Borussia Dortmund will play in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 after the winter break following a 3-2 defeat to Real Madrid in their final Champions League group stage encounter on Wednesday evening.
Real Madrid 3-2 Borussia Dortmund
Goals: 1-0 Mayoral (8'), 2-0 Ronaldo (12'), 2-1 Aubameyang (43'), 2-2 Aubameyang (49'), 3-2 Vazquez (81')
Dortmund fans could have been forgiven for fearing the worst after Real Madrid raced into a 2-0 lead inside the opening quarter of an hour. Borja Mayoral, who was on loan at Wolfsburg last season, broke BVB's resistance with a neat chip before Cristiano Ronaldo doubled the hosts' advantage with an unstoppable drive from the edge of the area. However, Dortmund gathered themselves and gradually showed signs of life in the final third, eventually pulling one back just before half-time when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang headed in Marcel Schmelzer's excellent cross from the left.
The Gabon striker scored his second of the evening shortly after the interval, finding the net with an exquisite dinked effort after his initial shot had been saved by Keylor Navas. As the match wore on, the reigning European champions began to increase the pressure once again and scored a late winner through Lucas Vazquez. Shinji Kagawa spurned a glorious opportunity to snatch a draw in stoppage time, blazing over with only Navas left to beat. It mattered little in the end, however, as results elsewhere in the group ensured Dortmund third place in the standings and a berth in the Europa League round of 32.
- Aubameyang is BVB’s top scorer this season with 19 goals, seven more than Real’s chief goal-getter Ronaldo.
- However, Ronaldo managed to score in each of his side's Group H games .
- Christian Pulisic made his 50th Bundesliga appearance in Dortmund’s 4-4 draw with Schalke, becoming the youngest non-German ever to reach that milestone.
- Dortmund are contesting the Champions League group stages for the sixth time in seven seasons.
- Real are unbeaten in home Champions League group games. With two draws at the Bernabeu, BVB have the best record of all European teams in the Spanish capital at this stage of the competition.
Real Madrid: Navas - Nacho, Ramos (c), Varane (Asensio 38'), Theo – Isco (Llorente 69'), Casemiro, Kovacic (Ceballos 58') - Lucas V, Mayoral, Ronaldo
Substitutes: Casilla, Benzema, Modric, Marcelo, Llorente, Asensio, Ceballos
Absentees: Bale (calf), Kroos (not in matchday squad)
Coach: Zinedine Zidane
Dortmund: Bürki – Bartra (Toprak 80'), Sokratis, Subotic, Schmelzer (c) – Kagawa (Yarmolenko 90+1'), Sahin (Weigl 65'), Guerreiro – Dahoud, Aubameyang, Pulisic
Substitutes: Weidenfeller, Yarmolenko, Isak, Zagadou, Weigl, Schürrle, Toprak
Absentees: Philipp (knee), Castro (ankle), Reus (light training), Götze (ankle ligaments), Piszczek (knee), Durm (hip), Rode (pelvis), Isak (knee)
Coach: Peter Bosz