Borussia Dortmund 1-0 PSG: Player ratings as Jadon Sancho sings in semi-final first leg win

  • Borussia Dortmund open up narrow aggregate lead in Champions League semi-final
  • Jadon Sancho was the star of the show, with Niclas Fullkrug also excellent
  • Kylian Mbappe and PSG weren't at their best at the hostile Signal Iduna Park
Jadon Sancho had PSG guessing all night
Jadon Sancho had PSG guessing all night / FRANCK FIFE/GettyImages

Borussia Dortmund are halfway to their first Champions League final since 2013 after securing a narrow 1-0 win in the first leg of their last four encounter with Paris Saint-Germain.

Niclas Fullkrug scored the only goal of the game with a clinical first half finish, while Jadon Sancho was back to something like his best as his loan from Manchester United nears its end.

There could have been a lot more goals at either end, with both teams creating plenty of chances, particularly as the game wore on. But it is Dortmund who lead the tie and PSG who have work to do.

How the game unfolded

With Dortmund’s famous Yellow Wall in fine voice, neither side was prepared to give an inch as the tie got underway. For all the attacking talent spread throughout both teams, it was defence that was king in the early stages as prospective attacks at each end were snuffed out at will.

As things started to loosen up, Gianluigi Donnarumma made a good save from Marcel Sabitzer’s tight-angled shot after being played in by Sancho, while Ousmane Dembele fired just wide from the edge of the box against his former club after cutting in from the right.

Dortmund threatened at the half hour mark when Julian Brandt was found by Sancho, with the subsequent drive from 20 yards blocked bravely by Marquinhos.

But the 36th minute opener soon after almost came out of nowhere, the result of a pinpoint long ball from back to front from Nico Schlotterbeck. Fullkrug timed his run perfectly to beat the offside trap and the goal was ultimately made by an unworldly first touch that took the ball out of the sky and into his stride, before unleashing a powerful low finish past Donnarumma at the near post.

PSG, having lost Lucas Hernandez to injury, then had Donnarumma to thank for keeping the deficit at one goal before half-time, parrying Sabitzer’s low volley away in the centre of the goal as Dortmund finished the opening 45 minutes in the lead and on top.

The visitors couldn’t believe they didn’t draw level, not once but twice, five minutes after the restart. Kylian Mbappe did well to make space for a shot on the left-hand side of the box, stroking the ball towards the far corner and watching it agonisingly come back off the inside of the post. He kept it alive as Achraf Hakimi had an attempt seconds later that struck the inside of the other post. There was quickly another let off when Fabian Ruiz got free and headed a close-range chance wide.

In a bid to stop PSG’s momentum, Dortmund tried to hit back and Brandt probably should have done better with an inviting volley from the edge of the box that he pulled wide. Fullkrug then ballooned a far better chance over the bar after Sancho had embarrassed Nuno Mendes on the right. And English referee Anthony Taylor was unmoved when Dortmund appealed furiously for a penalty as Mendes put his hands in the back of a leaping Fullkrug, knocking the striker off balance. The Germany international was all-action, soon directing a spectacular diving header over the bar.

PSG stirred once again when Mbappe dinked a ball through to substitute Randal Kolo Muani, whose shot into the ground was parried by Gregor Kobel. Ian Maatsen then did exceptionally well to leap highest and head clear under pressure before the visitors to snap up the rebound.

When Dortmund momentarily switched off, Hakimi flew forward and pulled back to an unmarked Demebele front and centre, only to smash the ball over the top. Brandt then squandered a chance at the other end when an extra touch after Sancho’s clever through ball gave Marquinhos just enough time to come flying back and block the shot.

There was still time for Ruiz to miss another glorious headed chance for PSG, but Dortmund held onto their lead to take to Paris for the second leg next week.

Borussia Dortmund player ratings (4-2-3-1)

Niclas Fullkrug
Niclas Fullkrug got the only goal / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

GK: Gregor Kobel - 6/10 - His goal lived a charmed life for a few seconds early in the second half when the ball hit both posts. But wasn't as busy as you might expect.

RB: Julian Ryerson - 7/10 - Made a crucial clearance in the six-yard box in first half stoppage time when PSG players were queuing up to knock the ball in.

CB: Mats Hummels - 8/10 - So calm and composed, showing all his years of experience. Will need to check his pockets in the morning for Mbappe.

CB: Nico Schlotterbeck - 8/10 - It was an incredible long pass over the top that helped put Dortmund ahead. Always in control defensively too.

LB: Ian Maatsen - 8/10 - Flew forward to good effect, which in turn served to also largely pin Hakimi back and limit his attacking influence.

CM: Marcel Sabitzer - 7/10 - Did a good job of getting forward to support attacks, particularly in the first half. Could have been a lot stronger in the tackle.

CM: Emre Can - 7/10 - Mostly tasked with patrolling in midfield and shielding the back four.

RM: Jadon Sancho - 9/10 - Played with the kind of confidence and a swagger that Manchester United fans have never really seen. Created so many chances with seemingly effortless quality.

AM: Julian Brandt - 7/10 - Finishing was disappointing but plenty involved.

LM: Karim Adeyemi - 7/10 - His pace was clearly a worry for the PSG defenders. Grew tired.

ST: Niclas Fullkrug - 9/10 - Took his first half goal exceptionally well, but will want to forget a bad miss an hour in. Overall, a huge thorn in PSG's side all night.


SUB: Marco Reus (83' for Adeyemi) - 6/10

SUB: Felix Nmecha (87' for Brandt) - N/A

SUB: Marius Wolf (87' for Ryerson) - N/A

SUB: Youssoufa Moukoko (90+1' for Fullkrug) - N/A

Subs not used: Alexander Meyer (GK), Marcel Lotka (GK), Niklas Sule, Salih Ozcan, Kjell Watjen, Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, Marco Reus, Donyell Malen, Sebastien Haller.


Edin Terzic - 9/10 - Set his team up well and had the awareness to make a changes when any weaknesses were threatened to be exposed.

Paris Saint-Germain player ratings (4-3-3)

Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe couldn't believe he didn't score / Alex Grimm/GettyImages

GK: Gianluigi Donnarumma - 6/10 - Fullkrug's winner beat him at the near post as it seemed like he was expecting the striker to shoot across the goal instead. Made a few other saves.

RB: Achraf Hakimi - 6/10 - Hit the post but was a lot more limited than fans are used to. When he did get forward in one key moment in the second half, the chance was missed by Dembele.

CB: Marquinhos (c) - 7/10 - The score-line could have been more in Dortmund's favour without him.

CB: Lucas Hernandez - 5/10 - His last action was failing to get back at Fullkrug as Dortmund went ahead and appeared to be moving badly immediately afterwards. Didn't make it to half-time.

LB: Nuno Mendes - 4/10 - Didn't look comfortable against Sancho at all and was arguably fortunate not to concede a penalty for a push on Fullkrug.

CM: Warren Zaire-Emery - 7/10 - Hardly misplaced a pass all night and did plenty of defensive work.

CM: Vitinha - 6/10 - Saw a lot of the ball without achieving a great deal with it.

CM: Fabian Ruiz - 5/10 - Guilty of two poor finishes with his head.

RW: Ousmane Dembele - 5/10 - Didn't consistently get on the ball to really test Dortmund and he missed the target with a glorious opportunity when his moment came.

ST: Kylian Mbappe - 6/10 - Could have scored when he agonisingly hit the post and created a really good chance for Kolo Muani. But too quiet on the whole.

LW: Bradley Barcola - 6/10 - Showed flashes of quality but too much on the fringes of the game.


SUB: Lucas Beraldo (42' for Hernandez) - 6/10

SUB: Randal Kolo Muani (65' for Barcola) - 5/10

Subs not used: Keylor Navas (GK), Arnau Tenas (GK), Milan Skriniar, Nordi Mukiele, Danilo Pereira, Carlos Soler, Manuel Ugarte, Marco Asensio, Lee Kang-in, Goncalo Ramos.


Luis Enrique - 7/10 - Ultimately, the players on the pitch missed too many chances.

Player of the match - Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)