Europe: Champions League
3 - 1
(2 - 0)
Sporting CP
P. Gonçalves (30), P. Gonçalves (39), X P. Gonçalves (81), P. Porro (81)
E. Can (74), D. Malen (90)
By Ultan Corcoran@UltanCorcoran

Borussia Dortmund suffer crushing 3-1 defeat to Portuguese champions

Pedro Goncalves the difference as BVB crash out of the Champions League in Lisbon.
In what would be a battle to gain complete control of 2nd place behind Ajax in Group C before the final matchday, a depleted Borussia Dortmund travelled to Sporting CP in Portugal.

With Thorgan Hazard testing positive for Covid-19 during the week, a surprise was in store for all BVB fans as Reinier Jesus came into the starting line-up. Similarly, Guerreiro who was named in the starting XI before the game, was replaced by Schulz in what was presumably a reoccurring injury for the Portuguese left-back.

The opening 30 minutes of the game was played in a relatively nervy and scrappy manner from both teams. The lack of shooting chances was apparent as both Dortmund and Sporting desperately required a decisive final ball to create a shooting opportunity.

Finally, the opening goal of the game arrived in the 30th minute. An aimless clearance from the Sporting defence was poorly controlled by the deputising BVB full-back Schulz, allowing Goncalves to run through and poke the ball past Kobel.

Things went from bad to worse for the German club in the 39th minute, as the mercurial talent Goncalves struck a stunning second goal for the home side. Kobel stood no chance between the posts as the young Portuguese attacking midfielder latched onto Akanji’s deflected tackle and rocketed the ball to the top left corner of the net.

BVB started the second half better and found the net on 54 minutes through an own goal from Coates, however the goal was ruled out as Meunier was in an offside position before playing the final pass.

A nightmarish night in Lisbon heaped even more cruelty on Marco Rose’s team on 74 minutes. Substitute Emre Can decided against sportingly kicking the ball out of play for the seemingly injured Sporting striker Paulinho. What resulted next was a late challenge from Pedro Porro, to which Can lashed out, ultimately catching the Spaniard and thus controversially being sent off.

Sporting was then awarded a penalty in the 78th minute after VAR believed substitute Zagadou made contact with the foot of Paulinho before the ball. Goncalves, on his hattrick, stepped up but saw his penalty saved by Kobel. Unfortunately for the Swiss shot-stopper, Pedro Porro reacted quickest, reacting to the rebound and heading the ball in to make it a resounding 3-0 to the home side.

Die Schwarzgelben managed to grab a consolation goal in the 90+3rd minute of added time through Malen. The Dutch striker was in the right place at the right time to tap home after Reus diverted Brandt’s cross towards the back post. This left the scoreline reading 3-1 to the hosts.

Sadly, this result wasn’t enough for BVB, as the team from North Rhine-Westphalia go crashing out of the Champions League prematurely thanks to UEFA’s head-to-head system. A now meaningless home game against Turkish outfit Besiktas in a fortnight's time will be Dortmund’s final Champions League game before entering the draw for the Europa League knockout rounds.

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