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Dortmund vs. PSG: Mbappe's Last Stand, Hakimi's Return Highlight Champions League Semifinal

Posted : 07 May 2024

The stage is set for the second leg of the Champions League semi-finals at the "Park of the Princes," with Borussia Dortmund holding a 1-0 advantage over Paris Saint-Germain from the first encounter. The spotlight is on Kylian Mbappe, who faces what could be his last significant game at his home stadium before a speculated move to Real Madrid. Mbappe's performance will be pivotal in engineering a comeback against Dortmund, with the potential to overshadow all other players on the field. His speed poses a threat to Dortmund's vulnerable backline, and isolating him against a single defender, preferably veteran Mats Hummels, could maximize his impact.


Ashraf Hakimi, formerly of Borussia Dortmund and now with Paris Saint-Germain, emerges as another key figure in the matchup. Despite a successful stint at Dortmund, Hakimi's time at PSG hasn't elevated his status as one of the best right-backs in the world. However, his offensive prowess, demonstrated by his crucial contributions in the Champions League, poses a threat to Dortmund's defense. Dortmund's young left-back, Ian Matsen, faces the daunting task of containing Hakimi, with their battle likely influencing the outcome of the match.


Dortmund's strategy revolves around exploiting Saint-Germain's defensive vulnerabilities and capitalizing on quick bursts of attack. Niklas Polkrug's goal in the first leg showcased Dortmund's ability to exploit gaps in Saint-Germain's defense, emphasizing the importance of precision passing and exploiting defensive lapses. Players like Marcel Sabitzer and Julian Brandt are tasked with orchestrating Dortmund's midfield, while the pace and skill of Karim Adeyemi and Jadon Sancho on the wings aim to stretch Saint-Germain's defense.


Jadon Sancho, in particular, emerges as a potential game-changer for Dortmund. His standout performance in the first leg highlighted his ability to create scoring opportunities, with his dribbling prowess posing a challenge for Saint-Germain's defense. Sancho's resurgence at Dortmund following a difficult tenure at Manchester United adds to the narrative, as he seeks to extend his stay in Germany and potentially lead Dortmund to the Champions League final. His battle against Saint-Germain's left-back, Nuno Mendes, could be decisive in Dortmund's quest for victory.


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