Manuel Veth –
Dortmund v Inter Milan – November, 5 – Westfalenstadion, Dortmund, Germany
This was a game of two halves. In front of 69,000 spectators, Inter were more effective side in the first half and appeared to have it wrapped up. But Dortmund rallied in the second half to turn the 2-0 deficit on its head.
It was a different look at Borussia Dortmund to start the game. Without Marco Reus and Paco Alcacer, Favre started his side in a 4-2-2-2 formation. Inter, however, punished Dortmund’s all-out attack early when Lautaro Martínez dribbled through the defence to give his side the lead in the 5th minute. How would Dortmund react? The Black and Yellows pushed Inter deep into the defensive third and had chances. Mario Götze (17′), Julian Brandt (44′), Thorgan Hazard (45′) forced Samir Handanović into making two beautiful stops. Dortmund were inefficient in their attacking play and in were punished in the 40th minute when Matías Vecino found a way through to make it 2-0.
Finally, in the 51st minute, Dortmund found a way through. Götze found Achraf Hakimi open inside the box and his weak shot rolled past Handanović. The stadium erupted and the Black and Yellows had Inter deep in the defensive third and in the 64th minute, Julian Brandt equalised after an assist by Paco Alcacer. It was the Spaniards first touch of the ball. But Dortmund were not done. In the 77th minute, Hakimi broke through on the right and beat Handanović with a low drive.
Dortmund v Inter Milan – Three Stars
Achraf Hakimi (Borussia Dortmund)
Already in the first half, Achraf Hakimi was the best Dortmund player on the pitch. The Moroccan managed to find space behind Inter’s line on several occasions but was often brought down before making an impact. That would change in the second half in which he scored two goals leading Dortmund to an unlikely victory.
Julian Brandt (Borussia Dortmund)
Julian Brandt is getting more used to his attacking role. In the first half, he played a number 9 double-pivot with Götze. The two were dangerous but not efficient. In the second half Alcacer took up Götze’s role and the two combined for the equaliser.
Lautaro Martínez (Inter Milan)
The Argentine striker scored another goal against the club that came in to late to sign him. Dortmund attempted to sign the striker from Racing Club in 2018 in what was a last-minute offer. But Martínez and Racing Club had already made a deal with Inter. It was a rare instance in which Dortmund were late to make a signing and they have been punished for it on three different occasions.
GOALS: 0-1 (L. Martínez, 6′), 0-2 (Vecino, 40′), 1-2 (Hakimi, 51′), 2-2 (Brandt, 64′), 3-2 (Hakimi, 77′)
A tale of two halves and an important three points for Borussia Dortmund. Dortmund are now three points clear of Inter, who still hold the head-to-head thanks to 2-0 win in Milan. More importantly, the game will give Dortmund a big push ahead of the Klassiker.
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With Barcelona losing points against Slavia Praha, this group remains wide open. Dortmund are next in Barcelona and Inter visit Slavia.
Dortmund v Inter Milan – Line-ups
Bürki – Schulz, Hummels, Akanji, Hakimi – Weigl, Witsel – Hazard (Guerreiro, 89′), Sancho (Piszczek, 82′) – Brandt, Götze (Paco Alcacer, 64′)
Handanović – Skriniar, de Vrij, Godin – Brožović – Biraghi (Lazaro, 66′), Barella, Vecino (Sensi, 68′), Candreva – L. Martinez, Lukaku (Politano, 73′)
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others, contributes to Forbes.com and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently splits his time between Victoria, BC, and Munich, Germany. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.