Borussia Dortmund start their 2023/24 Champions League campaign with a defeat against Ligue 1 champions PSG.
Edin Terzic somewhat hit the reset button with a change of formation against PSG. Yet to score a Bundesliga goal this season, Sébastien Haller dropped to the bench and while many had expected Niclas Füllkrug to replace the Ivorian, Terzic opted to start Karim Adeyemi and Donyell Malen in a two-man attack. This also resulted a change at the back, with Dortmund switching to a 5-3-2 as opposed to their 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 that they’ve used throughout the season. It was Marius Wolf and Julian Ryerson tasked at wing-back, keeping tabs on Ousmane Dembélé and Kylian Mbappé.
Mbappé, Vitinha and Lucas Hernandez early on looked to overload the left-flank, but Borussia Dortmund were resilient defensively. However the visitors were forced into an early change when Marcel Sabitzer was forced off with a groin injury after 14 minutes with Felix Nmecha replacing the Austrian. PSG then remained patient midway through the first-half and Vitinha was centimetres away from giving his side the lead, the Portuguese’s effort ricocheting off the post.
Borussia Dortmund ended the first half with just 22% possession, and the second half didn’t get much better. Mbappé placed the ball past Gregor Kobel from the spot after Niklas Süle handled the ball inside the area. Only once had the Parisians had taken the lead, Dortmund looked to attack for a short period.
In truth, Dortmund played well defensively in the first half, limiting PSG to just one shot on goal. But Achraf Hakimi, formerly on loan at Dortmund, put the game beyond doubt 15 minutes into the second half, capping off a superbly worked team goal. For Terzic and BVB, it’s back to the drawing board ahead of their important Bundesliga game against Wolfsburg on Saturday afternoon.
Borussia Dortmund Player Ratings
Gregor Kobel, 7
Marius Wolf, 6 – Dortmund setup in a 5-3-2 on the night and Wolf, who was a substitute against Freiburg at the weekend, was awarded a start at right wing-back, to deal with the threat of Mbappé. He did his task on the night and also deflected a PSG effort over the crossbar in the first half. Although sluggish at progressing the ball, carried his defensive duties out excellently.
Niklas Süle, 5
Mats Hummels, 6
Nico Schlotterbeck, 6
Julian Ryerson, 5
Emre Can, 4
Marcel Sabitzer, N/A
Julian Brandt, 4 – Often so decisive in the final third, Brandt was poor on the night and completed just 14 passes. Lost possession on 16 occasions and completed just 62 minutes. Set up to counter-attack, Brandt was poor in the transitions and often failed to find Adeyemi or Malen.
Karim Adeyemi, 5
Donyell Malen, 4 – Borussia Dortmund’s top scorer this season, but tonight wasn’t a night for BVB forwards. Very little supply, isolated in attack and replaced on the hour mark by Marco Reus. A difficult night for the Dutchman.
Others: Felix Nmecha (4), Marco Reus (-), Niclas Füllkrug (-), Jamie Bynoe-Gittens (-), Ramy Bensebaini (-)
GGFN | Daniel Pinder