Dortmund 3-1 Ajax (UEFA Europa League)

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BVB will take a two-goal lead to Amsterdam next week after an early Neven Subotic header and a brace from Robert Lewandowski saw Dortmund run out eventual 3-1 winners after Siem de Jong equalised for the visitors before Lewandowski found the scoresheet.

Surman made two changes from the 3-1 win at Schalke, with Sven Bender injured and replaced with Dennis Praet, and Viktor Fischer was given the nod to start against his former club in place of André Schürrle who was disappointing at the weekend.

Ajax kicked-off, but it was Dortmund who went ahead with just 67 seconds on the clock when Subotic nodded home a Praet corner. Andreas Beck had a shot cleared off the line during a spell of intense Ajax pressure, and they deservedly equalised through De Jong after Weidenfeller parried a shot.

Just four minutes later and Lewandowski restored the lead when he hit an excellent drive into the top corner following a great pass from Fischer. Within five minutes after the interval, he’d doubled the lead by heading home another delightful Fischer ball. The third goal seemed to knock the wind out of the Ajax sails and they offered very little in the final half-hour.

Dortmund were gifted chances in the dying stages with substitute Mario Götze being narrowly off-target with a trio of free-kicks, but the 3-1 win was deserved.

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Welcome to Signal Iduna Park for tonight’s Europa League last sixteen clash between Dortmund and Ajax, their first meeting since the Champions League quarter-finals in 1996. Ajax won here 2-0, before a 1-0 victory back in Amsterdam and they went on to lose in the final on penalties to Juventus.

Two changes for Dortmund, as Viktor Fischer is selected to start on the left against his former club (replacing Schürrle), and the injured Sven Bender has his place taken by Dennis Praet. Jos Verniers, the natural replacement for Bender is ineligible for the competition having appeared for Club Brugge in the group stages.

[00] Today’s referee is Howard Webb from England, and he gets us under way with the visitors kicking-off.

[01] Dortmund win possession back on the edge of their own box and break forwards quickly, mainly though Marco Reus who plays the ball wide for Andreas Beck on the overlap, and he wins a corner as Niklas Moisander gets a challenge in.

[02] DORTMUND 1-0 AJAX: First blood goes to the German champions as Neven Subotic gets up above Ricardo van Rhijn at the near post to head home Dennis Praet’s in-swinging corner for his sixth of the season with just 67 seconds played.

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[04] Mohamed Diamé tries a diving header to get on the end of a Serero ball over the top but he makes a mess of it and it drops six yards wide.

[09] The Dortmund line push-up but Diamé is played onside, but he snatches at a shot and sends it into the stands.

[10] Goals from elsewhere: CSKA are ahead at home to Atletico, Lazio are one-up against Mainz, Tolouse have just gone in front against Olympiakos, and Celtic are drawing 1-1 at Manchester City.

[11] Serero brings the ball forwards before slotting through to Siem de Jong who has his shot parried away by Weidenfeller. Good chance to draw level as the Dortmund defence backed-off.

[14] Diamé rides a sliding challenge from Bender but can’t evade a tackle from Hummels in the box, and Ajax win their first corner. Hummels heads behind Eriksen’s delivery for a second, which Weidenfeller claims and delivers upfield.

[15] A Carlos Tevez penalty has put Man City in front against Celtic (2-1), while CSKA are now two-up against Atletico.

[18] Corner for Dortmund as a deep Schmelzer cross is put behind. It falls to Lewandowski but he drills well-wide.

[19] De Jong heads over the bar from a Serero cross.

[21] Marco Reus tries to curl into the top corner from 20 yards but is off-target.

[22] Beck’s cross towards Fischer is only half-cleared by the Ajax defence and it falls perfectly for Bender 20 yards out but his volley is charged down. Lewandowski then puts an effort wide.

[25] Falcao has pulled one back for Atletico Madrid at CSKA Moscow.

[31] Toby Alderweireld has a swipe at Lewandowski as the striker tries to set himself for a shot. Free-kick about 22 yards out, and a booking for the Ajax man.

[32] Reus sees his free-kick deflect behind off the wall. Praet’s corner drops toards the far post where Ajax can’t clear in a scramble and Beck has his shot blocked on the line by Mathoho.

[32] Serero is one-on-one as Eriksen hoofs the ball forwards. Weidenfeller comes out to close him down, and forces him wide until Serero shoots from a tight angle and sees his drive shoot straight across te six-yard box.

[38] DORTMUND 1-1 AJAX: It’s been coming, and Ajax have a deserved equaliser here. Serero is the creator as he’s simply not closed down. He cuts inside and stings Weidenfeller’s palms, but he’s powerless to stop Siem de Jong slotting home the rebound.

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[42] Lewandowski bursts into the box with a nice turn, but he’s closed down by the two centre-backs and can’t get a shot away.

[42] DORTMUND 2-1 AJAX: Diame is challenged on halfway by Subotic as the Ajax counter is snuffed-out. He finds Fischer who takes a touch before playing it through to Robert Lewandowski. He comes into the box before lashing into the top corner.

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[45] One additional minute.

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HALF-TIME: Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Ajax (Europa League Last 16).

[HT] An open first-half comes to a close, with the home side just shading it. Ajax deserved their equaliser after some good forward movement exposed Dortmund’s unwillingness to close down.

[HT] Elsewhere, Aston Villa lead Porto 1-0 through a Darren Bent goal moments ago, while Júlio Baptista has missed a stoppage time penalty for Málaga who go into the break 0-0 at home to Shakhtar.

[HT] Europa League half-time scores: Aston Villa 1-0 Porto, CSKA 2-1 Atletico, Dortmund 2-1 Ajax, Inter 0-0 Trabzonspor, Lazio 1-0 Mainz, Málaga 0-0 Shakhtar, Man City 3-1 Celtic, Tolouse 2-0 Olympiakos.

[46] No changes. Dortmund kick-off!

[46] Ryan Babel catches Hummels in possession, beats him for pace then forces a good save low-down from Weidenfeller with a fierce drive. Corner.

[49] DORTMUND 3-1 AJAX: Brilliant counter attack from the hosts as Robert Lewandowski wins the ball and sends it wide for Fischer. He goes wide and sends a great cross towards the penalty spot where Lewandowski beats Alderweireld in the air and heads home his second.

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[50] Diamé has a chance to pull Ajax level almost immediately, but he smashes high and wide from the edge of the box after De Jong comes forwards.

[51] Corner for Ajax as Beck challenges Babel by the goal line. Schmelzer clears Eriksen’s set-piece away.

[54] Ajax are pushing forwards in some numbers, and come within inches of a second goal. Babel, now playing on the right, skins his man and squares for Diamé who flicks it goalwards six yards out, and Weidenfeller makes a brilliant save to tip the shot away.

[59] Dennis Praet is cautioned as he’s late on Serero.

[60] Kleber has equalised for Porto at Villa, Atletico are level at CSKA through Cabrera, and Toulouse are now 3-1 up at Olympiakos, Umut Bulut has a brace.

[65] Yaya Touré has scored Man City’s fourth against Celtic, while Atletico are down to ten men at CSKA with Rubén Pérez’s sending-off.

[67] Corner for Dortmund as Beck buys it off Alderweireld. Dortmund make the first change: Mario Götze replaces Perisic (7.0).

[69] The ball falls for Eriksen on the edge of the box but he drills wide.

[72] Lewandowski has a sniff of a hat-trick, but fires over the top.

[75] With fifteen to play, Villa are back in front at home to Porto, CSKA have retaken the lead at home to Atletico from the spot, Trabzonspor lead at Inter, Lazio have doubled their lead over Mainz, and Tolouse are now 4-1 up against Olympiakos.

[80] Ten solid minutes of Dortmund pressure, looking to add a killer fourth. An Ajax goal in the last ten minutes will set up a cracking second-leg though.

[82] Late goals: Olympiakos have pulled another back at Toulouse, while Lazio now lead Mainz 3-0.

[82] Double change for Ajax: On come Lucas Andersen and Hosny, replacing Eriksen (8.1) and Babel (7.0).

[86] Viktor Fischer seems to fancy a goal against his former club, but he has two shots within a minute and both sail over the bar.

[86] Toby Alderweireld could be in trouble as he holds back Lewandowski in the centre circle. Leniency from Howard Webb though, and he escapes a second booking.

[88] Ajax heads starting to go as Viergiver then Moisander give away needless fouls. The latter gives BVB a free-kick two yards outside the box. Götze has a go but can’t bend it round from so close to goal.

[89] Götze wins a free-kick about five yards further out after Van Rhijn’s foul, but he curls it straight into Vermeer’s arms. We’re into the final minute of normal time now.

[90] One additional minute.

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FULL-TIME: Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Ajax (Europa League Last 16). [PKM]

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Solid win for BVB, but Ajax showed that they can cause some problems. Key for Dortmund will be to score in the away leg next week. They’re back at home on Sunday against bogey-team Düsseldorf, looking for revenge for the Supercup defeat and the heavy 0-6 thrashing at their place in November.

    • 15.03: Bundesliga #26 BVB v. Fortuna Düsseldorf (Signal Iduna Park)
    • 19.03: Europa League 2.2 Ajax v. BVB (Amsterdam ArenA)
    • 24.03: DFB-Pokal SF FC Nürnberg v. BVB (Frankenstadion)
    • 01.04: Bundesliga #27 VFB Stuttgart v. BVB (Mercedes Benz Arena)
    • 04.04: Bundesliga #28 Eintracht Frankfurt v. BVB (Commerzbank-Arena)

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