Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Slavia Prague: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Die Borussen Progress
Tue, 10 Dec 2019 22:27

Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Slavia Prague: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Die Borussen Progress

Tue, 10 Dec 2019 22:27

Borussia Dortmund sneaked through to the Champions League knockout stages at Inters expense, defeating Slavia Prague 2-1 at Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday evening.

Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Slavia Prague: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Die Borussen Progress

Jadon Sancho gave Dortmund the lead on just ten minutes, slotting home Marco Reus cross after the captain collected Julian Brandts defence-splitting pass. The England internationals sixth goal is his last five games, and came just minutes after Roman Burki brilliantly saved Peter Olayinkas header with his feet.
Falling behind failed to dampen Slavias spirits, and they continued to create before levelling on the brink of half time. A quick passing move caught the Dortmund back three out of shape and allowed Tomas Soucek to slot home Milan Skodas through ball. 
An equaliser for their Group F rivals Inter at almost the exact same moment meant that Dortmund were facing a Champions League exit as the referees whistle blew to call a pause to proceedings.
As things stand at the break, Inter Milan will be going through with BarcelonaDortmund need to better Inters result but with both sides being held at the break, everything is left to play for! pic.twitter.com/lsuqosfpFQ

— 90min (@90min_Football) December 10, 2019
Lucien Favres side were back in the driving seat on the hour, Sancho picking out Brandts run towards the near post to turn provider. The German midfielder smashed beyond Ondrej Kolar to make it 2-1 and the qualification pendulum swung back in Dortmunds favour. 
Slavia should have restored parity again, and wasted three glorious opportunities in the space of a minute. Mats Hummels cleared off the line and Burki made another fine stop, before Ondrej Kudela headed wide of an open goal. It was kamikaze defending as Dortmund nerves appeared to be shredded.
Julian Weigls poor challenge on Tomas Soucek resulted in his second yellow card, leaving his already-panicked side with just ten men to hold onto their slim lead – but news of Barcelonas late winner at San Siro sent a large roar around the stadium and saw the home side through to the knockout stages.  
Borussia Dortmund

Key Talking Point
On a night where they had to better Inters point return, Dortmund needed to play on the front foot from the start. Lucien Favre obliged and once again deployed the 3-4-3 formation which put five past Fortuna Dusseldorf at the weekend. If it wasnt for Marco Reus wastefulness in front of goal, it could have been 3-0 inside 25 minutes.
However, this approach (and wastefulness) left the back door open to Slavia - who have been a tough nut to crack in Group F and better than their pre-match tally of two points would suggest. Roman Burki denied the Czech champions twice before they equalised, and they found creating space and chances far easier than they should have.
Never mind. Watching Dortmund vs Slavia Prague so I can tweet about Favre being inept

— Aidan (@AMc88_) December 10, 2019
Nah gimme Dortmund, they cant defend at all 

—  (@JordanTBY) December 10, 2019
Favres inability to react and commitment to a gung-ho style of play will certainly have worried ​Dortmund fans in the second half. With their hopes of a qualification hanging by a thread, Die Borussen continued to offer room behind their back three and space for Slavia to attack in the wide areas. 
Burkis heroics and Barcelonas victory ensured their passage beyond the group stage, but Favre will have to rely on tactical improvement rather than luck if they are to progress further. 
Player Ratings
Starting XI: Bürki (8); Akanji (6), Hummels (7), Zagadou (6); Hakimi (6), Weigl (5), Brandt (7), Guerreiro (6); T Hazard (7), Sancho (8*); Reus (7)
Substitutes: Balerdia (5), Piszczek (5), Dahoud (5)

Still just 19 years old, Jadon Sancho was one of the coolest Dortmund players on a high-pressure evening and showed precisely none of the strain as he drove his sides bid for qualification. With a goal and an assist in a game of the highest stakes, Sancho has truly put his recent off-field problems behind him.
The clock had barely ticked over to three minutes before Sancho made his first driving run at the Slavia defence, cutting onto his right foot and winning a corner. It only took a further seven for the winger to demonstrate his composure, calmly slotting home to put Dortmund ahead. 
Sancho’s movement must be so good because I swear he always finds himself in position to score the easiest goals.

— Jaime (@atJamieHolland) December 10, 2019
Sancho 19 years old goal and assist in a win or go home game 

— Bev (@tsands813) December 10, 2019
Jadon Sanchos last five games across all competitions:⚽️️ vs. Paderborn⚽️ vs. Barcelona⚽️ vs. Hertha⚽️⚽️️ vs. Fortuna⚽️️ vs. Slavia PrahaScored *and* assisted in three of them.  pic.twitter.com/dGP4RYjkAe

— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 10, 2019
If it wasnt for Marco Reus lacklustre finishing, Sancho would have claimed an assist long before he set Brandt away with a perfectly timed and weighted ball. It was his excellent movement and change of pace that gave him the time and space to pick out his colleague as Dortmund took the lead.
To say the game opened up in the final 20 minutes would be a monumental understatement, but it gave Sancho a chance to demonstrate both his pace and trickery as he tried to latch onto a number of balls over the top. 
Slavia Prague

Player Ratings​

Starting XI: Kolar (7); Coufal (6), Kudela (6), Takacs (5), Boril (6); Sevcik (6), Soucek (6); Masopust (6), Stanciu (7), Olayinka (7), Skoda (6)
Substitutes: Helal Abdulrahim (5), Traore (5), Husbauer (5)

Looking Ahead
Dortmund face Mainz when ​Bundesliga action resumes at the weekend, before welcoming title rivals RB Leipzig to Signal Iduna Park.
Czech league leaders Slavia will be hopeful of extending their 14 point lead when seventh-placed SK Dynamo visit the Sinobo Stadium on Sunday.