Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Paris Saint-Germain: Füllkrug nets huge goal in end-to-end semifinal thriller

Borussia Dortmund were the victors in a one-goal thriller against Paris Saint-Germain at the Westfalenstadion.

A first-half goal from Niclas Füllkrug was enough for Dortmund to walk away with a narrow advantage ahead of what will be a highly-anticipated UEFA Champions League semifinal second leg in Paris.

As it happened

Having both escaped the ‘group of death’ earlier in the competition – Dortmund as winners and PSG runners-up – the two sides met again at a packed-out Signal Iduna Park.

The deafening atmosphere looked to inspire the home side to an encouraging start, and their hard work opened up the first good chance of the match: a tight-angled effort from Julian Brandt aimed straight at Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Edin Terzić’s side piled heavy pressure on the visitors throughout the opening half and were rewarded with an opener in the 35th minute.

A long ball over the PSG defence from Nico Schlotterberg found the feet of Niclas Füllkrug, whose perfect touch and finish fired Dortmund into a well-deserved lead.

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Things soon went from bad to worse for Luis Enrique, with World Cup winner Lucas Hernandez forced off through injury and replaced by 20-year-old Lucas Beraldo.

Marcel Sabitzer came close to a second for Dortmund, but the ex-Manchester United loanee couldn’t direct his volley either side of the PSG ‘keeper.

Les Parisiens entered the break having failed to muster a single shot on target, with all three of their attempts coming from outside the box – a clear sign that things were not going to plan for Enrique’s men.

The second half’s open nature invited both teams to threaten on the counter, allowing PSG to get themselves more involved in the game.

Kylian Mbappe’s first real involvement saw him run at the Dortmund defence before cutting inside and smashing the ball off the far post.

Just moments after the Frenchman’s effort, right-back Achraf Hakimi found the other post, ending an agonising minute of madness for the visitors who, somehow, didn’t draw level.

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Chances kept coming for the French side, with Fabian Ruiz failing to make contact on an incredible pass from Marquinhos and, from just six yards out, the chance seemed harder to score than miss for the midfielder.

The football match felt more like a basketball match with play constantly going from one end to the other and, with opportunity after opportunity being presented, this time it was Dortmund’s turn to miss a golden opportunity.

Goalscorer Füllkrug’s effort sailed over the bar after a brilliant take-on and cut-back from talented Englishman Jadon Sancho, who had an outstanding game on the big stage.

Dembélé soon found himself in a similar position as the game reached the 80th minute, but the shot was once again blazed over the crossbar.

The final chance of the match fell to Julian Brandt who almost sent his side to Paris with a two-goal cushion, but a last-ditch block from the experienced Marquinhos ensured the deficit remained as attainable as possible for Les Parisiens in the second leg.

In a match full of rued opportunities, it was perhaps the most difficult of them all that made the difference on the night: a deft touch and powerful finish from Niclas Füllkrug.

Paris Saint-Germain will host Borussia Dortmund in the second leg at the Parc des Princes on 7th May at 20:00 GMT.

The lineups

BVB: Kobel; Ryerson, Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Maatsen; Sabitzer, Can; Sancho, Brandt, Adeyemi; Füllkrug

PSG: Donnarumma; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Hernández, Mendes; Fabián, Vitinha, Zaïre-Emery; Dembélé, Mbappé, Barcola