Real Madrid flew into Dortmund on the back of two consecutive draws, and had to settle for yet another on an entertaining night of football in Germany.
Dortmund started the better of the two sides and managed to create a few very good chances early on that they did not finish. They would soon regret those, as Cristiano Ronaldo put the away side in front in the 17th minute. A mistake from Keylor Navas led to the equalizer for the hosts. Raphael Varane gave Madrid the lead again in the 68th minute, until Andre Schurrle rescued a point for Thomas Tuchel’s men with three minutes left in the match. Christian Pulisic, the 18 year old American player
, was heavily involved in the home side’s second goal.
In the end, it was a fair result given that both teams played well enough to earn points. Borussia Dortmund kept the majority of the possession, and pressed high up the pitch when they lost it. The high pressing caused Real Madrid problems in the first half, as they were unable to get the ball out of their defensive third for a short period of time. The defending champions were content for most of the match to allow Dortmund to keep possession and to try and break on the counter.
Zinedine Zidane was upset that his team was once again unable to get a win, but praised the team’s effort in both attack and defense. Six days ago the team put on a dreadful performance that rightfully led to a 1-1 draw against Villarreal. This past weekend, his side played much better against Las Palmas, but were unlucky to concede a late goal. The same was the case today. He also praised Keylor Navas, who made eight saves total in his first start of the season.
The Frenchmen said he doesn’t regret any of the changes he made to the side. Karim Benzema was another one the changes he made from the weekend and, despite being involved in the second goal, seemed to lack sharpness in his game. One would feel that Alvaro Morata should’ve had started in his place, or at least been subbed on sooner. The Spanish striker scored a late winner to give Real Madrid a win in their opening match of the competition, and has been in great form at the start of the season.
Today’s result means that Dortmund remain top of Group F on goal differential, with Real Madrid level on points in second place. Zidane’s men will take on Eibar at home in their next match, and hope to get back to winning ways before the international break.
By Amir Pirbazari (OPM, RMLA)