Borussia Dortmund played its last group game of the UEFA Champions League away to Real Madrid on Wednesday. With both teams already assured of advancing to the Round of 16, the only thing that was at stake, was who would win the group.
The black-and-yellows only needed a draw to accomplish this, and that was exactly what they got. They came back from two goals down in the second half, to earn a 2-2 result.
Karim Benzema opened the scoring with a simple finish from close range, just before the half-hour mark.
Early in the second half, the Frenchman doubled his and Real Madrid’s tally with a header from inside the six-yard box
At the hour mark, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finished off a quick Dortmund attack, to get his team back into the contest. Two minutes from time, Marco Reus scored the equalizer from a counterattack initiated by the speed of Aubameyang.
Augenblick: That final goal was the decisive moment in the match. It also had the class to decide a game that was played at an amazingly high level overall. Both Reus and Aubameyang put their speed and presence of mind on display. (The scene begins two minutes into the video.)
Man of the Match: Karim Benzema deserves the honor with his two goals, even though they were not enough to win his team the game and thus the group. This is an individual award in a team sport, sometimes making it contradictory.
Key Stats: The home team had the superior goal scoring chances for much of the game and yet, according to the website of the sports magazine “Kicker”, Borussia Dortmund had 54% of possession and even a slightly better passing completion percentage than their opponents.
That shows that the team which seems to play more attractively, cannot always prove it in terms of statistics, let alone on the scoreboard. On the other hand, many key statistics were quite even, explaining the outcome of the game.
Talking points: Borussia Dortmund did what it needed to do, in order to finish on top of the group. Real Madrid did not. We will find out what all of that means in the big picture after Monday’s Round of 16 draw.