Little risk, no reward – even an unusual wall tactic didn't save Borussia Dortmund from a false start in the Champions League. Coach Edin Terzic's team suffered a 0-2 (0-0) defeat on Tuesday against the star ensemble from Paris Saint-Germain, who were considered co-favorites for the title. The plan to neutralize the French magic storm with a five-man chain made up of stars like Kylian Mbappé, Ousmane Dembélé and Randal Kolo Muani only worked in the first half. After the restart, Paris capitalized on its superiority in front of 49,000 spectators in the Prinzenpark and achieved a deserved victory thanks to an extremely controversial hand penalty from Mbappé (49th) and a goal from ex-Dortmunder Achraf Hakimi (58th).
This meant that BVB fell behind early on in Group F, which was rated as difficult, with its other opponents Newcastle United and AC Milan, who drew 0-0 at the start. The next opponent is Milan at home on October 4th.
The penalty whistle caused great displeasure and put BVB on the losing road. After Dembélé's cross, Mbappé shot the ball into the hands of German national defender Niklas Süle from close range. A tough decision from the Spanish referee Jesus Gil Manzano, which was not taken back by the video referee.
No Niclas Füllkrug, no Sebastien Haller, but three central defenders - Terzic chose the defensive variant of his starting line-up against what was probably the fastest storm in Europe. The concept worked in the first 45 minutes, at least in terms of the result, even though the PSG preponderance was oppressive with 72 percent ball possession and 10:4 corners. BVB made life difficult for themselves, especially by losing the ball unnecessarily quickly. In return, Mats Hummels and Co. kept the spaces tight, so that the PSG offensive only had a few clear chances to score. Dortmund were lucky in the 19th minute when the Portuguese Vitinha hit the post. The hosts had a lot going on with Dembélé, who had once left BVB for Barcelona.
On the offensive, however, little went together for Dortmund. In the few transition situations, the Black and Yellows acted too imprecisely - apart from an unplaced shot from Donyell Malen (14th). What made matters worse for Dortmund was that Marcel Sabitzer was injured early after a sprint and had to leave the field to replace Felix Nmecha.
Dortmund's defensive tactics weren't enough, as Mbappé coldly converted the penalty and scored his eighth goal of the season. The Bundesliga team had to open up something and was caught cold. Hakimi followed up with a one-two with Vitinha.
Terzic reacted, bringing national striker Füllkrug, veteran Marco Reus and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens into the game – but without resounding success. Bynoe-Gittens still hit the outside post (79'). As with the round of 16 exit against PSG in March 2020, BVB was left behind.
After the successful start to the Champions League, the RB Leipzig players high-fived each other with relief. Because after the 3:1 (1:1) win at Young Boys Bern on the artificial turf in the Wankdorf Stadium, they knew full well that this success was a lot of hard work. Mohamed Simakan (3rd minute), Xaver Schlager (73rd) and Benjamin Sesko (90th) scored the goals for the Bundesliga club, which had initially mysteriously declined after a strong initial phase. Meschack Elia (33') took advantage of this weak phase to equalize for the hosts.
"We started with a lot of energy, we really wanted to win. Then the energy was lost a bit," said Leipzig's new signing Xavi Simons on the sports broadcaster DAZN. But the host didn't achieve anything more in front of 31,500 loud spectators. Thanks to the win, Leipzig is now not under as much pressure on the second matchday against defending champions Manchester City as if they had lost a point - although it was unusual on artificial turf. “It made it a little harder to get into the rhythm of the game. That was different,” said Simons.
The Leipzig team still got going as if they could hardly wait to finally compete in the premier class again. After just over 30 seconds, new signing Loïs Openda had the first good chance, but his shot went into the side netting. Just two minutes later, after a corner from David Raum, Simakan headed the ball into the near corner. Bern's goalkeeper Anthony Racioppi looked anything but good.
So everything actually went according to plan for the guests. Actually - because after the clear playful dominance at the start of the game, the Leipzig team suddenly stopped. Instead of continuing to combine quickly forward, almost only long balls followed. All precision was lost when switching. Rose noticed this on the sidelines and complained loudly about his team's bad passes. But it didn't help. Elia scored with a pike into the far corner for the ever-improving Swiss.
Due to RB's mysterious break-in, the stadium also became increasingly loud. Former Bundesliga professional Raphael Wicky led Bern to championship and cup victory last summer - the spectators were correspondingly enthusiastic about the club's third participation in the group phase of the Champions League. In this phase, the game was played almost exclusively in half of the increasingly passive Leipzig team.
Why RB dismantled in such a way was probably a mystery, and not just to Rose. Even after the break, there was hardly anything from his team at first. The only hope for a turnaround was a controversial scene in the hosts' penalty area. A few minutes after the break, Xavi Simons fell after a challenge with Racioppi, but the referee initially decided to continue play. Then he looked at the scene on the screen: Because Xavi had actively sought contact with the goalkeeper's foot, there was no penalty.
Nevertheless, the Bundesliga team got back into the game better afterwards. After another strong cross from Raum, Openda only had to head it into the goal from close range - but it was missed by Racioppi. Shortly afterwards, substitute Benjamin Sesko (67th) scored with a header after another pass from space - but he was just offside. Leipzig now got back into the game better and better, also because Bern was apparently running out of breath. Schlager took advantage of the Swiss' increasing passivity and shot into the far corner from a good 18 meters.
Leipzig now dominated the game, which at least helped Timo Werner make a short appearance. The out-of-form national striker came into the game for Openda in the 88th minute. Shortly afterwards, Sesko made the final score.