Borussia Dortmund have been eliminated at the group stage of the Champions League for the first time since 2017.
BVB were beaten 3-1 away at Sporting CP on Wednesday night. A first half brace from Pedro Goncalves and a late third from Pedro Porro sent the hosts into an unassailable lead, with Donyell Malen replying with a consolation in stoppage time.
Marco Rose’s side are now three points behind the Portuguese champions with just one group game remaining. Due to an inferior head-to-head record, Dortmund cannot leapfrog Sporting and will head into the Europa League post-Christmas.
Star striker Erling Haaland has missed recent weeks with a hip problem, with father Alf-Inge revealing that he may not be fit again until the start of 2022.
Dortmund have flattered to deceive in his absence, with summer signing Malen only recently coming into form, and that was not enough to save their Champions League dreams.
Due to the restructuring of European club tournaments, Dortmund will drop into the new knockout playoff round alongside the Europa League group runners-up as well as the seven other sides to drop down from the Champions League.
The winners will advance to the Europa League last 16.
After rising to power again under Jurgen Klopp in the early 2010s, Dortmund have been a consistent figure in the knockout stages of the Champions League in the last decade – they have failed to appear in the last 16 only three other times in the last ten years.
Dortmund finished bottom of a group containing Arsenal, Marseille and Olympiacos in the 2011/12 season, before finishing third behind Tottenham and Real Madrid in the 2017/18 campaign. They failed to qualify for the 2015/16 Champions League.
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