KENYA BROWN - Thursday, September 29, 2016
Christian Pulisic played a part in Borussia Dortmund's dramatic equalizer as they shared the points with Real Madrid, while Fabian Johnson and Borussia Mochengladbach suffered another setback.
Borussia Dortmund 2-2 Real Madrid
A goal by Andre Schurrle three minutes before full time helped Dortmund salvage a point against the reigning European champions at the Westfalenstadion.
Dortmund came into the game on a goal scoring tear as they had scored a total of 20 goals in their previous four games. However, as the team has score an impressive amount of goals in that span of time, there has also been concern about their defense and taking on a team like Real Madrid would require them to step up.
Unfortunately, for the home side, they allowed Real to get on the score board first in the 17th minute through Cristiano Ronaldo. James Rodriguez would play the ball to Gareth Bale, whose back-heeled pass was put in the path of the Portugal international. The goal not only allowed them to take the lead, but it also was Ronaldo's 95th Champions League goal.
The goal would wake up BVB and they pushed forward to the find the equalizer.
They were rewarded for their efforts in the 43rd minute. Raphael Guerrero's free kick from just outside the box was well saved by goalkeeper Keilor Navas, but the balled bounced of teammate Raphael Varane and bounced towards the goal for Pierre Aubameyang to easily tap in.
Varane would redeem himself in the second half for gifting Dortmund's goal by scoring one of his own for los Blancos to help them retake the lead. Ronaldo's corner kick from the left found teammate Karim Benzema in the area, but his shot would hit the post. However, the rebound fell at the feet of the defender and he would easily put away.
Dortmund head coach Thomas Tuchel would make a personnel change as he brought on Christian Pulisic in the 73rd minute for Ousmane Dembele and the teenager would show no fear in taking on the champions. He had an excellent effort in the last ten minutes of the game saved by Navas, but his night was not over as he proved to be the catalyst for what would be the ultimate equalizer for the home side.
Pulisic would take the ball on the right side of the field, make a run towards the area and send in a cross that was first deflected by Aubameyang's overhead kick, but then collected by Schurrle, whose shot beat Navas at the near post to give BVB the well-deserved equalizer.
Dortmund remain on top of the standings in Group F with four points and superior goal differential against Real Madrid.
The team's next game will come on October 18 when they head to Portugal to face Sporting Lisbon.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-2 Barcelona
Despite going a goal up in the first half, the Foals would be done by two second half goals in the second half to allow Barcelona to take all three points at the Borussia Park.
Fabian Johnson was brought into the game in the 48th minute in the team's losing effort.
'Gladbach were looking to get their Champions League campaign on track after suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of Manchester City a fortnight ago. However, they would have to earn that win against the Spanish champions who came into the game without one of their star players, Lionel Messi, in the lineup.
Barcelona dominated most of the possession, but were hit in the 34th minute as Mönchengladbach opened the scoring. Mahmoud Dahoud would dispossess Sergio Busquets and teammate Raffael led the charge towards Barcelona's goal. The Brazilian passed the ball off to Dahoud and his low cross would find Thorgan Hazard, who had no problems finishing off the counter-attack.
However, the Catalans would find the goals they needed to steal all of the points and it started in the 65th minute. Neymar lofted a pass over the Mönchengladbach back line and teammate Arda Turan, who had just come into the game, would collect and smash his shot past goalkeeper Yann Sommer.
Gerrard Pique would grab Barca's game winner in the 73rd minute. Neymar's corner kick from the right would find Luis Suarez in the area. While Sommer was able to save the Uruguayans shot, the ball fell to the Spanish defender and he was able to tap it in.
The loss sees 'Gladbach sit at the bottom of Group C.
They will hope their fortunes turn around for them come October 19 when they head to Scotland to face Celtic.