Borussia Dortmund v Paris Saint-Germain review

UEFA Champions League 2023/24: Borussia Dortmund v Paris Saint-Germain First Leg Review

May 2, 2024

The first leg of the second UEFA Champions League 2023/24 semi-final between Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain was rather interesting. Although this game ended 1-0 in favour of the Bundesliga team, the visitors could have easily taken the lead back to the Parc des Princes.

The game started off fairly even, with neither side creating too many clear-cut opportunities. Niclas Füllkrug broke the deadlock in the 36th minute after timing his run to perfection to get in behind the PSG defence. After bringing the ball down in expert fashion, he struck the perfect left-footed effort to register the match’s only goal.

Also read: UEFA Champions League 2023/24: Bayern Munich v Real Madrid First Leg Review

Marcel Sabitzer came closest to doubling his team’s lead as he drew a good save from Gianluigi Donnarumma just two minutes before the break. It must be said that PSG came out with a lot more intent in the second half, and their star man Kylian Mbappé who was quiet in the first half, hit the woodwork.

From the same action, Achraf Hakimi struck the same upright yet again. After a spell of PSG pressure, it was the game’s only goal-scorer who had the opportunity to volley home a cross from the centre of the goal in the 60th minute. 

Luckily for Dortmund, the visitors did not have their shooting boots on and saw Ousmane Dembélé miss a couple of glorious opportunities in the second half. With the Frenchman unable to find the net, the Germans now hold a goal advantage when they travel to Paris for the reverse fixture on May 7.

Overall, PSG enjoyed more possessions (58%), took a shot more than their opposition (13), but registered one fewer attempt on target (3).

Key Points for Borussia Dortmund

The goal for Borussia Dortmund may be the perfect blueprint and tactical approach needed at the Parc des Princes. With Füllkrug lurking on the shoulder of the last defender, Dortmund will have to be effective on the counter-attack and ensure they make the most of opportunities on the break.

Although forwards Sébastien Haller and Donyell Malen made the squad for the first leg, neither featured as they continue to work towards full fitness after injury. It will be interesting to see if they play a part in the second leg. Malen’s return will particularly be awaited by the BVB faithful, given he’s scored 13 goals across all competitions for them this season.

Key Points for PSG

PSG will continue their Champions League campaign without central defender Presnel Kimpembe, who has endured a fair few months side-lined from action due to injury. It is believed that the France international will miss the rest of the season.

When it comes to discussing key factors, one can never leave out Kylian Mbappé. The 2018 World Cup winner is extremely dangerous in and around the penalty area, as he proved on a couple of occasions in the first leg. He’s already bagged eight goals in this year’s UEFA Champions League and is top of the goalscoring charts, level with Harry Kane and Luuk de Jong.

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