Brandt inspires Dortmund to damage Newcastle's last-16 hopes

AFP , Tuesday 7 Nov 2023

A late goal from Julian Brandt sealed a 2-0 home win for Borussia Dortmund over Newcastle on Tuesday, severely denting the English side's hopes of reaching the Champions League knockout phase.

Dortmund's Julian Brandt, second from left, celebrates with his teammates after scoring against Newcastle during the Champions League Group F football match between Borussia Dortmund and Newcastle United in Dortmund, Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023. Photo: AP


Returning to the Champions League after two decades, Newcastle travelled to Dortmund needing a win to put them back on course for a place in the last 16, but were outclassed by the German side from start to finish.

The victory saw Dortmund go top of a difficult Group F with two games remaining, three points clear of Newcastle and with the head-to-head advantage.

Paris Saint-Germain can retain their lead in the section by avoiding defeat at AC Milan later on Tuesday.

Injury-hit Newcastle travelled to Dortmund without a full complement of players, manager Eddie Howe losing defenders Dan Burn and Matt Targett to long-term injuries in his side's 1-0 win over Arsenal on the weekend.

Comprehensively outplayed just three days ago against a Harry Kane-powered Bayern, Dortmund stormed confidently into the match, Niclas Fuellkrug and Karim Adeyemi unleashing fierce shots on Newcastle's goal within the opening 15 minutes.

The 30-year-old Fuellkrug, a year on from making his Germany debut, broke the deadlock midway through the half, scoring his first goal in the Champions League.

Felix Nmecha, who scored the game's only goal at St James' Park, along with Brandt controlled play in midfield, always seemingly at arm's length from the undermanned Newcastle defence.

The sides traded blows early in the second, Dortmund's Brandt forcing saves from Nick Pope either side of a wayward header from Newcastle's Joelinton.

A tired Adeyemi gave away a dangerous free-kick on the left of the box with 10 minutes to go, but Kieran Trippier's poor delivery allowed Dortmund the opportunity to counter and kill off the match.

Adeyemi won the ball back and blasted a perfect pass into Newcastle's half, into the path of the onrushing Brandt.

The Dortmund midfielder made the most of the two-on-one, shaping to pass before steering past a helpless Pope to double the lead.

Dortmund's win means they are the only side to have beaten Newcastle in the Premier League side's past 13 matches, having now done so twice in a fortnight.

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