Michy Batshuayi’s brace helped Borussia Dortmund move 3-2 past resilient Atalanta Bergamo at the first leg of UEFA Europa League’s last 32.
Both sides staged a lively opening period with chances at both ends of the pitch on Thursday, reports Xinhua news agency.
Dortmund’s Marco Reus came close with the first chance of the game but missed before unmarked Mattia Caldara squandered from promising position moments later.
As the match progressed, Dortmund dictated the pace on the pitch and opened the scoring eventually as Andre Schuerrle controlled a long ball from Lukasz Piszczek to tap home the opener from very close range with 30 minutes played.
The visitors from Italy regrouped after the restart and came out strong as Josip Ilicic restored parity with five minutes into the second half.
Things went from bad to worse for the “BVB” as Ilicic sewed up his brace after poking home a rebound from inside the box with 56 minutes into the game.
Peter Stoeger’s players needed ten minutes to recover from the shock as Batshuayi unleashed a hammer to level the scoring following a combination with Schuerrle in the 65th minute.
Dortmund shifted a gear up and controlled the proceedings but they lacked in ideas to overcome Atalanta’s well-positioned defence in the closing period.
Just when the spectators settled for a two-all draw, Dortmund loanee Batshuayi secured the 3-2 victory after the assistance of Mario Goetze in the dying minutes of the clash.
“Dortmund are technically strong, but we had our chances. We turned the match around after the opener and I am pleased with the 90 minutes, a match of the highest level. We would just have liked to avoid that last goal,” Atalanta’s head coach Gian Piero Gasperini said.
“We showed a great reaction today. The stadium helped us a lot,” Dortmund’s midfielder Julian Weigl said.
With the win, Borussia Dortmund sealed their first victory in Europe this season.