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Dortmund 1-0 Paris: Fine Füllkrug finish settles first leg

Niclas Füllkrug's clinical first-half strike gave Borussia Dortmund a 1-0 win at home to Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final.

Highlights: Dortmund 1-0 Paris

A terrific first-half finish from Niclas Füllkrug settled an absorbing UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg, with Kylian Mbappé and Achraf Hakimi both hitting a post for Paris Saint-Germain in quick succession during the second half as Dortmund held on.

Key moments

14': Donnarumma repels Sabitzer strike
: Füllkrug fires beautiful opener
: Paris goalkeeper denies Sabitzer again
: Mbappé and then Hakimi hit posts
72': Kobel brilliantly tips away Dembélé shot

Match in brief: Ruthless Füllkrug secures advantage

Marcel Sabitzer poses a threat during a stirring first half for the hosts
Marcel Sabitzer poses a threat during a stirring first half for the hostsAFP via Getty Images

Both sides made a high-octane start in Dortmund, where Bradley Barcola repeatedly tried to combine with Kylian Mbappé against a defence clearly determined to deny Paris's feared forward line space.

Marcel Sabitzer had the first attempt of note, collecting a clever Julian Brandt pass from the right and arrowing in a drive from a tight angle which was repelled by visiting goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Urged on by their typically impressive home support, Dortmund became increasingly dominant, sending in all four first-half attempts on target between the teams.

The finest of those efforts broke the deadlock, Niclas Füllkrug taking a terrific touch to perfectly control a perceptive pass over the top from Nico Schlotterbeck before matching that finesse with his finish to beat the advancing Donnarumma.

Kylian Mbappé cannot believe Paris' luck as the visitors swiftly hit the inside of both posts
Kylian Mbappé cannot believe Paris' luck as the visitors swiftly hit the inside of both postsGetty Images

Paris re-emerged with electric intent, striking the inside of either post twice in a remarkable passage of play. Mbappé went first with a glorious curler, and the joint competition top-scorer was left open-mouthed – head coach Luis Enrique visibly sharing his disbelief – when Hakimi fired against the woodwork seconds later.

Fizzing energy had been a hallmark of Dortmund's start, and Edin Terzić's side seized back the momentum with a succession of slick attacks, Füllkrug clearing the crossbar with a volley and header when well placed on both occasions.

The home side had reason to be grateful to Gregor Kobel, though, for a vital save, applying the faintest of touches to former Dortmund forward Ousmane Dembélé's close-range shot from a sublime Mbappé pass.

Dembélé lashed over when in space inside the penalty area with eight minutes remaining, and Paris defender Marquinhos produced an inspired intervention to stop Dortmund from extending their lead in the culmination of a rapid counterattack. In a tie between two teams who overcame first-leg deficits in the quarter-finals, the French champions will need a return to scoring form at home on Tuesday.

As it happened: Dortmund 1-0 Paris

PlayStation® Player of the Match: Mats Hummels (Dortmund)

"Magnificent with and without the ball, he showed his quality, experience and, particularly, his leadership."
UEFA Technical Observer panel

Player of the Match: Mats Hummels highlights

Matthias Rötters, Dortmund reporter

Dortmund deserved to win because they were more courageous and worked better as a team than Paris. Dortmund now have a good – if not reassuringly strong – starting position for the second leg in Paris next week. In each of the last two rounds, Dortmund were significantly weaker away from home.

Alex Clementson, Paris reporter

While not a knockout blow, Paris will certainly feel the need to dust themselves down. This Dortmund side, propelled by their home crowd, transcended themselves. Paris will run the tape and, with Luis Enrique in the dugout, expect solutions to be found. Once again, it promises to be a night of excitement at the Parc des Princes.


Füllkrug: 'The ball sat up so nicely'

Edin Terzić, Borussia Dortmund coach: "It was a well-deserved win, a good team performance. We could have scored more goals, but so could they. That's why the result is OK from my point of view. We ran a lot, but that's necessary in a game like this. You have to earn your way to Wembley. All we need now is a draw in the second leg, but we also want to win next week. We have a small lead and a good opportunity."

Mats Hummels, Dortmund defender: "We played a top game today. It was a very mature game from us. We helped each other to put in a top performance. It's not easy to stay calm and make the right decisions in a Champions League semi-final, but we did that well for long stretches. Of course we want to go to Wembley, but Tuesday in Paris will be another tough one. If you want to make it to the final, you have to be able to hold your own in Paris."

Niclas Füllkrug, Dortmund striker: "It was an incredible atmosphere. It always feels like you go into a game with a 1-0 lead. But we also suffered a lot today. They had phases where they put a lot of pressure on us. That's inevitable against such a top team. Now it's half-time. We're still 90 minutes away from Wembley. But we remain humble."

Luis Enrique's side recovered from falling 4-2 behind on aggregate in their quarter-final against Barcelona
Luis Enrique's side recovered from falling 4-2 behind on aggregate in their quarter-final against BarcelonaGetty Images

Luis Enrique, Paris coach: "That's football. Sometimes it's wonderful, and then other times, that's how it goes. We'll have to analyse the chances created by both teams. It was a difficult game. The dressing room is a bit down, especially after hitting the post twice. But we had our supporters pushing us on throughout the match. We must recognise that this is an exceptional stadium, with fans who know how to support their team."

Nuno Mendes, Paris defender: "We knew it was going to be a tough match. They're playing at home with the backing of their crowd. We tried all we could to win, but we didn't succeed. Then we chased the game a little. We'll give it our all in the return leg. There are 90 minutes left in the tie. We'll focus on the next game and do our best to win. We've got maximum motivation."

Achraf Hakimi, Paris defender: "We're sad about the result. We didn't take the chances we created, especially in the second half. We knew what Dortmund would do – the balls in behind. We needed to be mindful of that. It was something the coach had spoken to us about all week."

Marquinhos: 'We know we can come back'

Ally McCoist, TNT Sports

Dortmund just shaded it for their play over the 90 minutes. I felt this was a game they had to win. They've given themselves an ideal opportunity now for the tie. What a game we've got in store next week in Paris.

Key stats

  • Dortmund's 11-match unbeaten home run in the Champions League is their longest ever (W7 D4).
  • They have lost one of their last nine home matches in UEFA competition semi-finals (W6 D2).
  • Füllkrug is the third player to score in the quarter-finals and semi-finals in the same season for Dortmund, after Robert Lewandowski in 2012/13 and Lars Ricken in 1996/97.
  • Paris are the first team to start a Champions League semi-final match with 11 players under the age of 30 since Bayern in 2011/12.
  • This is only the third time the French club have failed to score in their last 27 Champions League matches.
  • Aged 18 years 54 days, Paris's Warren Zaïre-Emery is the second-youngest player to start a semi-final match in the UEFA Champions League era. Julian Draxler was 17 years 226 days when he played for Schalke against Manchester United in 2010/11.·

    Fantasy star performers

    Mats Hummels: 12 points
    Nico Schlotterbeck: 10 points
    Julian Ryerson: 9 points


    Dortmund: Kobel; Ryerson (Wolf 87), Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Maatsen; Can, Sabitzer; Adeyemi (Reus 83), Brandt (Nmecha 87), Sancho; Füllkrug (Moukoko 90+1)

    Paris: Donnarumma; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Hernández (Lucas Beraldo 42), Mendes; Zaïre-Emery, Vitinha, Fabián Ruiz; Dembélé, Mbappé, Barcola (Kolo Muani 65)

    What's next?

    The second leg takes place in Paris on Tuesday 7 May.

    The aggregate winners will face Bayern or Real Madrid in the final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 1 June.

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