Last 16 1st leg
Sevilla 2-3 Borussia Dortmund
Erling Braut Haaland continued his stunning scoring run in the Champions League as Borussia Dortmund put aside their domestic woes to take control of their last-16 tie with Sevilla.
They trailed early on to a Suso shot that deflected in off Mats Hummels.
Mahmoud Dahoud levelled before Haaland got his 17th goal in 13 games in the competition to put them ahead.
It was 18 soon after via a neat finish, with Luuk de Jong scoring late on to give Sevilla hope in the tie.
The substitute’s side-foot finish from a free-kick was reward for a concerted push from the home side that ultimately came too late to level the score on the night.
There was a video assistant referee check for a penalty for the Spanish side in added time for a potential foul by Thomas Meunier on De Jong but the officials deemed the contact between the two legal.
Twenty-four hours after Kylian Mbappe announced himself as Europe’s potential new goalscoring top dog with his Nou Camp hat-trick, Haaland served warning of his intention to be the Cristiano Ronaldo to the Frenchman’s Lionel Messi.
If such comparisons seem a little premature, Mbappe and Haaland are now responsible for 28 Champions League goals since the start of last season. Messi and Ronaldo have 15 between them in the same time.
As Mbappe had done against Barcelona, Haaland terrorised Sevilla with his power and pace.
None of the backtracking home players were willing or able to get near him as he charged forward, shared a one-two with Jadon Sancho and beat keeper Yassine Bounou to finish his first goal to put the visitors ahead.
For his second, and Dortmund’s third, they were overcommitted and undone by the Norwegian’s intelligent run and precise, low side-foot shot.
The two goals maintain Haaland’s record of having scored against all eight teams he has faced in the Champions League.
He is the fifth player in the competition’s history to score twice in three consecutive appearances, following Filippo Inzaghi, Giovane Elber, Cristiano Ronaldo (three times) and Robert Lewandowski.
He has scored 10 goals in the competition in just seven appearances for Borussia Dortmund, the quickest a player has ever reached that mark for a team, breaking Roy Makaay’s record with Bayern Munich (10 games, 2003-04).
And speaking of Bayern, only their striker Lewandowski can match Haaland’s Champions League tally of 18 goals since the start of last season.
One final, non-Haaland but notable stat to add: at 17 years and 233 days, Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham became the youngest ever English player to start a game in the knockout stages of the Champions League on Wednesday.
The performance of Haaland and his team-mates in Spain only goes to show how much they have underachieved domestically this season.
They came into tonight’s game having won just three of their past eight games in all competitions and sitting a lowly sixth – by their own high standards – in the Bundesliga, 16 points behind leaders Bayern Munich.
Manager Lucien Favre was sacked in December after reaching the last 16 of the Champions League and Edin Terzic appointed interim boss, with Borussia Monchengladbach boss Marco Rose set to succeed him next season.
With reports that some of the club’s top stars will be sold if they fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League, winning the competition this year may be Rose’s only hope of working with Haaland and Sancho in 2021-22.
The second leg in Germany is on 9 March and looks set to be another exciting clash.