Talking Points from Borussia Dortmund 1-3 Real Madrid

Talking Points from Borussia Dortmund 1-3 Real Madrid

Borussia Dortmund fell to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of defending champions Real Madrid in their UCL Group Stage match at the Signal Iduna Park. Gareth Bale scored a goal and Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace for the visitors, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got one back for Peter Bosz’s men.

The thrilling contest began as a one-sided affair, as Real Madrid dominated the chances and possession in the opening few minutes. The first great chance fell to the visitors, as Carvajal’s mazy run came to a halt when his powerful strike was parried away by Roman Burki. The right-back avenged this failure to score by setting up Gareth Bale in the 19th minute, who finished off the move perfectly with a sumptuous volley. Burki then had another save to make, as he dived low to his right to save Ramos’ bullet header from a Kroos corner. The header took the keeper by surprise, particularly because only Ramos and Ronaldo were in the box for the corner while there were six Dortmund players defending in the box. Both sides went toe-to-toe and even though the home side defended poorly at times, they attacked very well and came close though Aubameyang’s effort which was frantically cleared off the line, and replays showed that Ramos had gotten away with a certain handball, which was deserving of a red-card and could’ve changed the latter events of the night.

Real Madrid doubled their lead shortly after the restart, as Ronaldo tucked in a low cross from Bale near the far post to end his two-game “drought”. The home side got a lifeline almost immediately as Aubameyang pulled one back, poking in a cross from Gonzalo Castro to make it 1-2. And after plenty of chances for both sides, Ronaldo scored his second of the night in the 79th minute to put the game to bed, firing in an unstoppable effort after being played through on goal by Luka Modric. With this loss, Dortmund are now third in their Group with two defeats in a row and face a mammoth uphill task to scrape through to the knockout stages.

Here are the major Talking Points from the match-

Shambolic Defence

Roman Burki hasn’t performed consistently in big matches but he was exceptional tonight. His defence certainly let him down. Piszczek and Toljan, the two full-backs, were mostly found out of position which gave Bale, Ronaldo, and Isco a lot of room on the wings in the first half. The centre-backs were culpable for both of Ronaldo’s goal- failing to deal with Bale’s cross for his first and then easily beaten by Modric’s through pass for the second. Toljan has had a decent start to the campaign, but he’s obviously not as good as a fully fit Schmelzer. Dortmund certainly missed Bartra, and fans would be praying to see him back on the pitch as soon as possible.

Ronaldo and Bale silence critics

As per some critics, Ronaldo was “past it” and “not good anymore” but his brace tonight silenced his critics well. He hasn’t scored in the league yet and trails Messi by a staggering 9 goals already, but it must be kept in mind that his domestic ban for pushing the referee meant that he had to miss four league matches. And since his season started later than usual, it’s unsurprising that he took a bit of time to regain his form. Another star player who was written off as “not good anymore” at the start of the season, Gareth Bale, scored a sublime volley and then assisted Ronaldo’s first goal. Enough evidence that he’s not good anymore, right?

European Charge in jeopardy?

This was Dortmund’s second UCL defeat in a row, and that has coincided with Tottenham winning both of their matches. The London club, as well as Real Madrid, sit six points ahead of the German club already, and that means Peter Bosz’s men are now embroiled in an arduous situation. They not just need to win all four of their remaining games but must also hope that one of the top two fail to win at least three of their remaining games. But since both Tottenham and Real Madrid are flying high, it’s hard to see that happening. So does that mean that we need to prepare for life in the Europa League later this season? We’ll find out in a few weeks’ time.

Ramos’ Hand Ball

The incident that could’ve changed the complexion of the game- Ramos’ clear handball in the first half. Aubameyang’s effort was fluffed away by Navas and Ramos, and it looked like Ramos had stopped a certain goal fantastically. However, replays showed that he had obstructed the ball going into the net with his hand and was somehow missed by the referee from just a few yards away. Had he seen it, this was a red card offense and would’ve gifted the home side with a penalty when the score was 1-1. Who knows what this match’s outcome would’ve been had that handball been witnessed by the ref? The scoreline certainly would’ve been really different.