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regular-article-logo Thursday, 18 April 2024

De Jong earns PSV a draw, 'Villain' Arnautovic turns hero with late winner for Inter Milan after several missed chances

Dutch international Malen rifled in a thunderous shot from a tight angle after 24 minutes but the home side created the better chances and finally took one when De Jong scored from a spot-kick, awarded for a foul by Dortmund defender Mats Hummels

Reuters Eindhoven Published 22.02.24, 09:12 AM
Luuk de Jong scores PSV Eindhoven’s equaliser from the penalty spot during the Champions League Round-of-16 match against Borussia Dortmund at Philips Stadion in Eindhoven on Tuesday.

Luuk de Jong scores PSV Eindhoven’s equaliser from the penalty spot during the Champions League Round-of-16 match against Borussia Dortmund at Philips Stadion in Eindhoven on Tuesday. Getty Images

Donyell Malen scored a superb goal against his former side but a second-half penalty from Luuk de Jong earned a 1-1 draw for PSV Eindhoven in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Borussia Dortmund at the Philips Stadion on Tuesday.

In Milan, a late goal from substitute Marko Arnautovic gave Inter Milan a 1-0 home victory against Atletico Madrid.

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Dutch international Malen rifled in a thunderous shot from a tight angle after 24 minutes but the home side created the better chances and finally took one when De Jong scored from a spot-kick, awarded for a foul by Dortmund defender Mats Hummels.

That goal stretches PSV’s unbeaten home run to 31 games in all competitions and leaves the tie evenly poised with the return leg in Dortmund to come on March 13.

“We should have brought much more calmness to the game. Hummels told Amazon Prime. “We let the heated atmosphere get to us too much. I saw a very beatable Eindhoven today.

“We were not good enough with the ball. In our home game, we simply need to play better with the ball. Then, I am very confident we will progress.”

The match was PSV’s first Champions League knockout tie in eight seasons as they bid to reach the quarter finals for the first time since the 2006-07 campaign.

Malik Tillman had an excellent chance for the opener when he was teed up on the edge of the box and, as the Dortmund defence parted in front of him, dragged his shot wide.

Dortmund took the lead with a wonderful strike from Malen, who had four successful years at PSV before moving to the Bundesliga in 2021.

Malen appeared to be crowded out by two home defenders but managed to get a powerful shot away from 14 yards which took a slight deflection and beat keeper Walter Benitez as it went in off the crossbar.

PSV were awarded a penalty by referee Srdjan Jovanovic early in the second half when Hummels lunged in on Tillman.

The defender got a healthy touch to the ball before making contact with the German-born United States international, but the VAR confirmed the on-field decision, much to the visitors’ dismay.

De Jong easily finished from 12 yards to create a small bit of club history as in doing so he overtook Ruud van Nistelrooy as PSV’s leading scorer in the Champions League with nine goals.

The redeemer

Arnautovic, the Austria striker, who had replaced the injured Marcus Thuram at halftime, redeemed himself after several missed chances by squeezing the ball home after Lautaro Martinez’s shot was saved by goalkeeper Jan Oblak in the 79th minute.

It was only the second time the teams had played each other, with Atletico winning 2-0 in the Uefa Super Cup back in 2010.

Inter dominated the match and although Atletico had their chances the home side’s solid defence prevented the visitors from getting any attempts on target.

Samuel Lino had Atletico’s first opportunity but his right-footed curler went just wide of the far post.

Ahead of the interval Martinez and Thuram had openings to break the deadlock for Inter but also came up against a resilient defence, with attempts blocked or saved by Oblak.

Inter started the second half on the attack as Federico Dimarco supplied a cross to Arnautovic, who slid in slightly late and ballooned the ball over from close range.

Just after the hour the home fans again expressed their frustration as Arnautovic, having found himself free in front of goal, sent another effort over the crossbar before the villain became the hero of the night with his late winning goal.

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