his goalkeeper Kobel (33′), BVB coach Edin Terzic used the resulting break to give some tactical instructions: Nevertheless, his team conceded the equalizer after a few sloppy counterattacks. Chukwueze had fooled Bensebaini and Bynoe-Gittens in one move.
After the break, Milan increased their risk and pressure. Julian Ryerson lined up for a scissor shot from former BVB star Christian Pulisic (49′), and the crosses kept sailing into the Dortmund penalty area. Defensively, however, Milan was weakened: German international Malick Thiaw grabbed his back left thigh after a running duel with Bynoe-Gitten and hobbled into the locker room. Terzic, for his part, had to take Schlotterbeck off the field and Can dropped into central defense. After the 3-1 win, Reus was also substituted with knee problems. The Dortmund team switched to results management, but there were still two goals scored: Luka Jovic headed onto the post for Milan (85th), Niclas Füllkrug shot onto the crossbar for BVB (88th).