Aubameyang, Dortmund forget their finishing boots at Benfica
Wasteful Borussia Dortmund suffered a highly undeserved 1-0 loss at the Estadio da Luz on Tuesday night, after being the highly dominant team over 90 minutes.
There are very few teams that take the game to Benfica like Dortmund did on Tuesday night. After an atrocious performance in their 2-1 shock defeat away to bottom Darmstadt on the weekend, the Black and Yellows were in need of a good performance. Although the result didn't show it, the BVB players in unison told reporters after the game, that they will progress to the next round with the same performance at the Westfalenstadion.
There is no way past looking at the spurned chances. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fluffed a hat trick of clear cut chances -- including a weakly taken penalty. BVB have only themselves to blame for coming home empty-handed.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Thomas Tuchel's team were the dominant side and looked better prepared than the hosts but were just unable to finish off their chances.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Roman Burki, 6 -- Not much to do for the goalkeeper, who was unlucky the ball bounced perfectly for Kostas Mitroglou.
DF Erik Durm, 5 -- A solid showing by the right-back, who is often times doing the dirty work so his teammates can shine.
DF Lukasz Piszczek, 5 -- Missed his marker when Dortmund conceded the goal in the 48th minute.
DF Sokratis Papastathopoulos, 7 -- A resolute performance by the Greek centre-back, who had Benfica's attackers in his pocket more often than not. With BVB putting pressure on the hosts upfront, Papastathopoulos could win many balls by moving out of his defence.
DF Marc Bartra, 8 -- "Very good," Sokratis said about his partner in defence after the match. There is little more to add to describe Bartra's performance. As the game went on, the Spaniard moved further forward and conducted the play.
DF Marcel Schmelzer, 6 -- Could have attempted a flat pass behind Benfica's back line more often from his advanced position as left wing-back.
MF Julian Weigl, 8 -- Weigl must like trips to Portugal as he is awarded a lot of space, especially compared to the Bundesliga where he is marked out of the game more often than not. Said after the match that he "didn't mind" the space with a cheeky smile. He was a big reason why Dortmund could impose their dominance.
MF Raphael Guerreiro, 6 -- Linked up well between Weigl and the attack, but lacked accuracy for a fully glorious performance.
MF Ousmane Dembele, 6 -- The 19-year-old was BVB's focal point in the first 20 minutes, as he wreaked havoc in Benfica's half. With a little more calmness, he could have lobbed Ederson rather than putting the ball straight at the Benfica keeper. Went off the boil in the second half.
FW Marco Reus, 6 -- The 27-year-old ran tirelessly for his team tonight, making important runs in Gegenpressing.
FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 3 -- For all the clear-cut chances he missed -- including one of the most unconvincing penalties ever to be taken by a Dortmund player. Arguably a harsh rating, but it was a truly dreadful night for the striker, who has lost his finishing touch since the turn of the year.
FW Andre Schurrle, 3 -- With Tuchel getting frustrated with Aubameyang, Schurrle got a run-out in the 62nd minute. However, it wasn't much of an improvement.
MF Christian Pulisic, NR -- Introduced in the 82nd minute for Marco Reus, the youngster couldn't pull off a mazing run through the Benfica backline.
MF Gonzalo Castro, NR -- Replaced Raphael Guerreiro with eight minutes left on the clock. Won some balls deep in the opponent's half, but didn't find the right solution going forward in the hectic minutes.
Stefan Buczko covers Borussia Dortmund for ESPN FC. Twitter: @StefanBuczko.