Goals from Larsen, Paco Alcácer and Reus consign Monaco to second successive defeat of Champions League campaign
A confident performance from Borussia Dortmund saw them storm to a comfortable win against AS Monaco in the second Champions League tie from Group A. After a lacklustre first half in which neither side managed to impose themselves on the game, Dortmund took control in the second and secured victory thanks to goals from substitute Jacob Bruun Larsen, Paco Alcácer and skipper Marco Reus. They now have a maximum six points from six, while Monaco are without a win in nine competitive fixtures.
The first 45 minutes were a scrappy affair in which Dortmund dominated possession and controlled the tempo through their famous high press, but were unable to fashion too many clear cut chances. The best opportunities fell to striker Paco Alcácer, who curled wide from just outside the area, and winger Marius Wolf, whose swivelled snapshot was touched wide by Diego Benaglio at full stretch.
Wolf was hooked at halftime for 20-year-old Larsen, who made an instantaneous impact by netting just five minutes into the second period. Larsen was set up beautifully by another promising starlet in the Dortmund attack – 18-year-old Englishman Jaden Sancho – who slipped a ball through Monaco’s dishevelled backline. Larsen timed his run perfectly and rifled the ball past Danijel Subašić – who had replaced Benaglio at the break – into the back of the net. Sancho has now contributed seven assists in nine appearances for Dortmund this season and committed his future to the club with a contract extension earlier in the week.
Dortmund looked to press their advantage and should have doubled their lead ten minutes later when more good work from Sancho in midfield sent Łukasz Piszczek through down the right flank. Piszczek’s cutback fell perfectly for Reus, whose shot whistled just wide of the post under heavy pressure from the Monaco defence.
Eight minutes after that Dortmund had an even clearer opportunity to put daylight between the two teams when Reus was tripped in the box by the trailing leg of Polish centre back Kamil Glik. Paco Alcácer stepped up to take the resulting penalty, only for his thunderous spot kick to rattle the crossbar. However, any fears that Dortmund might be made to pay for their profligacy were assuaged moments later when Reus slipped the ball into the Spanish striker on the edge of the box, who made amends for his penalty miss by rounding the keeper and firing home.
To be fair to Monaco, they rallied well at two-nil down, producing some of their best moments of the game. An audacious backheel attempt by substitute Samuel Grandsir trickled just wide of Roman Bürki’s post, before Bürki was again called into action to deny Youri Tielemans from long range. Dortmund put the result beyond all doubt in injury time, however, when Larsen turned provider for Reus, squaring the ball across the box for the skipper to sidefoot into the bottom corner.
While Dortmund didn’t have things all their own way for the entirety of the match, the 3-0 scoreline didn’t exactly flatter the hosts, either. Monaco’s dismal start to the season continues and after their opening day victory against Nantes in Ligue 1, the team are yet to record another win. Free-scoring Dortmund, on the other hand, are flying high at the top of the Bundesliga, having collected 14 points from a possible 18. They will host Augsburg in their next match on Saturday, while Monaco will try to halt their poor run with a home tie against Rennes.