Borussia Dortmund missed the chance to confirm progress on matchday four, and now face a buoyant Club Brugge.
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Dortmund missed the chance to make sure of progress from Group A last time out, and now take on a Club Brugge side who revived their own hopes with a long-awaited success on matchday four.
• Dortmund substitute Christian Pulišić scored the only goal five minutes from time in the teams' matchday one contest, setting Dortmund on their way to wins in each of their first three games, and extending Club Brugge's run of UEFA Champions League defeats. That was ended at eight by a matchday three draw at home to Monaco – and a 4-0 victory away to the same opponents in their most recent game has left the Belgian side well placed to claim third place, and with an outside chance of catching the top two.
• Dortmund will be through with a draw and will clinch first place if they win and Atlético Madrid, who are level with the German club on nine points, lose at home to bottom side Monaco. Club Brugge must win to stay in contention for a top-two finish, and will make sure of third place if they match or better Monaco's result.
• Before this season, the teams had each won two of their four matches, all at home – but Club Brugge emerged victorious in both ties, both in dramatic circumstances.
• In the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, each side won the home leg 2-1, sending the tie into a penalty shoot-out in Dortmund. Club Brugge emerged 4-2 victors and went on to the group stage, although they failed to progress further.
• The sides' first tie was particularly remarkable, Dortmund seizing control of their meeting in the 1986/87 UEFA Cup third round with a 3-0 first-leg success in West Germany – only for Club Brugge to score three times themselves in the Belgium return to force extra time. There goals from Franky Van der Elst and Leo Van der Elst (no relation), the latter completing his hat-trick, sealed a spectacular comeback.
• Having opened the section with the win at Club Brugge, Lucien Favre's side were 3-0 home victors against Monaco on matchday two. They then dismantled Atlético 4-0 in Germany – matching the margin of their biggest home UEFA Champions League victory – only to go down 2-0 in Spain in the reverse fixture.
• Before this season, Dortmund had won only one of their last 11 UEFA Champions League fixtures (D3 L7); they had won three in a row, their best run since autumn 2016, before the loss at Atlético.
• Fourth in last season's Bundesliga, the German club are in the group stage for the third season running, and the seventh time in eight years – in 2017/18 they picked up only two points from their six fixtures. They went on to reach the UEFA Europa League round of 16, losing to Salzburg.
• The German club picked up only one point at home in last season's group stage, and were without a win in four UEFA Champions League matches in Dortmund (D1 L3) before beating Monaco.
• The 3-2 home win against Atalanta in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg was Dortmund's only European victory last season; they have now won three of their last eight European home matches (D1 L4), including both of the last two.
• This is only the second time Dortmund have been drawn with a Belgian club in a UEFA Champions League section; they took four points off Anderlecht in 2014/15 (3-0 away, 1-1 home).
• Beaten at home by Dortmund on matchday one, Club Brugge then went down 3-1 at Atlético to extend their run of defeats in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final, to eight in a row – four short of the competition record held by another Belgian club, Anderlecht – before it was ended by the home draw against Monaco. The 4-0 win away to the Ligue 1 side ended a 13-year, 13-game sequence without a victory in the UEFA Champions League, qualifying included.
• The Belgian side had drawn two and lost 11 of their last 13 games in the competition prior to matchday four. Group stage to final, Club Brugge's previous UEFA Champions League win was a 3-2 home defeat of Rapid Wien in November 2005; their winless run until the victory against Monaco was D2 L9. They have won only three of their last 16 fixtures in the UEFA Champions League proper (D2 L11).
• The Monaco match on matchday three was the first time Club Brugge had picked up a point in the group stage since a 1-1 draw against Bayern München on 7 December 2005.
• Belgian champions for the 15th time in 2017/18, this is Club Brugge's second group campaign in three seasons, and their sixth overall. Before 2016/17 – when they lost every game to finish bottom of a group including Leicester, Porto and København – their previous participation had come in 2005/06.
• The Bruges club have won only one of their last ten fixtures against German clubs, home and away (D2 L7) – that 2003 defeat of Dortmund. They have never won in Germany, where their record is D3 L9, losing their last four games there.
• Runners-up to Liverpool in 1978, Club Brugge remain the only team from Belgium to have reached a European Cup final.
Links and trivia
• Thomas Delaney scored in København's 4-0 win against Club Brugge in the 2016/17 group stage.
• Have played in Belgium:
Axel Witsel (Standard Liège 2006–11)
Abdou Diallo (Zulte Waregem 2016/17)
• Has played in Germany:
Saulo Decarli (Eintracht Braunschweig 2014–17)
• International team-mates:
Axel Witsel & Hans Vanaken, Jelle Vossen (Belgium)
Christian Pulišić & Ethan Horvath (United States)
Achraf Hakimi & Sofyan Amrabat (Morocco)
• Arnaut Groeneveld scored the Netherlands' goal in a 1-1 friendly draw against Axel Witsel's Belgium on 16 October.
• The matchday four loss at Atlético is Dortmund's only defeat this season (W14 D3). They were 2-1 victors at Mainz on Saturday thanks to goals from substitute Paco Alcácer and Łukasz Piszczek.
• BVB bounced back from their loss in Madrid with a 3-2 Bundesliga win against German champions Bayern München on 10 November having twice fallen behind.
• Marco Reus, who has four goals in his last five Dortmund games, scored twice against Bayern.
• Alcácer, who also scored the winner against Bayern, has nine goal in his first seven Bundesliga matches.
• BVB have scored 35 goals in their first 12 Bundesliga games.
• Twelve of Dortmund's league goals this season have been scored by substitutes, equalling the club record from 2008/09.
• Fifteen different players have scored for Dortmund in the first 12 league games, a new Bundesliga record.
• Jadon Sancho made his first international start for England on 15 November in a Wembley friendly against the United States, with Christian Pulišić in the visitors' line-up. Sancho came on as a 73rd-minute substitute three days later in the UEFA Nations League against Croatia as England came from a goal down to win 2-1 and qualify for the Finals.
• Manuel Akanji (hip) sat out Switzerland's internationals this month, as did Roman Bürki (thigh) who had also missed the game against Bayern. Both played 90 minutes at Mainz.
• Abdou Diallo had been out since suffering an adductor injury against Union Berlin on 31 October; he returned as a late substitute at Mainz.
• Marcel Schmelzer has been out since 26 September with a knee injury, but is back in light training.
• The Belgian champions won eight of their first nine league games this season, drawing the other, before a 3-1 defeat at Standard Liège on 7 October. They have won only one of six since (D3), losing their last two: 2-1 at Charleroi on 10 November and 3-1 at home to Zulte Waregem on Friday.
• Siebe Schrijvers has scored six times in Brugge's last eight league matches, Hans Vanaken managing five goals in the same run.
• Club Brugge won the Belgian Super Cup for the 15th time on 22 July in their own Jan Breydelstadion, beating Standard 2-1 with goals from Vanaken and Wesley.
• Club Brugge's Belgian Cup campaign ended in the last 32, with a 2-0 defeat at amateur side Deinze on 26 September.
• Jelle Vossen sustained a knee injury in the 1-1 draw against Waasland-Beveren on 19 October and is expected to be out until 2019.
• Arnaut Groeneveld missed matchday three with an ankle injury and has not played since.
• On 15 November Vanaken's shot led to Michy Bathuayi scoring Belgium's second goal in a 2-0 UEFA Nations League win against Iceland. Brandon Mechele was an unused substitute, a role he filled again in the 5-2 defeat against Switzerland that followed, a match in which Vanaken also remained on the bench.
• Dion Cools scored Belgium Under-21s' opening goal in a 3-3 friendly draw in Romania on 15 November; Schrijvers also featured.