Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Slavia Prague: Sancho and Brandt seal last-16 spot

By Sports Desk December 10, 2019

Borussia Dortmund qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League thanks to a 2-1 win over Slavia Prague on Tuesday.

Inter's 2-1 loss to Barcelona means Lucien Favre's side finished three points above the Italians in Group F and will be in the hat for the knockout draw, which takes place in Nyon on Monday.

The impressive Jadon Sancho opened the scoring in the 10th minute before Tomas Soucek scored a deserved equaliser for the Czech side shortly before half-time.

However, Julian Brandt sealed the win with a powerful strike shortly after the hour mark, although Dortmund had Roman Burki to thank for their progression after a string of stunning saves either side of Julian Weigl's dismissal for a second yellow card with 13 minutes remaining.

Sancho and Mats Hummels went close inside the opening five minutes for the hosts, while at the other end Burki did well to keep out Peter Olayinka's close-range header.

Winger Sancho was not to be denied in the 10th minute, the England international slotting home from 10 yards after being teed up by Marco Reus, who saw a low effort repelled by the outstretched foot of Ondrej Kolar soon after.

Kolar again denied a clean-through Reus soon after before Burki superbly pushed over Lukas Masopust's deflected effort.

There was little the Dortmund goalkeeper could do to stop Soucek equalising two minutes before the interval, the midfielder sweeping home after Masopust's lofted ball had ripped open the home defence.

Brandt fizzed narrowly over and Raphael Guerreiro forced Kolar into a low save as Dortmund started the second half on top.

Sancho turned provider as Dortmund regained the lead in the 61st minute, Brandt latching onto his precise pass and lashing past Kolar from a tight angle.

Slavia continued to press, though, with Burki forced into a flying save to deny Milan Skoda while Ondrej Kudela inexplicably heading wide from point-blank range at the back post.

Weigl received his marching orders for a second bookable offence before Burki made another magnificent save to keep out Abdulla Yusuf Helal's header as Dortmund advanced.

Related items

  • Zidane confirms Bale ankle scare on Real Madrid return Zidane confirms Bale ankle scare on Real Madrid return

    Gareth Bale will be monitored after suffering a minor ankle twist on his impressive return to Real Madrid's starting side, head coach Zidane Zidane confirmed on Wednesday.

    Bale scored the opener in a 3-1 Copa del Rey win over Unionistas de Salamanca but was unable to continue beyond the 53rd minute midweek.

    Wales star Bale, who has battled injury and illness this season, was making his first appearance since the LaLiga victory against Getafe on January 4.

    "He's twisted his ankle a bit," Zidane said. "I don't think it's much but, as always, we'll see tomorrow. He couldn't go on."

    Bale's forced withdrawal appeared to unsettle Madrid, who conceded a stunning equaliser four minutes later as Alvaro Romero surged forward and fired past goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.

    Juan Gongora's own goal after the hour and a late Brahim Diaz strike saved Zidane's men from an upset and extended their winning streak to five games in all competitions.

    The Los Blancos boss insisted he was satisfied despite flirting with a premature exit against the third-tier minnows.

    "It was a tough night at a tough place to come and play," he said.

    "We struggled with moving the ball and we didn't see much great football, but that was down to the pitch, not more than that.

    "We're pleased because in the end we're going through to the last-16 and that's what we came to achieve."

    Madrid - level on points with leaders and defending champions Barcelona - visit Real Valladolid in LaLiga on Sunday.

  • Barcelona keeper Neto to have test on ankle sprain Barcelona keeper Neto to have test on ankle sprain

    Barcelona goalkeeper Neto could spend time on the sideline after spraining his left ankle in Wednesday's narrow Copa del Rey win over Ibiza.

    Neto suffered the injury when he collided with team-mate Clement Lenglet and an Ibiza player in the 50th minute of the 2-1 victory.

    The 30-year-old Brazilian was able to complete the match but will undergo testing on Thursday to determine the extent of the issue, Barca confirmed in a statement.

    Neto was making his fourth appearance for the club since arriving from LaLiga rivals Valencia in the close season.

    Barca needed two late Antoine Griezmann goals to avoid embarrassment against their third-tier opponents, who took a shock ninth-minute lead through a Josep Caballe deflection.

    First-choice keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen will almost certainly return in goal for Saturday's LaLiga trip to Valencia, with 20-year-old Inaki Pena in line to serve as deputy.

  • Juventus must be better than last season to retain title – Sarri Juventus must be better than last season to retain title – Sarri

    Maurizio Sarri is delighted with Juventus' form but acknowledges the team must be better than in seasons past if they are to again retain their Serie A title.

    The Bianconeri defeated Roma 3-1 in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals on Wednesday, scoring through Cristiano Ronaldo, Rodrigo Bentancur and Leonardo Bonucci before half-time.

    It was a fifth win in a row in all competitions for Juve, in which time they have built a four-point lead over Inter at the top of the league table.

    Sarri saw evidence of this winning mentality against Roma but acknowledged improvement was required in a three-way title tussle with the Nerazzurri and Lazio.

    "Winning is becoming normal," Sarri explained at a post-match news conference. "I'm happy for the team.

    "But we don't have to look at the numbers because it will be more difficult this year. We will certainly have to do better than previous years if we want to be competitive in the league."

    Ronaldo took his 2020 tally to seven goals in four games, and Sarri lauded his "extraordinary" talisman while again repeating a desire to help the Portuguese secure individual honours.

    "Ronaldo is in extraordinary physical and mental condition," the head coach said. "He is continuing at an impressive pace and has extraordinary skills.

    "He is very well physically. In terms of explosiveness, he is good. He takes great care of the details.

    "Ronaldo is a champion, we want to help him win the sixth Ballon d'Or, it would make us all happy."

    Juve's next league task takes them to Sarri's former club Napoli, who are struggling in the bottom half of the table.

    "It will be a difficult game. We must not look at their position in the table," Sarri added. "They have a strong team. They are going through a difficult time but have good players. 

    "From one point of view, there are three points at stake. From my point of view, from a personal point of view, it will be particularly special because I am very close to Napoli."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.