A shocked silence greeted the final whistle at Signal Iduna Park tonight as defeat saw Dortmund become the second Champions League holders to slip out of the competition at the Group Stage after Dudu Biton’s early goal won the match for Standard Liège.
BVB required a draw to progress ahead of the Belgian side, but were forced to make two changes from the side who beat Bayern Munich here on Saturday, losing both Marcel Schmelzer and captain Mats Hummels to knocks ahead of the game. Cimo Röcker and Felipe Santana were the straight swaps in an otherwise unchanged starting XI.
Jovetic’s volley early on set the tone for the opening fifteen minutes, with BVB forcing early corners, but they couldn’t find a way through a packed penalty area. Against the run of play quarter of an hour in, Dudo Biton took advantage from a Neven Subotic slip to slot home an opener.
Surman rolled the dice three times, including one change before the break, but were unable to test Anthony Moris anywhere near enough for Dortmund’s standards, with the ‘keeper not having to make a save after the break.
With time running out, and all three changes made, Mario Götze was stretchered off leaving Dortmund a man light against a ten man Belgian defence which wasn’t going to budge. Scans after the game show nothing more than a bruised ankle, but he may sit out against Mainz at the weekend.
Liège finish behind Valencia (who won in Poland) to join them in the last sixteen, wile Dortmund will have to compete in a Europa League campaign in the new year. A different trophy for the club to win, but that offers scant consolation for the holders who have relinquished their grip of the famous Champions League trophy.
Matchday six for Group G was brought forward by a week due to BVB’s involvement in the FIFA Club World Cup. Groups A-F and H play their final match next week.
Welcome to Signal Iduna Park, where the winners of this match will join Valencia in the last sixteen. Dortmund can theortically win the group, but it will require an eight goal swing and defeat for the Spaniards at winless Warsaw.
Two changes for the hosts, with Mats Hummels and Marcel Schmelzer rested after the weekend win over Bayern. In come Felipe Santana and Cimo Röcker as straight replacements. A draw sees Dortmund through, anything else will be a massive disappointment for the holders as they’ll have to settle for Europa League action.
 Dortmund kick-off!
 Stevan Jovetic has the first chance inside seventy seconds as Lars Bender’s pass into the box is spooned up into the air with a poor attempted clearance by Rami Gershon, but Jovetic hits the volley wide from 15 yards.
 Sivakov puts behind Röcker’s cross into the box with an acrobatic clearance, and Dortmund win the first corner of the match. Buyens heads away Praet’s delivery.
 The counter is on for the Belgians with Sivakov leading the charge up the right hand flank, he pulls it back for Buzaglo but the shot is scuffed wide of Weidenfeller’s far post. Wasted opportunity.
 Dave Bulthuis barges Jovetic off the ball and goes into the book.
 Röcker’s cross put behind again. Second corner for BVB. First delivery is cleared but Dortmund keep it alive, putting the centre backs under pressure until they get it away.
 André Schürrle comes forward but blazes wide from 25 yards, as we so often see.
 DORTMUND 0-1 STANDARD: The shock is on as Liege take the lead out of nothing. Neven Subotic makes a great challenge on Seijas, but then the defender slips and gifts possession to Dudu Biton. He’s got a 15 yard run to the box where he slots past Weidenfeller.
 Jovetic almost equalises straight from the restart as BVB kick-off, get the ball to Röcker who gets down the left, croses and Jovetic’s header is cleared off the line and put behind. Subotic heads the corner inches wide.
 Surman is going bonkers in the dugout as his defenders just aren’t closing down. Biton has far too much time and space on the edge of the box to turn and shoot. Weidenfeller parries it over the top and BVB clear from the corner.
 Sergio Canales has put Valencia in front in Warsaw. That’ll be win four out of six for Valencia, with the two 1-1 draws with Dortmund their only dropped points.
 Schürrle fires wide.
 Nice work from Dortmund of late but no effort on goal, Standard defending this valuable goal with their lives.
 Looks like there’s activity on the Dortmund bench already. Surman spying that his side are lacking attacking teeth tonight, and they need to score.
 Change for BVB: Robert Lewandowski replaces Schürrle (6.7). Reus is moving out to the left of a four-man Dortmund attack.
 Dennis Praet cautioned for a late lunge on Buzaglo.
 Opare heads behind a deep cross into the box, another Dortmund corner. These have to start counting.
 …and it very nearly did! Moris saves at point blank range from Subotic’s header, before Buyens knocks it behind. Praet trots back over to swing another one in. Put behind by Biton for another, but that’s hammered away at the near post.
[45+1] Moris saves at the feet of Lewandowski, before collecting a long-range Lars Bender effort. BVB forty-five minutes away from a shock defeat here which would put them out of the competition.
HALF-TIME: Borussia Dortmund 0-1 Standard Liège (UCL Group G)
 No changes at the break, we’re back under way. Valencia leading 1-0 at Warsaw in the other match.
 Sivakov has the first chance after the interval, but it’s a simple save for Weidenfeller.
 Corner for Standard, with Buzaglo’s ball into the box coming off Reus. Bender heads away and BVB can break.
 Lewandowski finds Jovetic in space but he snatches at the shot and launches it into Row Z.
 Second change for Dortmund: Viktor Fischer on for Reus (6.1).
 Dortmund haven’t touched the ball for what seems like five minutes. No closing down, no aggression, no hassling. A little over half hour to find a goal to save their campaign.
 Legia Warsaw have equalised through Michal Kucharczyk at home to Valencia.
 Lars Bender puts one narrowly over the top from 22 yards, and Standard get the go ahead to make their first change: Martin Spelmann replaces Augustien (7.0).
 Martin Spelmann sees his deep cross clip the crossbar and go out. There’s more action on the Dortmund bench.
 Final roll of the dice for Dortmund: Ivan Perisic is on for Röcker (5.7). Another disappointing day for the young defender. BVB surely shopping for a new left-back in January. Three at the back for BVB now, it’s score or bust.
 Fantastic move from BVB sees Jovetic go out left to receive a ball, he leaves his man for dead, cuts inside the box and pulls back for Bender on the edge of the box, but his shot is inches over the top.
 Seijas has clattered through Götze, and the Dortmund man is being carried off. BVB having to see this out with just ten men.
 Yoni Buyens trips Ivan Perisic by the touchline, about 25 yards out. Needs a good delivery here from the set-piece. It got one but Ariel Nahuelpan heads away at the far post. He’s just come on for Biton (7.5), that was his first touch.
 Standard counter and win a corner. Taking an age to restart play. Crowd restless. Subotic heads away but Standard are first to everything with the numerical advantage.
 Sofiane Feghouli has put Valencia back in front at Legia.
 The fourth official indicates that BVB have three minutes to save their Champions League campaign.
[90+4] Felipe Santana cautioned as he slides in on Sivakov. Liege in no hurry to get the game going, eating up the time, and it appears to have run out for the holders.
FULL-TIME: Borussia Dortmund 0-1 Standard Liège (UCL Group G). [PKM]
Dortmund’s title defence comes crashing at the first hurdle, going out at the group stage as holders just as Chelsea did two seasons ago. They looked toothless today as game after game takes its toll, and lady luck wasn’t on their side today, failing to force the visiting ‘keeper into a save after the break despite three up front at times.
It’s a Europa League campaign for BVB now, and one they should be able to progress far in against lesser sides, but as Standard showed today, if they pack ten men behind the ball, BVB come up short without space to play into.
It’ll be an interesting month for manager Surman, he needs to invest and deepen the squad. Cimo Röcker simply isn’t good enough cover for Marcel Schmelzer, and they need to blood through another defensive midfielder.
- 06. 12: Bundesliga FSV Mainz v. Borussia Dortmund (Coface Arena)
- 10.12: Bundesliga Augsburg v. Borussia Dortmund (SGL Arena)
- 11.12: Bundesliga Borussia Dortmund v. Eintracht Frankfurt (Signal Iduna Park)
- 14.12: Bundesliga Borussia Dortmund v. TSG Hoffenheim (Signal Iduna Park)
- 19.12: FIFA Club World Cup SF v. New York Red Bulls / Al-Sadd QC (in Morocco)