Kylian Mbappe and Achraf Hakimi were on target as Borussia Dortmund began their UEFA Champions League campaign with a 2-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.
Borussia Dortmund were second best once again, this time on the Champions League stage away to PSG. And the result was a 2-0 defeat, with the French side not needing to get out of second gear to get the three points.
While a controversial penalty call from the referee will steal the headlines, it was yet another ordinary performance from the Black and Yellows. Borussia Dortmund have made a very timid start to the season, and this performance against PSG will do little to quell the pressure on the players and coaching staff.
Edin Terzic made the surprise decision to switch to a back five for the game, with Niklas Süle joining Mats Hummels and Nico Schlotterbeck at centre-back. Donyell Malen and Karim Adeyemi started up front with the hope of causing PSG problems on the counter-attack.
As expected, PSG dominated possession in the early stages with Borussia Dortmund happy to wait for their opportunities on the counter-attack. BVB did suffer an early injury blow, as Marcel Sabitzer was forced to come off and Felix Nmecha replaced him.
Vitinha came close to scoring for PSG in the 19th minute but his effort from the edge of the box bounced off the post. Borussia Dortmund struggled to get into the PSG half for much of the first 45 minutes, but defended with great resolve and managed to keep the home side at bay until the break.
All of Borussia Dortmund’s hard work was undone just four minutes into the second half, as PSG were awarded a contentious penalty after a Niklas Süle handball. Kylian Mbappe converted from the spot to give the home side the lead.
Achraf Hakimi then capped off an excellent PSG move and added a second goal just ten minutes later, putting the game beyond BVB’s reach.
Edin Terzic responded by bringing on Niclas Füllkrug, Marco Reus and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens. And the young English winger nearly offered BVB a route back into the game. But his shot from the edge of the box hit the post.
Borussia Dortmund attacked with more vigour in the final quarter of the game. But in the end, they were no match for PSG’s efficiency and technical superiority. And the French side cruised to a relatively comfortable win.
The result means that Borussia Dortmund will end matchday one at the bottom of Group F. And some serious improvements are needed if they still have ambitions of making it to the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League this season.