Saint Petersburg (dpa) – Much work, little magic – after the lackluster appearance of Saint Petersburg, pragmatism reigned among all Dortmunders.
“It was a nasty victory, but finally another victory,” said captain Marco Reus about the hard-fought 2-1 (0-1) against the Russian champion. The group victory comforted the renewed playful shortcomings. Even football fanatic Lucien Favre saw no reason to complain. “We won here – that’s all that matters. We have to accept that it is sometimes difficult and that we should not dream,” said the BVB coach.
In his emergency BVB, known for its fun, used the so-called crowbar. After Sebastian Driussi’s early 0: 1 (16th minute), experienced Lukasz Piszczek (68th minute) and former Zenit professional Axel Witsel (78th) forced the turnaround. This means Borussia can hope for a supposedly easier opponent in the draw for Monday’s round of 16 in Nyon and play their second knockout match at home as the group winner.
“This preliminary round took a lot of energy. We didn’t have a good start,” said Favre, recalling the 3-1 victory in the first round in Lazio.
To the relief of all involved, the profit crisis came to an end after three games without a win against Cologne (1: 2), Rome (1: 1) and Frankfurt (1: 1) in St. Petersburg. Despite the loss of nine professionals, BVB showed stamina. Reus saw the success as an encouragement for the four remaining competitive matches until Christmas against VfB Stuttgart, Union Berlin and Werder Bremen and in the cup at Eintracht Braunschweig. “It wasn’t glorious. But at this stage where we are currently with so many injuries, it’s important to win games,” said Reus.
Besides the goalscorers, Youssoufa Moukoko made headlines. With his 58th minute substitution, he became the youngest professional in Champions League history at the age of just 16 years and 18 days. The attacker set a similar record in the Bundesliga more than two weeks ago. The fact that Jude Bellingham (17), Ansgar Knauff (18) and Giovanni Reyna (18) were still in the final stages of three teenagers supported Borussia’s reputation as a playground for the gifted.