What the UCL?! Dortmund take slender lead to Paris – but somehow Man Utd lose again as Sancho steals show


Borussia Dortmund have given themselves a huge chance of making an unlikely UEFA Champions League Final appearance with a pulsating 1-0 win over PSG.

Niclas Fullkrug fired the only goal of the game to give his side a lead going into a tough ask away in Paris, though it was a minor miracle that the score stayed as low as it did.

The Germans needed a positive performance in front of their own fans to give themselves something to defend next week in France and, despite riding their luck at times, came up with the goods.

Their defence was excellent, greatly limiting the opportunities for Kylian Mbappe and co, and on the break, the threat was there and, crucially, was capitalised upon with the only goal of the game.

The big losers on the night were, as has so often been the case in recent years, Manchester United.

They spent £73 million ($140m) on the winger to lure him from Dortmund two and a half years ago, but were unable to get the best out of their man and, by the start of the year, manager Erik ten Hag had bombed Sancho out of the squad entirely.

Yet here, on the biggest stage of all, he looked every bit the player that earned the big move to Manchester. Sancho terrorised his fullback with both pace and skill. Had his teammates been able to finish more effectively, he would have had multiple assists.

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Tactically, the game went exactly as expected and, for Dortmund, as planned. PSG had the bulk of the ball but did next to nothing with it, while the hosts were happy to let them have it then strike on the break.

Sancho and Karim Adeyemi were far too fast and caused problems in behind all night, while at the other end, Mbappe was limited to moments of magic that he largely had to create for himself.

Marcel Sabitzer could have opened the scoring from a tight angle on the quarter hour before Fullkrug pulled a long ball out of the sky with one touch and smashed the ball beyond Gianluigi Donnarumma with his next to give BVB a deserved lead.

PSG began the second half with real determination.

The touch. The finish. Sublime stuff from Fullkrug, and Dortmund lead

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Mbappe hit the one post and, from the rebound, Achraf Hakimi hit the other. Kylian fired straight at the keeper moments later and Fabio Ruiz headed wide when he should have scored.

The scare kicked BVB back into life.

Sancho skinned Nuno Mendes and picked out Fullkrug, but the striker skied his shot with the goal gaping.

The German international was then bundled over by Mendes while attempting a header in the box, but referee Anthony Taylor remained unmoved and VAR backed him up.

Game. Time. ???? What an atmosphere!

↳ UCL Semi-Finals: Dortmund v PSG, live now. Every Match. 4K UHD. Exclusive & Ad-free. Live & On Demand, on Stan Sport.#StanSportAU #UCL #BVBPSG pic.twitter.com/tGsyH4d6RM

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Fullkrug kept coming, with another header over the bar.

Dembele had two chances late that could have changed the tie. He hit the keeper following a superb Mbappe flick in the 72nd minute and, in the 80th, was given the whole goal to hit by Hakimi and ballooned his shot well over the top.

As with every time PSG threatened to get on top, Dortmund responded. Sancho, easily their best, slipped Julian Brandt in, but the midfielder missed and, with the ball still in play, the English winger picked out Fullkrug, who again headed over.

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