2-1 in Turin. Could have been better, could have been worse.
Jürgen Klopp did not go for his best eleven, but it was still good enough for an even match.
It was surprising to see Ciro Immobile and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the lineup, but the Dortmund coach had to make some alterations ahead of the derby on Saturday.
The first 10 minutes Juventus looked horribly dominant, but after that they fulfilled their Italian cliche and retracted to wait for counter attacks – which brilliantly worked just three minutes later. Two passes and the whole Dortmund midfield was overplayed. They simply pounced on BVB’s weak spot and one has to give Allegri credit for this strategy.
It’s very annoying that Dortmund conceded from a counter attack. Especially that Mats Hummels tried to cover the space instead of Tevez, who had a simple tap in, after Roman Weidenfeller spilled the ball.
Almost water under the bridge, when Georgio Chiellini gifted a maybe vital away goal with his unfortunate slip. Marco Reus did what Marco Reus does with a free shot on goal, leaving Gigi Buffon not a chance to equalize in the 18th minute.
“And then it was a really awesome game from us.” Jürgen Klopp noted on television after the match. It’s the period between the equalizer and Morata’s goal in the 43rd minute, when Die Schwarzgelben hassled bianconeri in their own stadium with a gripping pressing. They managed to be always one step ahead, destroyed Juve’s attacking attempts and looked to be the more dangerous side. Dortmund will hope to reproduce this kind of performance in the second leg of the game – if the do, they’ll have good chances to progress.
Though really not awesome was the injury of Lukasz Piszczek. It’s a pity to lose the right back just ahead of the derby. In the stadium of hidden fouls, Borussia Dortmund can count their lucky stars that it stayed at one bad injury. Cynical fouls by Paul Pogba and Aturo Vidal, who showed his nasty side Dortmund fans know form his Bundesliga days, were simply ignored by Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz. Vidal’s step on Immobile’s foot was cynical enough for a red card.
Either way, Jürgen Klopp was very unlucky to make rather early substitutions and break up his backline. Matthias Ginter and Oliver Kirch were band-aid rather than anything else. It made Dortmund’s defense even more unsettled at the back with yet another interference in a big match and was also the reason why BVB ran out of steam in the final third in the second half.
The second half in itself was rather uneventful, barring a few grade A minus chances for the home side. In the end Dortmund can call themselves lucky that they haven’t lost by a bigger margin and still have a fair chance to progress in the second leg. Now it’s time to nurse the bruises and hope Sokratis Papastathopoulos muscle injury isn’t too bad and that he will be available for the next games.
If Dortmund’s ascent in form continues to go as it currently does, they should look a lot sharper in the return leg, but until then a few straining games are coming up. It wasn’t the most glorious of Champions League nights, but it’s a result both sides can live with.