record-breaker Erling Braut Haaland scored twice as Borussia Dortmund sealed a
2-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain, for whom Neymar scored on his return to
action, in Tuesday’s Champions League last 16, first leg in Germany.
Forward Haaland took his tally to 11 goals in seven games
since Dortmund paid Salzburg 20 million euros ($22 million) for the 19-year-old
with second-half goals either side of Neymar’s equaliser.
Having also scored eight times for Salzburg in the group
stage, Haaland now has 10 goals in just seven Champions League games this
“These are the moments you play football for. I really
enjoyed it,” beamed the Norwegian, who insisted Dortmund will still have
it all to do in the return on March 11.
“We want to go through, but we will have to raise our
game again,” he warned.
“It’s going to be a hard game, but we are a good team
and we have to keep going.”
His performance left Kylian Mbappe and Neymar in the shade,
with the latter struggling to truly make his mark having been kept on the
sidelines for the last two weeks ahead of this game due to a rib injury.
However, the Brazilian superstar’s away goal means PSG
remain very much in contention to reach the quarter-finals after three
consecutive exits in the last 16.
The presence of the world’s most expensive player was a
major boost for his team, after he missed last season’s surprise last-16 loss
to Manchester United with a foot injury.
He also sat out the second leg of their defeat by Real
Madrid at the same stage in 2018.
– Sancho denied –
However, Dortmund deserved the win as PSG’s star-studded
attack, with Angel Di Maria supporting Mbappe and Neymar, was repeatedly
frustrated by the home side, for whom the midfield duo of Axel Witsel and Emre
Can regularly helped snuff out attacks.
There was little to separate the teams in the first half
although Dortmund’s English winger Jadon Sancho squandered one chance on the
counter-attack and then forced a fine save from Keylor Navas just before the
Witsel was calling the shots in midfield, while his midfield
partner Can — whose loan deal from Juventus was made into a permanent move
earlier in the day — had a penalty appeal waved away by Spanish referee Mateu
Lahoz after being clattered in the area by Marco Verratti.
After the goalless first half, Dortmund poured forward and
kept finding spaces to exploit down the flanks.
Dortmund’s Swiss coach Lucien Favre then brought on Giovanni
Reyna, who only turned 17 last November, for his Champions League debut midway
through the second half.
Moments later Haaland got the breakthrough when he stabbed
past Navas from close range after Thiago Silva had blocked a Raphael Guerreiro
The game had now come to life, and with their German coach
Thomas Tuchel frantically urging them on, PSG drew level six minutes later when
Mbappe unpicked the Dortmund defence and presented Neymar with a
However, the scene was set for Haaland to continue his
phenomenal scoring run with a stunning finish from the edge of the area
following a Reyna pass.