Sporting CP 1-2 Borussia Dortmund: Injury stricken Dortmund withstand late pressure in Lisbon

Borussia Dortmund earned their second win in the Champions League this season, as they defeated Sporting CP 2-1 in the Estácio José Alvalade.

Sporting CP 1-2 Borussia Dortmund: Injury stricken Dortmund withstand late pressure in Lisbon
Sporting CP
1 2
Borussia Dortmund
Sporting CP: Patrício; Schelotto, Coates, Semedo, Zeegelaar; Carvalho, Elias (César, min. 60); Martins, Marković (Campbell, min. 65), Ruiz (André, min. 79); Dost.
Borussia Dortmund: Bürki; Ginter (Rode, min. 71), Papastathopoulos, Bartra (Piszczek, min. 68), Passlack (Burnic, min. 90+2); Weigl; Pulisic, Kagawa, Götze, Dembélé; Aubameyang
SCORE: 0-1, min. 9, Aubameyang. 0-2, min. 43, Weigl. 1-2, min. 67, César.
REFEREE: Damir Skomina (SLO) Yellow cards: Passlack (min. 49) Elias (min. 54) Schelotto (min. 68) Campbell (min. 76) Rode (min. 76) César (min. 87) Bürki (min. 88)
INCIDENTS: UEFA Champions League Group F game between Sporting CP and Borussia Dortmund at the Estádio José Alvalade on Matchday 3.

Borussia Dortmund withstood late second half pressure, as they secured a 2-1 victory at the Estádio José Alvalade against Sporting CP to move second in Group F in the UEFA Champions League.

The German side dominated and controlled throughout the entire first half, and grabbed two deserved goals. First, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang with a trademark athletic run and chip over Rui Patrício, before Julian Weigl scored his first for die Schwarzgelben with a drilled strike from some 25 yards.

However, Jorge Jesus' hosts made life much more difficult for Dortmund in the second half and set up a grandstand finish courtesy of an indirect Bruno César freekick. Yet the Bundesliga side were able to hold on to their lead and move level with Real Madrid at the top of Group F, only second on goal difference.

Injury stricken Dortmund in control throughout

With the number of injuries that Thomas Tuchel's side have had to contend with, even seeing 18 year old Felix Passlack start at left back, you would have been forgiven for thinking that die Schwarzgelben may have struggled in the opening stages of the clash in the Portuguese capital. Yet after weathering what early pressure the hosts, Sporting CP, could offer, the Westphalian's stunned the José Alvalade and took an early lead; with a counter attacking move that has become almost synonymous with Borussia Dortmund in recent years. 

It could only be one man, that being Pierre Emerick Aubameyang. The Gabonese forward was found in space by Mario Götze and once that happens, there is only one outcome. Aubameyang holding off Rúben Semedo, leaving the 22 year old defender in a heap, before advancing into the penalty area and chipping over Rui Patrício; the same move where he had failed to beat Rune Jarstein in the 1-1 draw with Hertha BSC last friday night.

On a night where Borussia Dortmund were forced to field three teenagers - the aforementioned Passlack, Ousmane Dembélé and Christian Pulisic - there was an impetus on the more experienced Dortmund players to lead from the off set. If the early stages were anything to go by, they were doing just that. After a bright start the Leões, Sporting, had been restricted by Tuchel's side, especially in the heart of defence where the partnership of Marc Bartra and Sokratis were facing a familiar foe in Bas Dost - the Dutch striker leaving the Bundesliga and VfL Wolfsburg over the summer. 

So it came as no surprise that when Sporting CP had their first major chance of the game, it came directly from a calamity of errors from a Dortmund perspective. Sokratis dallying on the ball, allowing Elias to disposses him. The Brazilian, in his second spell at the José Alvalade, continued to chase what seemed to be a lost cause, but he was presented a golden opportunity when young Passlack failed to clear. Roman Bürki however wasn't as hap-hazard and quickly rushed to meet the Sporting midfielder, deflecting his shot for a corner. The Swiss goalkeeper was at fault later on however, requiring referee Damir Skomina's whistle to spare his blushes after he came flapping at a corner and Sebastian Coates swept home. 

Those mistakes aside, Borussia Dortmund were in control throughout the entire half. Aubameyang could have had three further goals; save for a remarkable Patrício stop, a header glancing agonisingly wide and a drilled shot following the same path. Die Schwarzgelben looking likely to score with every attack.

So it happened, the German side would be two goals to the good at the break and it came from the most unlikely of sources. Julian Weigl picking up the pieces in the heart of midfield - as he so often capably does - before slaloming through a number of challenges and unleashing a shot from 25 yards, with pinpoint accuracy, that darted into the bottom right corner. Weigl's first goal in yellow and black, since his move from 1860 Munich in 2015. 

Grandstand finish in Lisbon

The second half for the most part was pretty tame, compared to what had been an enthralling first. Borussia Dortmund for their part were quite content with the scoreline, whilst for Sporting CP the impetus was on them to haul themselves back into the game. 

For the most part the hosts were unable to forge any significant chances, but as had been the trend and their undoing in the first half, die Schwarzgelben gifted the Portuguese side a way back into the game. Where it had been Sokratis in the first half, this time it was Bartra who was at fault; the Spaniard poking the ball into the grasp of an already on-rushing Roman Bürki. From the resulting indirect freekick, Bruno César stepped up and blasted an effort through the mass of ensembled Dortmund bodies and into the back of the net - nearly taking the netting with it. Regardless, Sporting were back into the game and a grandstand final 20 minutes had been set-up.

It could and should have been all square moments later, but Bas Dost spurned the chance to get the equaliser against an old adversary. Marvin Zeegelaar had whipped in a left footed cross, right onto the head of the unmarked compatriot Dost, but the Dutchman failed to hit the target from around 12 yards. 

Jorge Jesus' side had a further good opportunity to restore parity, however Joel Campbell was inches away from connecting with Gelson Martins' drilled cross. However, it had been an admirable performance from the Portuguese Liga NOS side. After falling two behind, it would have been easy to have collapsed against was had been an impervious Dortmund. But to their credit, they had fought on and subsequently made life very difficult for the German side in the second half.

With the introduction of two experienced heads in Lukasz Piszczek and Sebastian Rode, Tuchel's side managed to stem the tide of what until up to that point had a continued flow of Sporting pressure. Christian Pulisic could've re-established the two goal lead too, but unfortunately for the young American his volleyed effort crashed off the crossbar after Patrício had flapped at a high ball. It would matter little in the end however, as die Schwarzgelben were able to hold onto their narrow lead in the final stages and claim a three points that could prove archetypal in which side progresses alongside Real Madrid in Group F of the UEFA Champions League