Jadon Sancho got a goal and an assist for Julian Brandt as Borussia Dortmund beat Slavia Prague to earn a place in the UEFA Champions League knockout stage at the expense of Inter Milan.
Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Slavia Prague
Goals: 1-0 Sancho (10'), 1-1 Soucek (43'), 2-1 Brandt (61')
Red card: Weigl (77')
Having scored in each of his last four competitive matches, it took Sancho just 10 minutes to extend that run to five games when he was handed the simplest of tap-ins by Marco Reus following a sublime defence-splitting pass from Brandt into the path of the BVB captain. Reus then had two chances he would’ve felt were there for the taking, but on both occasions he was denied one-on-one by Slavia goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar. Roman Bürki pulled off a remarkable reaction save to prevent a deflected Lukas Masopust effort from flying in. However, he was powerless when the equaliser did come just moments before half-time as Tomas Soucek swept home. The goal was made worse with news that Inter had also drawn level at the same time, with Dortmund needing to better the Italians' result.
Lucien Favre’s side came out with plenty of intention in the knowledge that they likely had to score again. Brandt saw a curling effort skim the top of the crossbar before he was fed by Sancho to the left of goal and he slotted his shot between goalkeeper and post to restore Dortmund’s lead – and position in second place. Despite Slavia having nothing to play for, they kept pushing themselves and Bürki was forced into a number of other notable stops to maintain BVB’s advantage, which was made even harder with the dismissal of Julian Weigl for a second yellow card with around 15 minutes remaining. Dortmund, though, hung on, while Inter were beaten 2-1 to ensure that last season’s Bundesliga runners-up will be in the pot for the last-16 draw on Monday.
- Sancho has now got six goals and three assists in his last five competitive club matches.
- Brandt two goals and three assists to his name in Europe this season.
- BVB are unbeaten in their last 10 matches against Czech clubs, stretching back to a 3-1 home loss to Slavia's former cross-town rivals Dukla back in 1964. Dortmund still progressed to that season's European Cup's semi-finals with a 5-3 aggregate win.
- Dortmund were Champions League winners in 1997, and runners-up to Bayern Munich in 2013.
- The Black-Yellows have now reached the Champions League knockout stage six times in the past eight seasons.
- Three Czechs - Tomas Rosicky, Jan Koller and Patrik Berger - have played for Dortmund. Berger won the Bundesliga with BVB in 1996 after joining from Slavia the previous summer.
Dortmund: Bürki - Akanji, Hummels, Zagadou - Hakimi (Balerdi 83'), Brandt, Weigl, Guerreiro - Sancho (Dahoud 87'), Reus (c), Hazard (Piszczek 82')
Unused subs: Hitz, Alcacer, Götze, Schulz
Out: Bruun Larsen (knee), Delaney (ankle), Schmelzer (calf), Witsel (face)
Coach: Lucien Favre
Slavia: Kolar - Coufal, Kudela, Takacs (Husbauer 83'), Boril – Soucek, Sevcick – Masopust (Traore 72'), Stanciu, Olayinka – Skoda (c) (Yusuf Helal 65')
Unused subs: Kovar, Van Buren, Provod, Frydrych
Out: Hovorka (cruciate ligament)
Coach: Jindrich Trpisovsky
Watch: Sancho's Bundesliga Mixtape
AS IT HAPPENED!
FULL-TIME! DORTMUND 2-1 SLAVIA
BVB are through to the last 16 of the Champions League!
87' DORTMUND 2-1 SLAVIA
Yusuf Helal goes for the outrageous with an overhead kick but misses the target. However, that isn't the reason for the large cheer around the Signal Iduna Park. That's because Barcelona have just scored again in Milan, who now need two goals in three minutes to stop Dortmund going through.
81' DORTMUND 2-1 SLAVIA
Perhaps the chance to wrap this game up as Sancho runs at a stretched Slavia defence, twists this way and that before having to lay off to Hazard, whose low effort is saved by Kolar.
AS IT STANDS WITH 10 MINUTES TO GO
1) Barcelona - 12 points
2) Dortmund - 10 points
3) Inter - 8 points
4) Slavia - 2 points
78' DORTMUND 2-1 SLAVIA
Another top stop from Bürki, this time to deny Yusuf Helal's close-range header from the ensuing free-kick.
77' DORTMUND 2-1 SLAVIA - Red card for Weigl
Things just got a little harder for Dortmund as Weigl receives his second yellow of the evening after a foul on Soucek and is sent off with around 15 minutes remaining.
76' DORTMUND 2-1 SLAVIA
Julian Weigl doesn't score many but he forces Kolar into a smart save on the stretch to his left here.
73' DORTMUND 2-1 SLAVIA
Dortmund are riding their luck right now... First Coufal opts to cross instead of shoot when free in front of Bürki, but the ball comes back out and the Swiss stopper has to make a good diving save to his right from Stanciu. And at the ensuing corner Kudela somehow misses the ball while completely unmarked at the far post. And breathe.
61' GOAL! DORTMUND 2-1 SLAVIA - Brandt!
Borussia have their lead again! A perfectly weight pass from Sancho on the left into the box and the path of Brandt, and the Germany international coolly slots it between Kolar and his near post. With Inter still level against Barcelona, BVB will be going through as it stands.
58' DORTMUND 1-1 SLAVIA
Raphael Guerreiro tries his luck with a curling left-footed effort from the edge of the box, but Kolar is down and can hold.
55' DORTMUND 1-1 SLAVIA
BVB are knocking again as Sancho looks to square to Reus and return the favour for the opening goal, but the ball is cut out just before the Borussia skipper can strike it.
52' DORTMUND 1-1 SLAVIA
So close from Brandt as he breaks forward from his deep-lying position to offer for Hazard's pull-back to the edge of the box, but his curling effort goes just inches over the crossbar.
KICK-OFF! DORTMUND 1-1 SLAVIA
We're back underway for the second 45 minutes in Dortmund.
HALF-TIME! DORTMUND 1-1 SLAVIA
A late setback for Dortmund just turned into a double whammy with news that Inter have equalised against Barcelona. It means we're back to where we started 45 minutes ago, with the Italians ahead of BVB on head-to-head.
43' GOAL! DORTMUND 1-1 SLAVIA - Soucek
Well that wasn't in the plan. Slavia manage to get in behind the Dortmund defence with a couple of quick, sweeping passes before top scorer Tomas Soucek puts it away. A check from VAR for offside confirms the goal stands.
34' DORTMUND 1-0 SLAVIA
Roman Bürki take a bow! What reactions from the Swiss goalkeeper as a free-kick is cut back to Lukas Masopust lurking on the edge of the box, but his first-time shot pops up off the leg of a Dortmund defender and almost catches out Bürki, who was moving down to his left to collect the shot. Instead he has to spring back up high to his right to tip the ball over the bar. Superb reactions.
33' DORTMUND 1-0 SLAVIA
Thorgan Hazard pops up to the right of the Prague box and fires a low driven effort towards the near post, but Kolar gets down to save.
AS IT STANDS
1) Barcelona - 12 points
2) Dortmund - 10 points
3) Inter - 8 points
4) Slavia - 2 points
29' DORTMUND 1-0 SLAVIA
Another scare for the hosts as Bürki spills a corner and Ladislav Takacs fires over from close range.
23' INTER 0-1 BARCELONA
Big news from Milan! Inter have fallen behind against Barcelona to add an extra layer of protection for Dortmund. Remember, if Inter lose then BVB only need to draw.
23' DORTMUND 1-0 SLAVIA
Another great chance for Reus as he wins back possession on the halfway line and only has Kolar ahead of him, but the Czech international stands his ground and denies the Dortmund captain again. Reus will feel he should have at least one goal already tonight.
21' DORTMUND 1-0 SLAVIA
Close to a response from the visitors as Nicolae Stanciu sweeps an effort across goal with his right foot, and it takes the slightest of touches from Bürki to divert it around the post.
15' DORTMUND 1-0 SLAVIA
Reus is in on goal again and has a chance to double the lead immediately, but he's denied by Ondrej Kolar in the Slavia net.
10' GOAL! DORTMUND 1-0 SLAVIA - SANCHO!
That will settle some Borussia nerves. The visiting defence is all at sea as Julian Brandt pierces the back line with a through ball to Reus, who has the freedom of the penalty area to square it for Sancho to tap in for his second Champions League goal of the season and stretch his scoring run to six games in all competitions. As it stands, Dortmund are going through...
8' DORTMUND 0-0 SLAVIA
Well done Roman Bürki! Slavia manage the first real big chance with Peter Olayinka getting his head to a cross from the right, but the Dortmund goalkeeper holds his ground and makes a smart save with his right foot from just a few yards out.
5' DORTMUND 0-0 SLAVIA
The visitors fail to properly clear the corner and it comes back with Reus in behind on the left, but Hummels is unable to turn it towards goal at the near post.
4' DORTMUND 0-0 SLAVIA
A first sight of Sancho as he runs at the Czech defence at full speed, coming inside onto his stronger right foot but he has his shot blocked for a corner.
We're underway at the Signal Iduna Park for this final game of Champions League Group F.
DO AS THE YOUNGSTERS DO
Dortmund's U19s have already been in action against Slavia this evening in the UEFA Youth League, winning 5-1 thanks to two goals from Gio Reyna and a hat-trick from 15-year-old Youssoufa Moukoko to send BVB through to the knockout stage alongside Inter, ahead of Prague and Barcelona.
WATCH OUT DOWN THE RIGHT
Dortmund have deployed some real firepower down their right flank tonight. England international Sancho has scored in each of his last five competitive matches, including the last Champions League game in Barcelona and two here at the weekend against Düsseldorf. Behind him is Achraf Hakimi, who is BVB's top scorer in the competition this season with four goals, including a brace in Prague against today's opposition.
FAVRE: DON'T WRITE OFF PRAGUE
"There's been lots of talk about Barca, lots of talk about Inter, but no-one has talked about Slavia. They're a very good side. They drew 0-0 in Barcelona and 1-1 in Milan. They can run all day long - 132 kilometres in a single match is almost a world record. They're really strong in the tackle and like to press high up the park. It will be a very interesting match," Lucien Favre said. "Anything can happen," in the battle for second place with Inter, but first "we have to do all we can to get a win. We have to concentrate on our game. Then we can start thinking about what's going on in Milan."
BVB need a result tonight against the Czech champions to have a chance of progressing to the last 16, but their fate is not entirely in their own hands.
Die Schwarzgelben have to better the Italians’ result at home to Barcelona, who have fielded a much-changed side in Milan, if they are to advance as Inter are ahead of Dortmund in the table on the head-to-head record (4-3 on aggregate).
Should Antonio Conte’s side beat the Spanish champions, draw and Dortmund fail to win, or both Inter and Borussia lose, then BVB will continue their European adventure in 2020 in the Europa League.
"It's not in our own hands," said Raphael Guerreiro. "I'm sure we have to win, so that's what we have to do first before looking at the other result."
HOW THINGS STAND IN GROUP F
Barcelona – 11 points
Inter – 7 points
Dortmund – 7 points
Slavia – 2 points
Lucien Favre sticks with the 3-4-3 formation that served Dortmund so well on Saturday as they beat Fortuna Düsseldorf 5-0. He does, though, make two changes with the Champions League finalist Mats Hummels returning at the heart of defence and Julian Weigl replacing Axel Witsel in midfield, with the Belgian out until the new year after sustaining a facial injury at home.