Bundesliga Daily – Dortmund Bow Out of Europe

Borussia Dortmund may be conquering all-comers in the Bundesliga but they bowed out of the UEFA Europa League last night following a 2-2 draw with Spanish side Sevilla.

The runaway league leaders knew that only a win would take them through following their 1-0 home defeat against the La Liga outfit back on Matchday Two back in September. That game was Dortmund’s last defeat in all competitions and ultimately was the sides downfall in a tight Group J

Dortmund had every reason to be confident going into the match, with their incredible form this season in stark contrast to Sevilla’s recent run. Dortmund’s eight consecutive away wins gave them every chance as Sevilla had lost five straight, three of those defeats coming at home.

Dortmund’s consistency has been based on a definite starting XI and once again fielded an unchanged line up, with Nuri Sahin (groin strain), Sven Bender (ankle) and Mario Goetze (stomach bug) all being passed fit to play.

The German side could not have had better start with Japanese midfielder Shinji Kagawa opening the scoring on four minutes, with a deflected strike from the edge of the area. The summer signing from Cerezo Osaka capitalised on a poor clearance by Julien Escude and his shot clipped the French defender and flew into the bottom corner leaving keeper Andres Palop flat footed.

The game was wide open in the early stages, Dortmund having to win and with the early goal forcing the Spanish side to open up. Sevilla built up pressure and the German side cracked twice in a critical five minute period just after the half hour.

Sevilla’s equaliser came on 31 minutes as an individual error by Jakub Blaszczykowski allowed Romaric to poke home an equaliser. Just 3 minutes later a wonderful cross by Diego Capel allowed Frederic Kanoute to rise highest and head home to put Sevilla ahead, a lead which they kept until half time.

Dortmund needed two goals in 45 minutes to qualify, and as in the first half they got a perfect start when centre back Neven Subotic powered home a header from a Sahin corner to level matters on the night. However despite dominating possession for the remainder of the game, they were unable to conjure up a single chance as Sevilla simply sat back and soaked up the pressure. The game ended somewhat controversially with a farcical five minutes stoppage time, which saw some blatant timewasting and gamesmanship eventually take the Spanish outfit through.

So with Dortmund out, the Europa League hopes of the Bundesliga remain with Bayer Leverkusen and VFB Stuttgart. Both sides have already qualified for the last 32 before their final group games this evening. Leverkusen have the chance to knock out the holders Atletico Madrid who need to better the result of Aris Thessaloniki to progress. Stuttgart have already won Group H and face the bottom side BK Odense of Denmark.

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