Borussia Dortmund won their home leg against Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League 2-1 on Tuesday night thanks to a brace by Erling Haaland.
The young Norwegian, who joined the Black and Yellows for €20m from RB Salzburg in January, is on an absolute tear at the moment. The 19-year-old became the youngest player to score 10 goals in a Champions League season, which he achieved in seven games for two different teams.
“He arrived here one and a half months ago,” BVB coach Lucien Favre told his news conference after the game, adding: “He immediately showed his qualities — which we were aware of before he arrived. He’s somebody with an incredibly strong mentality. He always wants to lead the way, in training he always wants to score. And if he doesn’t score, even in training, he is annoyed and disappointed. His superb attitude helps the entire team — and all that with him being only 19 years old.”
Haaland put the hosts in front in the 69. minute by poaching Raphael Guerreiro’s deflected shot over PSG keeper Keylor Navas from close range. The guests responded just six minutes later with Neymar scoring a tap-in after Kylian Mbappe broke through Dortmund’s backline but it was the Norwegian who had the last word.
After a pass from 17-year-old Champions League debutant Gio Reyna, Haaland took aim from the edge of the box, drilling the ball with a forceful strike into the top left corner of the goal.
“He also defended well with the rest of the team. His positioning helped us to remain compact. If we can send him deep, we’ll do that. Or he’ll drop back and fixate the ball. The 2-1 was created because of a superb pass by Gio Reyna but that was only possible because Haaland made a very good run,” Favre said.
Emre Çan adds steel to Dortmund midfield
Dortmund won Tuesday’s game on the foundation of a good defensive performance. Once again, Emre Çan was a key element in that endeavour. The club announced two hours before the match that the 26-year-old will be signed permanently on a four-year deal after his initial loan from Juventus expires at the end of the season.
And the German international paid back the trust under the observing eyes of DFB coach Joachim Löw. Çan started out the night by getting away with Charley Horses on Neymar’s and di Maria’s thighs while winning the midfield battle against Marco Verratti.
“Emre Çan played well. You can instantly see that he corrects his teammates often. He speaks a lot on the field. That’s very important,” Favre explained after the game.
“We played very well today. We were very disciplined. Especially, defensively. Paris had very few scoring chances. We also played well on offence. We already had our opportunities in the first half but we scored the goals after the break. That’s football.”
“We had good moments after forcing turnovers but at the same time, we defended with a lot of patience. Between our two goals, we conceded an unnecessary one, which can happen. It was a slip [by Dan-Axel Zagadou]. It was important how the team responded after the 1-1. They immediately had scoring a second goal on their minds. And it was a very pretty goal.”