Borussia Dortmund have ended the group stages with a draw. BVB played out a 1-1 stalemate away to FC Copenhagen on Matchday 6 of the UEFA Champions League.
Boris Rupert reporting from Copenhagen
The 31,900 spectators at a not entirely sold-out “Parken” – including 1,600 supporters from Dortmund – witnessed an intense match in which Hazard fired BVB in front with their first goalscoring opportunity (23) and Haraldsson levelled at 1-1 four minutes before half-time. Borussia played significantly better in the second period but could not find a winner.
BVB were confirmed as group runners-up prior to kick-off, while Copenhagen were condemned to bottom spot. The Danish champions had drawn both of their previous home games against Sevilla and Manchester City 0-0. Borussia had won the reverse fixture 3-0. There was therefore little more than prestige – and €2.8 million for the winner – at stake…
Reus and Guerreiro (both training in Dortmund), Wolf (examinations) and Rothe (knee) missed out, as did the long-term injury absentees Bynoe-Gittens, Dahoud (both shoulder operation), Haller (tumour), Meunier (fractured cheekbone) and Morey (knee operation). That meant only 16 outfield players, including youngsters Coulibaly and Padadopoulos, were available. Süle, Bellingham, Brandt and Moukoko, who had started the Frankfurt game, were replaced in the line-up by Passlack, Can, Reyna and Modeste.
Copenhagen took to the field in a 4-3-3 system and at times dropped deep, deploying an aggressive defensive press in their own half which they mixed up with a high press in spells. Denmark’s champions always looked cohesive, defending in a focused and consistent manner. BVB lined up with two forwards (Malen alongside Modeste) in a 4-4-2 formation with Can and Özcan the holding midfield duo. While Adeyemi stayed out on the right flank, left winger Reyna frequently cut into the centre. During build-up play, full-backs Passlack and Hazard pushed high up the pitch and Can dropped back between the two central defenders.
The match & analysis:
The opening 10 minutes were dictated by the Black & Yellows, but the first chances were created by their opponents. Daramy first broke through down the left flank and crossed the ball into the middle, where Bardghji’s header from a distance of six metres drew a flying save from Kobel, who managed to fish the ball away from the right corner (10). Lerager fired at shot at goal on the turn two minutes later, but Kobel was again on hand to make the save (12).
The Black & Yellows were in the ascendancy (58% possession in the opening half), but they could not break through in the final third and too often played the ball to their opponents. The exception was Passlack’s cross in the 23rd minute. Modeste failed to latch onto it on the edge of the six-yard box but it ran through to Hazard, who had time and space to unleash a powerful shot into the net to make it 1-0. Claesson’s attempt from close range six minutes later was again kept out by Kobel. But with four minutes to go until half-time, FCK scored their first goal in the competition this season. Claesson had too much space on the left and squared for the onrushing Haraldsson, who left Kobel no chance with his shot from seven metres. Given the shot count of 12-3, the half-time scoreline of 1-1 was rather fortuitous for BVB, who made two changes at the break: Meyer and Süle replaced Kobel and Hummels.
Borussia Dortmund looked much more purposeful after the restart and showed a different side to themselves in the second half. Adeyemi’s deflected shot first sailed narrowly wide (51); then the pacey forward drove into the box from the right and passed towards Malen, who went for goal with Modeste in a better position and missed (53). Just after the hour mark, Brandt and Moukoko came off the bench to replace Reyna and Özcan. The duo had barely been on the pitch 60 seconds when Moukoko struck the post after being teed up by Brandt (64). BVB had the game under control until the closing stages, were dominant and narrowly missed the chance to go ahead in the 69th minute when Adeyemi headed just wide from a corner-kick. There was a Copenhagen resurgence towards the end, but they could not make it 2-1 either.
The draw for the round of 16 will take place this coming Monday. There are still three Bundesliga matches to go before the World Cup break – at home against Bochum on Saturday, away to Wolfsburg on Tuesday, then away to Mönchengladbach next Friday.
Teams & goals
UEFA Champions League Matchday 6
FC COPENHAGEN 1-1 (1-1) BORUSSIA DORTMUND
FC Copenhagen: Grabara – Diks (Jelert, 79), Vavro, Lund Jensen, Sörensen (Kristiansen, 58) – Clem – Lerager, Claesson (Falk, 70) – Bardghji (Johannesson, 70), Haraldsson, Daramy (Oskarsson, 79)
Bor. Dortmund: Kobel (Meyer, 46) – Passlack, Hummels (Süle, 46), Schlotterbeck, Hazard (Coulibaly, 73) – Can, Özcan (Moukoko, 63) – Adeyemi, Reyna (Brandt, 63) – Malen, Modeste
Substitutes: Johnsson, Ryan; Mukairu, Ankersen, Karamoko, Stamenic – Unbehaun; Bellingham, Papadopoulos
Goals: 0-1 Hazard (Passlack, 23), 1-1 Haraldsson (Claesson, 41)
Corners: 3-6 (1-1 at half-time), chance ratio: 5-5 (4-1)
Referee: Aghayev (Azerbaijan), yellow cards: Vavro – Modeste, Can
Attendance: 31,900, weather: dry and windy, 10 degrees