A Madrid 2 – 1 B Dortmund

Sebastien Haller scored a crucial goal for Borussia Dortmund to give them hope despite losing 2-1 to Atletico Madrid in their Champions League quarter-final first leg.

Diego Simeone’s side were aggressive with their pressing on home turf and found themselves in front after four minutes when Rodrigo De Paul seized upon a horrendous pass from Ian Maatsen.

Atletico were quicker and sharper all over the pitch in the first half and made it 2-0 when Samuel Lino coolly tucked away after an exquisite Antoine Griezmann pass.

Dortmund simply had to improve after the break and the introduction of Julian Brandt sparked them into life. That said, a goal did not look likely until Haller popped up with a ruthless finish from 15 yards out.

The visitors almost made it 2-2 with the last kick of the game but Brandt’s header came crashing back off the crossbar.

Atletico maintain strong home record but Dortmund stay alive

Atletico Madrid players celebrate after Atletico Madrid's Rodrigo De Paul scored his side's opening goal during the Champions League quarterfinal soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund at the Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, April 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Atletico Madrid players celebrate after Atletico Madrid’s Rodrigo De Paul scored his side’s opening goal during the Champions League quarterfinal soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund at the Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain

Atletico came into the game having not lost any of their home Champions League knockout games during Simeone’s 12 years in charge. And they started with confidence flowing.

De Paul fired the hosts ahead after Maatsen gave the ball away. Goalkeeper Gregor Kobel passed the ball to the on-loan Chelsea defender, who played a panicked pass across the pitch and the Argentina international finished past Kobel.

Another defensive error allowed Samuel Lino, who will miss the return leg next week after being booked, to double their lead. Griezmann kept onside before scooping a clever pass sideways to Lino and he made no mistake.

The introduction of Brandt and later Haller did steady the Dortmund ship but Jan Oblak had little to do in the Madrid goal. That was until he was picking the ball out of his net with nine minutes to go.

Just moments after Lino was denied by a spectacular save by Kobler, Haller found space inside the box and ruthlessly fired a low strike into the corner to improve the German team’s chances in the second leg next week.

They could’ve been heading there all square if Brandt’s later header had not come back off the crossbar with the last kick of the game.

Opta stats

  • Atlético de Madrid have won five consecutive UEFA Champions League home games for the first time since doing so between November 2017 and February 2019.
  • Griezmann created six chances in this match – his most ever in a UEFA Champions League game (94th appearance), and the most by an Atlético de Madrid player in the knockout stages of the competition since Koke against PSV in March 2016 (8).
  • Haller has scored 12 goals in his 13 UEFA Champions League appearances, with his strike tonight his first in the competition for Borussia Dortmund.

What’s next?

Atletico host Girona in LaLiga (1pm), while Dortmund travel to Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga (2.30pm), with both games taking place on Saturday, before the return leg at Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday April 16 (8pm).

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