A match-winning display from Jude Bellingham got Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League campaign off to the perfect start, as they secured a 2-1 away win over Besiktas on Wednesday night.
Bellingham grabbed a goal and a fine assist, though Dortmund also had goalkeeper Gregor Kobel to thank for some excellent saves throughout proceedings.
The hosts made a bright start, with Barcelona loanee Miralem Pjanic running things in midfield and carving out a few good opportunities.
Against the run of play, Dortmund poked their noses in front 20 minutes in. Mahmoud Dahoud sprayed a cross-field pass to the onrushing Thomas Meunier, who directed a beautiful, one-touch pass into the path of Bellingham to control well and finish emphatically.
The goal took the sting out of Besiktas and Dortmund threatened on several occasions before adding a second goal on the stroke of half-time. Bellingham was involved again, taking down a throw-in before weaving his way into the box to tee up Haaland – who missed a sitter earlier in the first half.
After the break things were open with Haaland spurning a golden opportunity to grab his second of the night. Meanwhile, Besiktas looked occasionally dangerous on the counter and Michy Batshuayi forced a good save out of Kobel.
In second-half stoppage time Besiktas grabbed a consolation with Francisco Montero nodding home Pjanic’s pinpoint free kick.
Here are your BVB player ratings from Istanbul…
Gregor Kobel (GK) – 8/10 – Made a top stop early on and then saved well from Batshuayi just after the hour mark. Looked solid throughout. At last, Dortmund have a reliable goalkeeper.
Thomas Meunier (RB) – 7/10 – Much criticised in recent times, but did very little wrong this evening. Great assist.
Manuel Akanji (CB) – 6/10 – His marking and decision making were pretty ropey throughout. Against a better side, he might have been punished. His distribution was good, though.
Mats Hummels (CB) – 6/10 – Lost Batshuayi in the opening exchanges and would have been punished by a more clinical striker. Not too many problems after that.
Raphael Guerreiro (LB) – 7/10 – Helped his side out in the final third with a flurry of bursts forward. Little troubled him defensively.
Jude Bellingham (CM) – 9/10 – Superb. Ran riot in the right half-space, without ever shirking his defensive responsibilities. Finished excellently for his goal and also got a fine assist. Gareth Southgate will have been paying very close attention to this display.
Mahmoud Dahoud (CM) – 7/10 – Gave Dortmund a solid base from which to work after a shaky start when Pjanic was afforded too much space. Created the opener with an excellent long-range pass.
Julian Brandt (CM) – 6/10 – Kept things ticking over without being too eye-catching. He was taken off at the break.
Marco Reus (AM) – 5/10 – Looked a little sluggish to start off with but grew into things somewhat. Spurned a golden chance at the end. Capable of a lot better.
Erling Haaland (ST) – 7/10 – Made up for a poor miss in the first half by getting his goal. He could, and perhaps should, have got more than one, though.
Donyell Malen (ST) – 6/10 – Full of energy and ideas. Would have had an assist if Haaland could have finished better.
Axel Witsel – 6/10 – Dortmund gained slightly more control in the middle after he came on. Broke things up nicely too.
Marius Wolf – 6/10 – Matched Bellingham’s energy but not his quality in possession.
Marin Pongracic – 6/10 – Solid.
Youssoufa Moukoko – 6/10 – Picked up a harsh yellow card for diving. Full of invention.
Ansgar Knauff – N/A