Borussia Dortmund hold all the cards after beating FC Porto 2-0 in their UEFA Europa League Round of 32 first leg at the SIGNAL IDUNA PARK.
Borussia Dortmund 2-0 FC Porto
Dortmund set the tone early on as Marcel Schmelzer whipped a teasing cross towards the back post, where Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was denied a certain goal by Porto defender Jose Angel. Another of BVB’s roaming full-backs got the breakthrough minutes later, with Poland international Lukas Piszczek heading home his first Europa League goal in 2,345 days after his initial effort had been well saved by goalkeeper Iker Casillas. Dortmund then had a fantastic opportunity to double their lead, but Japan international midfielder Shinji Kagawa curled wide following a flowing team move down the Porto right.
The game followed a similar pattern after the restart, with Dortmund asking all the questions of last season’s Primeira Liga runners-up. Varela almost put a fierce Henrikh Mkhitaryan cross past his own goalkeeper, before a telling deflection took the sting out of a goalbound strike from Kagawa. The home fans breathed a collective sigh of relief when Marco Reus returned to the field after falling victim to a crunching Porto challenge, and the Dortmund forward showed no ill effects of the knock, driving in a deflected second to put a welcome bit of daylight between the sides. The complexion of the tie almost changed completely when Casillas pushed a late Mkhitaryan header onto the post, before Roman Bürki followed suit at the other end to foil Porto substitute Hyun-Yun Suk.
Man of the match
Aside from being a constant threat down the right-hand side of the Dortmund attack, Mkhitaryan had the presence of mind to cut the ball back for Reus to sink what could be a decisive goal in the wider context of the tie, when he could just as easily have gone for goal himself.
Dortmund: Bürki - Piszczek, Sokratis, Hummels (c), Schmelzer - Weigl - Sahin (Leitner 57’), Kagawa (Ginter 87’) - Mkhitaryan, Reus (Pulisic 87’) - Aubameyang
Porto: Casillas - Varela, Layun, Martins Indi, Jose Angel - Herrera (c) - Ruben Neves, Sergio Oliveira (Evandro 76’) - Brahimi (Andre 59’), Marega - Aboubakar (Suk 87’)