Borussia Dortmund staged a staggering Champions League fightback to erase a 2-0 half-time deficit and beat Inter Milan 3-2 in Westphalia.
Downed 2-0 in Milan two weeks ago, the same result was on the cards again as the Italians stunned the home support with two fine first-half strikes.
Just as they’d done in Italy, Dortmund began strongly but fell behind to a bit of Lautaro Martinez brilliance – the Argentine latching on to a long ball and leaving Mats Hummels for dead out wide before drifting in and drilling a finish past Roman Burki.
He was the source of the second too, spraying a delightful ball out wide to Antonio Candreva, his expert centre swept home brilliantly by Matias Vecino.
Dortmund were in trouble but got themselves back in it soon after the restart when intricate play saw Achraf Hakimi fire in to make it 2-1. It was a scrappy finish but it didn’t matter and it came amidst a barrage of BVB pressure. It was 2-2 in a flash as Julian Brandt pounced on a mistake to fire a pinpoint finish past Samir Handanovic. And the electric Hakimi then fired in the winner when he played a neat one-two with Jadon Sancho.
Here’s how we rated the home players:
Roman Burki 7: Little he could for either goal. Little to do thereafter though as BVB flicked second half switch. He was calm and composed when coming for crosses.
Achraf Hakimi 9: Full throttle going forward and smart pass teed up Gotze, who should have scored. Did it himself after the break as he scuffed one back for the hosts. The winner, his second, was clinical. Stoppage time tracking back and tackle on Sensi was outstanding.
Mats Hummels 6: Left for dead by Martinez, once past he couldn’t touch him. Looked ragged but involved in build-up to reduce deficit.
Manuel Akanji 5: Caught out by long ball that sprung Martinez. Settled with calming Hummels alongside him. Still doesn’t convince though.
Nico Schulz 4: German international did precious little to either assist in defence or attack – much the same as in Italy. Accurate passing was one thing he offered.
Axel Witsel 6: Just wide with one first-half drive, then narrowly missed getting on end of Hazard’s devilish cross. Just off target with header from Brandt cross. Heartbeat of Dortmund’s comeback.
Julian Weigl 5: Sloppily sold a dummy for Martinez’s brilliant opener. Led team with four tackles.
Jadon Sancho 8: Dortmund’s dangerman in first half, busy and bright. Improvised shot brought a fine save from Handanovic. Then teed up Hakimi with a deft pass for 3-2.
Julian Brandt 7: Sharper at home, but still lacked incision with his final ball. But always offered a threat and in a flash he was on a defensive mistake to make it 2-2 with an expert finish.
Thorgan Hazard 7: Probed and prodded to little affect initially, but teed up Gotze smartly for Hakimi’s first. Witsel was inches away from meeting his teasing cross. A growing influence, he later fired wide.
Mario Gotze 6: Drew a smart stop from Handanovic but should perhaps have done better. Did so when squaring for Hakimi to pull one back. Worked himself to a standstill.
Paco Alcacer 7: Instant impact as he won possession from an Inter throw, Brandt buried the chance presented.
Lukasz Piszczek N/A: Brought on to offer veteran calmness.
Raphael Guerreiro N/A: Inserted into the action as hosts looked to hold on to lead but retain counter-attacking threat.
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