The second half of the Champions League semi-finals awaits!

Borussia Dortmund - PSG
Borussia Dortmund goal vs. PSG (Photo: BTA)

Borussia Dortmund secured a fragile lead ahead of the rematch in this year’s Champions League semi-finals after narrowly defeating Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 at home in the first encounter between the two teams

At Signal Iduna Park, the only goal of the match was scored by Niklas Füllkrug. The forward for the “yellow-blacks” received an excellent pass from Nico Schlotterbeck, skillfully controlled the ball, and with a well-placed shot, left no chance for Parisian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. Luis Enrique’s proteges hit the woodwork twice before halftime, and they had opportunities in the second half that they didn’t capitalize on

Ultimately, Borussia under Edin Terzic will enter the rematch with a minimal one-goal lead on the path to their first final since 2013. The French champions will have to catch up if they want to keep their dream alive for a debut triumph in the most prestigious European club tournament after losing the final to Bayern Munich in 2020.

On Tuesday, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid did not defeat each other and ended in a thrilling 2-2 draw, with everything to be decided next week at the Santiago Bernabeu.

11 long years later

Since 2013, Dortmund hasn’t reached a Champions League final nor had a significant impact in the tournament since the days of Jurgen Klopp. But now, they have every chance to make this their year again, as they seek European glory for the first time in 17 years.

Niklas Füllkrug is ruthlessly effective as a striker in the mold of Olivier Giroud, Mats Hummels has rolled back the years to his best performance since 2013, Karim Adeyemi displays fantastic pace, and Jadon Sancho suddenly seems so far removed from the shadow of the player who was “frozen” at Manchester United that it’s downright frightening. The latter, in particular, was exceptional in the first match against PSG, creating several opportunities that arguably should have been capitalized on better.

Real Madrid isn’t just about Jude Bellingham

Bellingham has carried Real Madrid on his shoulders in many moments this season, emerging at the forefront in key instances, including during the two victories over Barcelona in La Liga. However, he was unwell in the days leading up to the match against Bayern, remained on the bench last Friday against Real Sociedad, and couldn’t complete the full match in Germany. The English midfielder lasted 75 minutes, being substituted when Real was trailing 1-2 and chasing an equalizer after Leroy Sané and Harry Kane’s goals canceled out Vinicius Junior’s opener. It was evident that Bellingham was struggling even before the hour mark, and Carlo Ancelotti decided it was better not to take risks.

Bellingham should be fully prepared for the rematch next week. But it was evident in Munich that Real Madrid isn’t a team reliant on just one individual. Vinicius, who scored both goals and now has goals in the Champions League semi-final for the third consecutive year, along with Toni Kroos, demonstrated that “Los Blancos” can rely on the qualities of the entire squad.

Bayern missed an excellent opportunity

The Bavarians will travel to Madrid for the rematch in a slightly unfavorable position. The fact that the overall result is level practically means there’s no room for errors in the second leg, which will be a direct elimination or a ticket to the final.

Although, as we’ve established, Real is much more than just Bellingham, the team’s talisman has been their best player throughout the campaign and wasn’t in his best form at the Allianz Arena. This should definitely be exploited better by Bayern.

Thomas Tuchel’s team was just seven minutes plus added time away from securing a fragile lead before the rematch. A minimal advantage, but still an advantage that would have influenced the Real players. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and everything will be decided after 90, 120 minutes, or penalties at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Krasian Mitev
Krasian Mitev
Krasian Mitev is a Bulgarian sports journalist and analyst. He has worked for a number of sports media, including Topsport, Boets, Sportnamasa and many others. Krasian is responsible for a number of football analyzes and previews, as well as the verification of some bookmakers.

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