Wasteful Borussia Dortmund go down to Benfica 1-0

Goetze left out of Dortmund squad for Benfica

Borussia Dortmund have qualified for the Champions League knockout stages in each of their last four participations, finishing top on each occasion.

The Dortmund coach, Thomas Tuchel, put Aubameyang out of his misery by substituting him soon after and, following a sensational save from Ederson with six minutes left, the hosts held on to celebrate victory.

The decision raised eyebrows given Aubameyang's importance to the side, not to mention his 21 goals in all competitions this season.

Aubameyang wasted a handful of chances to get the Bundesliga side into the game in open play and when his awful penalty was easily saved, Tuchel responded by withdrawing his top-scorer from the pitch nearly half-an-hour early. The players were relentless and we achieved an important result because it was essential not to concede goals. In the first half, in particular, we were very good, moved the ball about very well and had some excellent opportunities to score. I don't think we played well, I think we played outstandingly.

Asked about the difficulty of the task to turn the tie around in the return leg at the Westfalenstadion in March, the defender replied: "I don't think it is hard". "That's football, when you play so well, yet still walk off as losers".

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He saw much to praise in his team's plucky rearguard, not least the stout performance of goalkeeper Ederson, who did as much as Aubameyang to keep Dortmund off the scoresheet.

"Arsenal are a better counter-attacking team these days so not having too much of the ball isn't a major concern, but Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, as much as I think of them, just don't deliver enough in the big games".

"The only problem was that we didn't score".

I think Real will grind out the win and the man I'm backing to get another crucial goal is one I don't really enjoy watching, but is such a threat at set pieces, Sergio Ramos. "We were the better footballing side".

Veteran Brazilian forward Jonas, who scored 32 times in Portugal last season, will make his first appearance in Europe this season after missing the group stage with an ankle injury.

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