Borussia Dortmund confirmed their place in the Champions League knockout stages with a 0-0 draw at home to Club Brugge, but gave the edge to Atletico Madrid in the race for top spot in Group A in the process.
Despite their complete dominance, Dortmund managed to create just one clear cut chance within the first half hour. Marco Reus was sent clean through but could only send his shot narrowly wide of the post with only Ethan Horvath to beat.
While Brugge offered very little going forward, they defended comfortably for the most part, and 0-0 was a fair reflection of the first 45 minutes at half time.
The second half was much of the same for the home side, an exercise in attack vs defence. Though Dortmund
In truth, Brugge were good value for their point. Whilst Dortmund never looked troubled at the back, they could never make their possession count for anything worthwhile. The Belgians did themselves proud in an excellent defensive performance, not many will come to Dortmund and keep a clean sheet.
Key Talking Point
With the onus completely on Dortmund, the Bundesliga side needed to show that they were capable of picking apart a well drilled defence.
This was a less than convincing showing in that sense, with most of the home side's play providing no threat to the Brugge back line. Christian Pulisic offered a threat, but he was often outnumbered. If they want to go far in the tournament they'll need to offer more going forward when not playing on the counter.
Starting XI: Burki (6); Piszczek (6), Akanji (6), Zagadou (6), Diallo (6); Witsel (6), Dahoud (7); Pulisic (7*), Reus (6), Guerreiro (6); Alcacer (5).
Substitutes: Sancho (N/A), Hakimi (N/A).
STAR MAN - Christian Pulisic
Linked with a move to the Premier League, the American youngster showed why he's so highly rated. A bad miss in the first half was the only negative in an excellent display.
Pulisic tries to beat 6 defenders. Beats 5. #bvbclu— Stefan Buczko (@StefanBuczko) November 28, 2018
Dortmund struggled to unpick a stern Brugge defence for the majority of the match, but Pulisic was a constant threat. He was on for goal of the season at one point after slaloming through five challenges and getting into the box, but it wasn't to be.
WORST PLAYER - Paco Alcacer
The Spaniard has been in inspired form for Dortmund this season, but he'll want to forget this performance in a hurry.
The forward was largely anonymous for the majority of the game and was booked after an accumulation of fouls. He never really influenced the game in any way.
Key Talking Point
With very little to play for, the pressure was off Brugge and they had the chance to show what they could do on the biggest stage.
Whist they didn't ever threaten Dortmund or commit many bodies forward, the Belgians defended admirably throughout and kept some talented players quiet for large spells. They'll exit the tournament with their heads held high.
Starting XI: Horvath (5); Poulain (6), Mechele (6), Denswil (5); Mata (6), Vormer (6), Nakamba (6), Dennis (6*), Amrabat (5); Wesley (6), Vanaken (5).
Substitutes: Rits (N/A), Openda (N/A), Decarli (N/A).
STAR MAN - Emmanuel Dennis
In a Brugge side that was largely uninterested in attacking, Dennis showed the most will to go forward and attack Dortmund.
Although he didn't manage to create any clear cut chances, the Nigerian put a good shift in that at times helped relieve the considerable pressure on his side's back line.
WORST PLAYER - Ethan Horvath
A clean sheet away at Dortmund is nothing to sniff at and the Brugge goalkeeper deserves some credit, but the fact Dortmund didn't score was more down to their lack of incisiveness rather than good goalkeeping.
When called upon the 'keeper looked nervous, punching away a straight forward cross and fumbling a simple catch in the first half.
Club Brugge will play host to Atletico Madrid