Football Features

“Borussia Dortmund showed some backbone!” – Winners & Losers as Haaland shines in stunning 2-2 draw with Sevilla

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:19, 9 March 2021

In an epic night of action, Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla played out a heart-stopping 2-2 draw, sending Dortmund through to the quarter-finals 5-4 on aggregate.

Who were the winners and losers?

Winner: Erling Haaland

Football’s very own Eren Jaeger went absolutely berserk in the Champions League yet again. After being held in check as much by his own team’s absurdly defensive approach as much as Sevilla’s organised defending of him, Haaland transformed into titan form on 35 minutes.

A beautiful move from Dortmund down the left saw them cut the ball back to Haaland for his first touch inside the box all game. Bam. Goal. Then in the second-half Haaland really unleashed his full titan fury on poor Sevilla.

First he charged through the Dortmund area, with defenders ricocheting off him like scout troopers do the Colossal Titan, and battered home a superb second. Except the referee pulled it back for a penalty (for some reason) which Haaland proceeded to miss, and miss the rebound! But as Sevilla broke the referee demanded a retake as the goalie had strayed off the line. Did Haaland make the same mistake again? Hell no. He slotted home the penalty, his 20th Champions League goal in his 14th Champions League game.

Erling Haaland is an absolute freak of nature. Every goal Dortmund scored in this tie was either one of his, or was a goal he created. An utterly magnificent performance across both legs. A true goalscoring phenomenon.

Loser: Yassine Bounou

On the whole, Yassine Bounou actually played well against Borussia Dortmund but there were a few key moments where he failed his side. The first was for Dortmund’s opener, where he rushed out to try and intercept Marco Reus, allowing for the German to easily cut it back to Erling Haaland for a tap-in.

The second was, after pulling off a miracle double save to deny Haaland from the penalty spot and then again on the rebound, he then proceeded to antagonise the young titan. And so when the penalty was pulled back for Bounou having stepped off his line, there was just no way Haaland was going to miss. And he didn’t.

Winner: Jude Bellingham

It’s rare that a 17-year-old gets to start in the knockout rounds of the Champions League, it’s even rarer that a 17-year-old excels in the knockout rounds of the Champions League. Yet that is exactly what Jude Bellingham did.

The teenager got the start in midfield and played a phenomenal game in a high-pressure situation. He was a constant driving force up and down the field for Dortmund and led their press with a game-high 6 tackles. So crucial to their defensive balance was he that Edin Terzic never even contemplated taking him off for some experienced player to help see the game out. Bellingham was given his full trust and put in such a mature and intense display, you just know there’s big things in this kids future.

CLICK HERE to claim 888Sport’s new customer offer • 18+ only • Max Bet £5 • £10 deposit using promo code 888ODDS • Free bets are granted within 72 hours and expires after 7 days • Free bet stakes not included in returns • Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time • Withdrawal restrictions & full T&Cs applyBeGambleAware

Loser: Papu Gomez

When Papu Gomez signed for Sevilla from Atalanta, you felt like this was the perfect blend of player and team and that the Argentine would become the final piece of the puzzle to make Sevilla an elite side. Instead Papu has looked decidedly ordinary, and didn’t even start this game despite its crucial nature.

Then when he came on, he didn’t look anywhere near as effective as you’d expect. Most of his crosses were sent low and were easily cleared. He managed to create 3 chances but none of them were great and Sevilla found far more joy playing through the right.

And now Sevilla are out of the Champions League. Just like they’re out of the Copa. Papu Gomez’s chances of silverware evaporating and with the way La Liga is going he might not even make it back into the Champions League. Whoops!

Winner: Edin Terzic

Against Bayern Munich at the weekend Edin Terzic’s men took a stunning 0-2 lead at the Allianz Arena but after that they began to play such a cowardly defensive game. They didn’t push forward to kill Bayern off but invited them on and as a result Bayern found the goals they needed to turn 0-2 into 4-2.

Watching the start of tonight’s game you feared the same happening again, but after half an hour Terzic’s troops rallied and began to play really well. They looked aggressive, pushing up and pressuring Sevilla. This continued in the second-half when they scored the second and dominated proceedings until the very end when they again retreated into a rearguard, only this time they actually managed to hold on (even if they did concede) with Mats Hummels being particularly immense. For the first time in a long time, Borussia Dortmund showed some backbone! And now they’re in the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time in four years!

Loser: Julen Lopetegui

How To Lose A Season In 10 Days* or: the Julen Lopetegui story.

The Sevilla coach was flying high recently, alright they had lost to Borussia Dortmund but they had Barcelona on the ropes in the Copa del Rey semi-final but prior to that had won nine games in a row. Then they lost to Barcelona in La Liga, then again in the Copa, an incredible game where Sevilla conceded in the 94th minute to send the tie to extra time, and then they somehow lost to Elche.

So they came into tonight looking quite meek, but they played so well! They were full of confidence, except in the final third where it really counted. Sevilla’s gameplan was seemingly built on crossing, yet they started Youssef En-Neysri not the aerial monster Luuk De Jong (who did eventually come on). And then the second-half saw them play lacking any sort of urgency, allowing Dortmund to get their second.

They eventually did lay siege to the Dortmund goal, and even managed to bag an equaliser on the night, but it was all too little too late. They’ve now lost four straight games at the worst possible time and what’s next? The Seville derby against Real Betis. Yikes.

*technically 11