Achraf Hakimi-inspired Borussia Dortmund pull off remarkable comeback to beat Inter Milan
Achraf Hakimi scored two second-half goals as Borussia Dortmund produced a stirring comeback from 2-0 down to beat Inter Milan 3-2 and move back up to second in UEFA Champions League Group F.
Borussia Dortmund 3-2 Inter Milan
Goals: 0-1 Martinez (5'), 0-2 Vecino (40'), 1-2 Hakimi (51'), 2-2 Brandt (64'), 3-2 Hakimi (77')
Dortmund lost 2-0 in Milan a fortnight ago, and suffered an early set back in front of their own fans as Lautaro Martinez fired Inter into a fifth-minute lead. Mario Götze tested Samir Handanovic with Dortmund’s first real opening, before Inter top scorer Romelu Lukaku had a goal ruled out for offside midway through a pulsating first half. Handanovic thwarted a long-range effort from Thorgan Hazard as BVB attempted to turn their superior possession count into an equalising goal, only for Inter to strike on the counter through Matias Vecino and leave Lucien Favre’s men - shorn of the services of injured captain and resident talisman Marco Reus - with a mountain to climb going into the second half.
Dortmund rose to the challenge, though, and the ascent of Mount Comeback Almighty was well and truly on as Hakimi finished a fine team move involving Julian Brandt and Götze soon after the restart. The introduction of Paco Alcacer gave an already dominant BVB added impetus, with the Spain striker using his first touch to dispossess a mint-green shirt and slip in Brandt to level with a fine finish from a tight angle. Hakimi and Jadon Sancho had caused Inter problems all night down the right-hand side, and the duo combined in devastating fashion in the 77th minute. A quick one-two opened up a shooting opportunity for Hakimi, who made no mistake with the finish on a famous night at the Signal Iduna Park. The win takes Dortmund onto seven points, three clear of third-placed Inter and one behind Barcelona at the Group F summit with two rounds of fixtures remaining.
- Dortmund had gone three Champions League games at the Signal Iduna Park without a goal until Hakimi's opener.
- Hakimi has now scored four of Dortmund's five UCL goals this season, from braces against Slavia Prague and Inter.
- Brandt scored his fourth competitive goal since joining Dortmund in the summer.
- Dortmund’s last home game against an Italian club was in the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League round of 32 (Atalanta). BVB won 3-2.
- Favre’s men kept three clean sheets at home in last season’s group stage, beating Monaco 3-0 and Atletico Madrid 4-0 before drawing 0-0 with Club Brugge. They conceded the fewest goals in the group stage (two) and kept the most clean sheets (five).
- Inter are without a win on their last four trips to Germany (D1, L3); a 3-2 victory at Bayern Munich in March 2011 is their only victory in their last eight games away to Bundesliga clubs (D3, L4).
Dortmund: Bürki – Hakimi, Akanji, Hummels (c), Schulz – Witsel, Weigl – Sancho (Piszczek 82'), Brandt, Hazard (Guerreiro 88') - Götze (Alcacer 61')
Unused subs: Oelschlägel, Dahoud, Zagadou, Delaney
Out: Hitz (back), Reus (foot), Schmelzer (groin)
Coach: Lucien Favre
Inter: Handanovic (c) - Godin, De Vrij, Skriniar - Candreva, Vecino (Sensi 68'), Brozovic, Barella, Biraghi (Lazaro 65') - Lukaku (Polatino 73'), Martinez
Unused subs: Padelli, Borja Valero, Esposito, Bastoni
Out: Alexis (ankle), D'Ambrosio (broken toe), Gagliardini (muscular)
Coach: Antonio Conte
As it happened!
Dortmund 3-2 Inter
Goals: 0-1 Martinez (5'), 0-2 Vecino (40'), 1-2 Hakimi (51'), 2-2 Brandt (64'), 3-2 Hakimi (77')
Dortmund: Bürki – Hakimi, Akanji, Hummels (c), Schulz – Witsel, Weigl – Sancho (Piszczek 82'), Brandt, Hazard (Guerreiro 88') - Götze (Alcacer 64')
Inter: Handanovic (c) - Godin, De Vrij, Skriniar - Candreva, Vecino (Sensi 68'), Brozovic, Barella, Biraghi (Lazaro 66') - Lukaku (Polatino 73'), Martinez
WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE US?
Dortmund now have a grip on second-place and are just a point off of Barcelona in top-spot. Inter are three back from Dortmund with two games to play. Qualification to the next round is in Dortmund's hands now.
Well, what a match that was. Trailing 2-0 at half-time, Dortmund came out looking like a side possessed in the second period as they romped to a 3-2 win that will live long in the memory. Achraf Hakimi first pulled one back before Julian Brandt's leveller and the 21-year-old Moroccan full-back sealed all three points when Hakimi slotted home the third from Sancho's pass. Just incredible.
90+4' FULL-TIME: DORTMUND 3-2 INTER
What a result, what a performance.
90+1' FAVRE'S ON THE PITCH
Favre is so animated on the sidelines and he ventures slightly onto the pitch, so invested in this game as he barks orders at his players. He's living every second of this.
90+1' FOUR MINUTES ADDED ON
We're into stoppage time.
88' GUERREIRO FOR HAZARD
Dortmund make their final change of the game.
85' FINAL FIVE
Just five minutes left now for Dortmund to hold on and secure a memorable victory. Can they do it?
80' INJURY CONCERNS
Sancho is coming off with what looks like a hamstring problem and is replaced by Pizszcek. Hopefully that's just a precaution and not a long-term issue. Meanwhile, Polatino for Inter is really struggling. They've used all their subs so they need him to run it off.
77' GOAL! HAKIMI!
Sensational. We said earlier in the night that Hakimi and Sancho were causing all sorts of problems and they combine to put Dortmund in front. A one-two on the edge of the box allows Hakimi to slide the ball past Handanovic. This second half performance has been incredible from Dortmund.
68' NO RESPITE
Dortmund are smothering Inter now. Camped in the Italians' half, winning every ball that is cleared and putting relentless pressure on the visitors. Only one side looks like going on to win this at the moment and it's Dortmund.
64' GOAL! BRANDT!
What. A. Turnaround. Alcacer replaces Götze, runs onto the pitch, nicks the ball off Inter from a throw-in with his first touch and Brandt is free to slot home from the tightest of angles. This has been superb from Dortmund in this second half and they deserve to be level.
60' DROUGHT OVER
Prior to that goal, Dortmund had gone three Champions League games at the Signal Iduna Park without scoring.
55' DORTMUND'S UCL TALISMAN
Hakimi has now scored all three of Dortmund's Champions League goals this season after his brace in Prague and this effort tonight. Dortmund have penned Inter in so far in this second half and have the Serie A side on the ropes.
51' GOAL! HAKIMI!
A wonderful goal brings Dortmund back into this game. They win the ball back and recycle it beautifully. Brandt collects on his chest, moves inside and it's worked to Götze who pulls it back to the onrushing Hakimi to scuff home from close range. Just the start Dortmund needed. Game on.
50' FAVRE'S ATTACKING OPTIONS
Just taking a look at the Dortmund bench, there is an obvious replacement as they go in search of goals and it's Alcacer. The Spaniard is clearly not being rushed back from injury but Favre may need him sooner rather than later. Guerreiro and Piszczek offer options out wide, while Delaney and Dahoud could make a difference in midfield.
46' KICK-OFF: SECOND HALF
Dortmund have a lot of work on their hands if they're to salvage something from this game. Can they get anything from it? We're about to find out.
45+1' HALF-TIME: DORTMUND 0-2 INTER
Dortmund have by no means been bad but they find themselves 2-0 down at the break to a ruthless Inter side that look frightening in attack. For the hosts, they've had nearly all the ball but just kind find a final pass and have so often misplaced crucial ones. Sancho came close to pulling one back in added time, drawing a fine save from Handanovic and other than Götze's attempt earlier in the half, that's the closest they've come to scoring.
40' GOAL! VECINO!
Where Dortmund have lacked incision, Inter certainly haven't. They move the ball forward at rapid pace, Martinez picking out Candreva who lays it back to Vecino to stroke past Bürki. Dortmund up against it now.
35' HAZARD FORCES A SAVE
A lovely strike from Hazard - who scored his first Bundesliga goal for Dortmund at the weekend - forces Handanovic into the save from range. The Belgian had pounced on a poor pass out of Inter's defence, BVB's pressing earning some change out of the Italians and forcing them into a mistake. Dortmund just lacking some incision at the minute but, otherwise, they've been entirely on top since that Inter opener.
30' ANOTHER FOUL ON HAKIMI, ANOTHER BOOKING
My word, Hakimi is quick. He has Skriniar on toast and the Inter centre-back goes into the book as he brings down the Moroccan. Dortmund have been the better team in this first half hour but they trail after conceding that early Martinez goal.
23' OFF THE POST...
But offside! Lukaku strikes the upright but he's an absolute mile offside so it wouldn't have counted even if the Belgian had hit the back of the net. Hakimi was caught very high up the pitch there. He'll have to balance his attacking forays with his defensive responsibilities the longer Dortmund chase the game.
18' GÖTZE GOES CLOSE
And there's that opportunity carved out via the right flank. Hakimi pushes high up the pitch, finds space and then Götze but the Germany international's strike is saved by Handanovic. Dortmund are well on top here.
16' PROGRESS ON THE RIGHT
Sancho and Hakimi look a real menace on the Dortmund right and have good reason to attack the booked Biraghi. Those two could be a valuable outlet as Dortmund go in search of an equaliser.
11' A LOOK ELSEWHERE
It's just worth noting that Barcelona were held 0-0 at home to Slavia Prague in Group F's early kick-off. It means there's all to play for in Dortmund where the winner will move within a point of leaders Barca and give themselves a three point lead over the loser.
8' CAN DORTMUND RESPOND?
Despite that early shock to the system, Dortmund haven't started badly at all. They've settled into proceedings and have had the majority of the ball. Plenty of time still remaining in this game so there's certainly no need to panic.
5' GOAL! MARTINEZ!
This is not the start Dortmund had hoped for. Martinez holds off Akanji and then Hummels before applying a superb finish and the Italians are 1-0 up. A very well taken goal and a far from ideal start for BVB.
1' BIRAGHI BOOKED
Up against the pace of Hakimi and Sancho, the one thing you do not want is to get an early booking and the Inter full-back receives yellow without even touching the ball and less than a minute in. It could be a long night for him.
We are underway at the Signal Iduna Park where, as you can imagine, the Yellow Wall has just put on a stunning choreo to greet the players. Goose. Bumps.
INTER: FORM CHECK
Like Dortmund, Inter are second in their domestic league. Antonio Conte's men have won nine of their 11 Serie A matches, scoring 24 goals and conceding 11, and are unbeaten in five matches since a 2-1 defeat to leaders Juventus. They could only draw with Slavia Prague in Champions League Group F, though, and lost 2-1 to Barcelona. Dortmund took four points in their first meetings with the same opposition...
HUMMELS THE LEADER OF THE PACK
Just as he did in Milan, Mats Hummels takes over the captain's armband in the absence of Marco Reus. The 30-year-old has been in imperious form since returning to the club following a three-season stint at Bayern, missing only three of BVB's 16 competitive matches (all through injury). Imagine the headlines if Dortmund better Bayern in 2019/20...
ROTATION, ROTATION, ROTATION
Dortmund coach Lucien Favre rang the changes against Wolfsburg following last week's DFB Cup second-round win over Borussia Mönchengladbach. With the small matter of a trip to Bayern Munich to think about on Saturday, the Swiss tactician says he does not want to risk any of his players burning out.
"It won't work without rotation when we play three times a week," Favre explained. "Not many players are able to give 100 percent in three successive matches. It's good we can rotate. It has worked very well to date, and we'll continue to do so.
BVB captain Marco Reus took a knock to his foot in the 3-0 win over Wolfsburg at the weekend. He doesn't feature, so Lucien Favre hands Mario Götze only his fourth start of the season and first in the Champions League. Lukasz Piszczek, Raphael Guerreiro and Mahmoud Dahoud also drop out, with Nico Schulz, Axel Witsel and Jadon Sancho returning to the starting line-up. Roman Bürki returns between the posts, with Marwin Hitz absent due to a back complaint.
Another big night lies in wait for Dortmund. They've take four points from their first three matches in Champions League Group F, but will climb back above Inter into second if they can avenge their 2-0 loss in Milan a fortnight ago.
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