Borussia Dortmund celebrated thanks to goal machine Erling Haaland and art shooter Jadon Sancho, RB Leipzig took a damper despite their great superiority: While BVB was close to making it into the round of 16 after a sovereign 3-0 (2-0) against Belgian champions FC Bruges, they lost Leipzig its game at Paris St. Germain, which was called for the group “final”, was unhappy with 0: 1 (0: 1).
In the table, RB had to let the French series champions overtake them in second place, and the lost direct comparison (first leg: 2: 1) speaks against Leipzig. Neymar (11th) decided the game with a penalty kick.
Haaland (18th, 60th) with his Champions League goals 15 and 16 in the twelfth game and Sancho (45th) with a remarkable free kick scored in Dortmund’s fifth home win in a row at the highest European level. The table runner-up in the Bundesliga is therefore right on track in all competitions.
BVB coach Lucien Favre consistently implemented the announced rotation and changed his starting eleven to five positions in contrast to the 5: 2 at Hertha BSC. That didn’t change the flow of the game. Haaland missed the early chance to take the lead (2nd). The Norwegian did better 16 minutes later after a nice pass from Sancho. It was the 200th BVB goal in the premier class.
The German runner-up pushed for the second goal. Manuel Akanji (32nd), Giovanni Reyna (41st) and Thomas Delaney (43rd) gave good opportunities. Seconds before the half-time whistle, Sancho circled a free kick from around 20 meters into the corner.
In view of the reassuring two-goal lead and the mad rush of appointments until Christmas, the hosts took it easy in some phases, but Haaland still didn’t have enough. He took advantage of a mistake in Bruges defense for the third goal of the evening.
Leipzig must hope that the competition will slip up
The Leipzig team mostly had Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, who was also injured for a long time, under control, but the win was especially important for PSG coach Thomas Tuchel. In the event of a defeat, the star ensemble would have threatened to leave the group and thus Tuchel’s dismissal. In his personal “endgame”, Tuchel coached on the sidelines with a lot of gestures and words.
Leipzig could not use the uncertainty of the semi-final opponent of the previous season for itself, although the team was dominant after the early deficit. In the two remaining group matches at Basaksehir Istanbul and against Manchester United, the Bundesliga third must now win as much as possible and hope for the competition to slip up.
Leipzig built the troubled Parisians themselves at the beginning of the game. After a catastrophic bad pass by defender Dayot Upamecano in the build-up game, Marcel Sabitzer went too impetuously into the duel against Angel di Maria in the penalty area – penalty kick. Neymar did not miss the chance, even if RB goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi was still on the ball with his fingertips.
Mbappé and Neymar hardly dangerous at first
RB was by no means shocked, but wanted to strike back immediately. Paris, which had to do without the injured German internationals Julian Draxler and Thilo Kehrer, among others, left the ball to the guests and withdrew more into their own half in order to counter attacking Neymar and Mbappe when they won the ball.
But Leipzig managed as a collective that the two top strikers were initially hardly dangerous from the game. Both Neymar and Mbappe were left with a long injury break. Perhaps out of frustration, Neymar got his second yellow card after a foul on Sabitzer (40th). The Brazilian will have to watch the next game at Manchester United.
After the break, RB increased the pressure again, but there were hardly any gaps against the PSG defensive. Paris stuck to his tactics and was very low, the counterattacks became less and less.