Borussia Dortmund vs Milan 0-0: Rossoneri Settle for Point in Even Contest

Milan recorded a second consecutive 0-0 Champions League draw as Rossoneri held Borussia Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park. The visitors had plenty of opportunities to take the lead in both halves, with Olivier Giroud and  Christian Pulišić wasting glorious chances either side of the break.

Dortmund also had opportunities to seal a win, especially in the first half. However, BVB struggled to find a way through Milan’s well-drilled defence after the break as the Bundesliga side remain unbeaten in 16 of their last 17 group stage home games in the Champions League.

Dortmund Shade First Half Until Giroud Misses Sitter

A lively start to the match took shape and Tommaso Pobega failed to take the first opportunity when he was allowed acres of space to drive into before the recovering Dortmund defence blocked his eventual shot. Pobega proved to be Milan’s biggest threat in the opening 10 minutes and the midfielder was in the thick of the action again after he reacted first to Tijjani Reijnders’ corner, but blazed over from close range.

Another half chance came for Rossoneri on 15 minutes, again from a Reijnders’ corner, as Malick Thiaw rose highest and his looping header dropped just over Gregor Kobel’s crossbar.

Soon, Dortmund were roared on by the Yellow Wall and started controlling possession, leading to a succession of decent chances. Ramy Bensebaini’s flicked header from Julian Brandt’s free-kick was a tough too high and went over the bar before Donyell Malen was given space on the edge of Milan’s area and drilled a snapshot just past the post.

More chances arose for the hosts with Niclas Füllkrug forcing Mike Maignan into a low save with a shot from distance and Brandt sent an overhead kick over the bar. 

However, Rossoneri rode the storm, kept in the contest and were inches away from taking the lead after Olivier Giroud raced onto a long ball over the Dortmund defence. But the veteran strike snatched at the chance and chipped his shot over the crossbar from inside the six-yard area.

In an end-to-end first half, Milan and Giroud were nearly punished for their wastefulness as Bensebaini’s first-time volley from a tight angle was tipped around the post by Maignan.

Pulišić Goes Close After the Break

With the game all-square at the break, an early goal after half time could have swung momentum in the favour of either side. Milan looked to make a statement by coming out with plenty of attacking intention and Rafael Leão looked particularly eager to make things happen with some direct running and trickery.

The visitor’s early pressure in the second period almost paid off when Leão’s direct pass to Christian Pulišić inside the penalty area gave the American a chance to turn his marker, only to fire his resulting shot into Kobel’s hands.

Rossoneri Go Close to Snatch and Grab in Final Stages

In a similar pattern to the first half, Dortmund started to retain possession as the second period wore on. Although, following a few let-offs and near misses in the first half, Milan were more organised in defence and gave hardly any space for Dortmund to dictate play in the attacking third.

As a result, Dortmund were largely restricted to long-range efforts as their urgency to strike grew in the final stages of the match. Nico Schlotterbeck was first to try his luck from range, which Maignan held comfortably. Jamie Bynoe-Gittens also attempted a curling effort from a difficult angle that sailed harmlessly over the bar. 

Milan then looked to strike late on and Theo Hernández met Leão’s teasing cross that went high and wide. The best chance to win all three points came three minutes from time with Reijnders rushing onto a ball on the edge of the area and smashing a half-volley towards the bottom corner that was inches away from nestling in the net.