Dortmund emerge from loaded Group F as PSG, Newcastle deliver high drama
Group F always promised to deliver the most drama in the opening round of this season's Champions League. And it's delivered.
Borussia Dortmund secured qualification to the knockout stage with a 3-1 win over a hobbled AC Milan side on Tuesday, while a chaotic finish in the French capital saw Paris Saint-Germain earn a crucial 1-1 draw with Newcastle United thanks to a 98th-minute penalty from Kylian Mbappe.
Newcastle looked set to flip the quartet on its head with another famous victory over the group favorites but were punched in the gut by Mbappe's late spot-kick after Tino Livramento was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the penalty area. Alexander Isak had given Eddie Howe's team the lead in the opening half, and Nick Pope was tremendous in goal, turning aside several quality PSG chances before being beaten from the spot.
PSG, Newcastle, and Milan will all go into Matchday 6 with an opportunity to join Dortmund in the round of 16.
|Borussia Dortmund (Q)
Luis Enrique's team will travel to Germany for its group-stage finale, knowing that it controls its own destiny. Fail to win, though, and it opens up the possibility of a shocking early exit, depending on the result between the Magpies and Rossoneri at St. James' Park.
The two decisive matches will be played concurrently on Dec. 13.
Dortmund, overlooked by some after the proverbial "Group of Death" was drawn prior to the campaign, are the only team from the group that'll enter Matchday 6 having already secured progression. The German club took down Milan at San Siro on Tuesday thanks to goals from Marco Reus, Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, and Karim Adeyemi.
"It was a great night ... when the team plays well, it's easier for the individual," said defender Mats Hummels.
"Now we want to get first spot, and avoid the crazy good teams (in the round of 16)."