• понеделник, 15 април 2024

Dortmund held to draw at PSV, Inter take late win against Atletico

Dortmund held to draw at PSV, Inter take late win against Atletico

Berlin, 21 February 2024 (dpa/MIA) - Borussia Dortmund had to settle for a 1-1 at PSV in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 clash on Tuesday, while Inter Milan claimed a late 1-0 win against Atletico Madrid.

Former PSV forward Donyell Malen put Dortmund ahead in the 24th minute and the German team took the lead into the break, but Luuk De Jong scored the equalizer from the spot in the 56th.

Dortmund goalkeeper Alexander Meyer, who was a last-minute replacement to injured and usual starter Gregor Kobel, made a crucial save to deny Sergiño Dest in the 81st and keep the matchup wide open ahead of the second leg.

In the other game, Inter were only able to break down the strong Atletico Madrid defence in the 79th thanks to substitute Marco Arnautovic's powerful finish from a tight angle.

PSV got the first dangerous chance in the 16th as Malik Tillman took a shot from the edge of the penalty area, but the ball ran just wide of the post.

Dortmund responded in the 20th, when Nico Schlotterbeck attempted to head Marco Reus' corner into the net, but the ball was deflected before it could hit the target.

The German team, however, found the breakthrough as Malen left two opponents behind before firing a fierce shot into the top corner in the 24th. The goalkeeper looked set to palm Malen's effort, but failed to deny him the goal.

PSV ended the first half looking closer to the equalizer and their good start after the break was rewarded in the 56th. Tillman was fouled inside the box by Mats Hummels and Luuk De Jong converted the resulting penalty.

Marius Wolf almost had Dortmund ahead again with a backheel volley after Ian Maatsen's free-kick, but PSV keeper Walter Benitez made a good save.

On the other side, Meyer ensured the ball had no chance of going in and secured the draw by saving a ferocious tight-angle effort from Dest.

Meyer was replacing Kobel, who warmed up with the squad, but had muscular issues shortly before kick-off.

"You always have to be prepared to come on - and that's what I had to do today. I had to quickly psyche myself up. That's my job," Meyer said.

Dortmund players weren't at all happy with the penalty awarded to PSV early in the second half. Hummels told broadcasters Prime Video: "That was a 0% penalty for me, zero. I clearly went for the ball. I minimally touched him, but this is football."

Fellow defender Schlotterbeck added: "For me, it wasn't a penalty, but you have to accept it. We would have liked to take the win, especially after leading into half-time."

Inter players and match referees wore black armbands and a minute's silence was held before kick-off in honour of Germany's 1990 World Cup hero Andreas Brehme, who died at age 63 of cardiac arrest on Tuesday.

Inter struggled to find fluidity due to Atletico's defensive strength and had only a few good chances in the first half, such as in the 37th, when Lautaro Martinez's effort was held by Jan Oblak. A minute later, Martinez also had a shot in the penalty area deflected by Jose Maria Gimenez.

The Italians got very close to a breakthrough as Arnautovic played a one-two with Martinez and fired a shot over the crossbar.

But they finally manage to break down the opponents' defence in the 79th with Arnautovic's powerful finish from a rebound after Martinez had been denied when racing through on goal by Oblak.

"These are my opportunities, I come in to make the difference. The third chance came after I missed a couple and I'm happy to have scored for the people who came here to cheer, as well as for my team-mates and for my family, who were here tonight," Arnautovic told broadcasters Mediaset.

Photo: UEFA

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