Dortmund and Porto take control in Champions League last 16 ties

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Berlin (dpa) – A double from Norwegian sensation Erling Haaland helped Borussia Dortmund come from behind to win 3-2 away to Sevilla in the last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday while Porto struck early in each half to down Juventus 2-1.

A brilliant shot from Mahmoud Dahoud brought Dortmund level after Suso’s early deflected opener for Sevilla and Haaland’s surging run and one-two with Jadon Sancho soon put the guests ahead.

Haaland added another on the counter-attack before the break for a season-best eighth in the competition and leave Sevilla with an uphill task in the March 9 second leg in Dortmund despite Luuk de Jong’s late consolation.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus must also come from behind, though at home, after Mehdi Taremi scored for Porto a minute into the game and Moussa Marega doubled the lead just 20 seconds into the second half.

But Federico Chiesa’s first leg away goal for Juventus could yet prove crucial.

Paris Saint-Germain crushed Barcelona 4-1 away on Tuesday and Liverpool won 2-0 away to RB Leipzig, in a match played in Budapest, as the knock-out phase of the tournament began behind closed doors and with the coronavirus pandemic still posing challenges.

Holders Bayern Munich are among those in action next week when they resume their title defence away to Lazio on Tuesday.

Dortmund had won just two of their last seven in all competitions to sit sixth in the Bundesliga and this week confirmed Borussia Moenchengladbach’s Marco Rose would take over as coach next season.

But a slick performance, in arguably the best the team have played under interim boss Edin Terzic since his December appointment, has put them on the brink of the quarter-finals regardless.

“One game isn’t enough to make everything from recent weeks right,” Dortmund captain Marco Reus told DAZN though he said it was “an important step,” to win in such a manner.

Dahoud found the top corner from distance in the 19th minute and Haaland powered through the Sevilla defence to take a chipped return pass from Sancho and put Dortmund ahead on 27.

And another cool finish from the 20-year-old, after recalled captain Reus won the ball in midfield, had Dortmund cruising just before the break.

“The first half, outside of the early goal, went exactly as we had envisioned it,” said Reus.

“We won the ball well, got it forward onto dangerous positions and took the lead.

“In the second half it wasn’t as good because we became too passive.

“It got harder as the night wore on so we’re delighted to have won.”

Sevilla are record Europa League champions but struggle to step up to the elite level having moved into the last eight just once.

And despite winning their last nine in all competitions they were second-best throughout even with Suso giving them a seventh-minute lead thanks to a deflection off Mats Hummels.

Oscar Rodriguez hit the post with a free-kick and Dortmund will expect to see out the tie at home though De Jong converting a set piece at the back post six minutes from time kept Sevilla alive.

“I think it’s important we scored the second goal at the end,” said de Jong, who admitted “we weren’t ourselves in the first half.

“We just missed a third goal but I think anything is possible in the second leg.”

Porto needed just a minute to set the tone in a duel of two-time European champions when Taremi seized on Rodrigo Bentancour’s slack back pass to force the ball home.

Juventus and Ronaldo in particular struggled to impose themselves until late in the half but fell further behind straight after the restart when Marega turned in Wilson Manafa’s cut back.

“We knew that we had to press hard to keep Juventus from playing,” Porto defender Pepe told Eleven Sports. “In these type of games it’s difficult to concede goals at home, but we played a great game.”

Bringing in Ronaldo from Real Madrid was supposed to help Juventus to a first continental crown since 1996 but in two seasons he has yet to help the side into the last four.

Chiesa guided in Adrien Rabiot’s 82nd minute cross though to keep Juventus well in the contest though as Porto conceded for the first time since their opening match of the group stage away to Manchester City.

“Our approach was bad and the game became even more difficult for us after that early goal,” said Chiesa. “When you are not fully focused and when you don’t give your very best, [teams can] punish you at this level.”

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