Dortmund managed to survive hot away ground in Lisboa. Crippled with injuries, German team won at Jose Alvalade, showing that even with a couple of teenagers they can play and perform excellently in the strongest football competition in the world. We saw some of the future stars and in couple years, we will be hearing about them a lot.
The home team was very motivated because they knew that this is their best chance to beat a favorite for second place, with the help of fans and the atmosphere they make, it was a perfect opportunity.
Quickly their planes were crushed, when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang , run into open space for the trough ball, on the right side of the box entering toward the goal, and cooly executed by lobing Rui Patricio.
The atmosphere at stadium cooled down. Next few minutes Borussia pressured Sporting and managed to impose their tempo. Pulisic, Dembele, Aubameyang, Gotze, all of them were playing well.
But slowly Sporting started to play, and at the 30th minute, they had a chance to turn this game in a totally different way. Elias got the ball in the box, he pushed away Sokrates, and when he only needed to put the ball beside Burki, he managed to take a shot right into Borussia goalkeeper. Excellent opportunity wasted. Aubameyang then had two chances, in one Rui Patricio reacted superbly, in other Dortmund forward made a run for it, through the defense, he passed, but he wasn’t precise enough.
But Borussia domination paid off. Two minutes before half-time, Julian Weigl made a really nice shot from some 22 meters from goal, putting the ball near right post into Sporting goal. Patricio only made this goal more beautiful, by trying to deny it. Pure beauty.
Nothing more happened in the first half in which Borussia was clearly a better team. Not the best performances of both teams, but fans saw two goals.
The second half began with Sporting playing more offensively, pushing the ball forward, and pressuring opponent in the midfield.
Right away chances came. First, at 47th minute Gelson made a shot outside the box, but Burke saves. Then Bass Dost had a good chance when Gelson Martins put the ball into the box, Dutch striker sends the ball near left post of the Burki goal.
And then goal came from a pretty awkward situation. Marc Bartra and Roman Burki probably had some misunderstanding. The defender was under pressure and he passed the ball to the Burki, who was already rushing to collect it, and he grabbed it. Immediately referee blew his whistle and gave Sporting indirect kick from some ten meters in the middle of the box. William Carvalho touched the ball and Bruno Cesar smashed the ball as much as he could and put it to goal. Hope for Sporting fans, the minute was 67th, and there was enough time for them to see their team unbeaten.
A couple of minutes later they could have seen that goal. Bas Dost outjumped Borussia defense and he heads the ball towards the left side of the goal, but it was a close shave. Then two injuries in 7 minutes, Bartra and Ginter had to go out, and Piszczek and Rode came in.
After that, Borussia had their chance after Pulisic collected the ball from the box and shot from some 25 meters from the left and hit the bar !
That could decide the match and it would be as pretty goal as Weigl.
Minutes later best player in Sporting Gelson Martinez had his chance to score, but his shot from inside the penalty area went beside the left post. No luck for this player today, as he was the best in the home team.
Then Joel Campbel went into the situation to score, but Burki cleared.
Sporting tried to score, but Borussia managed to defend themselves, although even the third substitution that Tomas Tuhel made as because of an injury when 18-year old Passlack had to go out.
Another teenager came in Dzenis Burnic. Well done for Borussia youth today, they were fighting like lions, and once again they have proved that the team from Dortmund is indeed one of the richest clubs in the world when we look how many talented players they have.
It would be unfair to name just one player from the winning team as the Man of the match, we already said that Dortmund youth was excellent, and we will stick by it.
They are still now in the first place of the group F, trailing Real Madrid, and we can say that they have almost secured one of first two places in this group. As for the Sporting they are third, but they have little chances to reach the second phase of the Champions League. They are in a good position for Europa League and they should turn their attention towards securing this place against Legia Warshaw.
Overall, it wasn’t some football beauty, but we saw an interesting game, and new faces, and as an objective observer we can be satisfied with what we saw at Jose Alvalade.