Sevilla 2-3 Borussia Dortmund
Just 24 hours after one of the players tipped to be the next big thing furthered his name on the Champions League stage, the other decided it was time to remind the footballing world of his special talent.
Few football fans or players will need reminding of the gifts of young Norwegian Erling Braut Haaland, yet here was a timely intervention on the biggest stage.
Indeed, after creating more personal Champions League 2021 highlights of his own, Borussia Dortmund have three away goals and, arguably, one foot in the quarter-finals of this season’s competition.
Highlights of the game
It was midway through the first half with the score at 1-1 when Haaland picked the ball up in the centre circle and went on a run, escaping the attentions of a number of Sevilla defenders. He swiftly played a one-two with Jadon Sancho on the edge of the box and continued his run to pounce from close range.
His second followed before half-time as a misplaced Sevilla pass was seized upon by Marco Reus who fed Haaland and… well you know the rest!
Dortmund had a lead they would not relinquish.
As if that wasn’t enough, Haaland had already shown his brilliance by beating a handful of opponents in the 19th minute to set up Mahmoud Dahoud for an equaliser which was superbly finished from 25 yards.
The SBOTOP Champions League 2021 betting odds certainly would not have anticipated that early on as Sevilla took a seventh-minute lead on home turf.
Gaining possession on the edge of the box, Suso deceived Sancho as he shuffled the ball onto his right foot before firing in an effort which deflected into the net via the outstretched boot of Mats Hummels.
Dortmund fans may have been forgiven for expecting the worst at that point.
After all, they had lost their past six away games in the knockout stages of the Champions League, conceding 14 goals and scoring only two – their only victory in their past 12 knockout away games arriving against Zenit St Petersburg in February 2014.
Then the Haaland show began and Dortmund, who had relied on his match-saving escapades at the weekend in the Bundesliga, were in charge.
Julen Lopetegui’s side, who won the Europa League in thrilling fashion last season – the club’s record-extending sixth triumph in the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League, all since 2006 – did make the second leg more interesting by pulling a goal back six minutes from time.
Substitute Oscar Rodriguez, who had hit the post with a fine free-kick moments after entering the fray, combined with another sub Luuk de Jong and the Dutchman steered it home from close range.
Alas, it was not enough.
In fact, all tonight will do of course is lead to even more speculation about the long-term future of this very special talent.
Haaland has scored 10 Champions League goals in seven appearances for Dortmund, the quickest a player has ever reached 10 goals for a team in the competition, breaking Roy Makaay’s record with Bayern Munich (10 games, 2003-04).
Haaland is the fifth player to score multiple goals in three successive Champions League appearances. The others are Giovane Elber (Bayern Munich in 2001), Filippo Inzaghi (Juventus and Milan in 2002), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid in 2013 and twice in 2017) and Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich in 2018).
His 18 goals in this tournament means he is only behind Kylian Mbappe (19 goals) as the highest scorer in the tournament before his 21st birthday.
Dortmund haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last nine away games in the knockout stages of the Champions League, with their last one coming back in April 2013 v Malaga (0-0).
Sevilla and Dortmund’s only previous meeting in European competition came in the 2010-11 Europa League group stages, the Spanish side winning 1-0 at home and drawing 2-2 in Germany.
Sevilla have been beaten in four of their five fixtures against German opposition.
Aged 17 years and 233 days, Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham became the youngest ever English player to start a game in the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Sevilla are at Osasuna next Monday (February 22) in La Liga before back-to-back matches against Barcelona in the league and the Copa del Rey semi-final. The Andalusians have a 2-0 advantage from the first leg.
Dortmund go to bottom-club Schalke in the Bundesliga for the Revierderby on Saturday and then have virtually a week to prepare for a home match against another side struggling at the wrong end of the table, Arminia Bielefeld.
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