Borussia Dortmund have been eliminated in the group stage of the Champions League for the first time since 2017.
BVB was beaten 3-1 away at Sporting CP on Wednesday night. A first half from Pedro Goncalves and a late third from Pedro Porro sent the hosts into an impregnable lead, where Donyell Malen responded with a consolation in stoppage time.
Marco Rose’s team is now three points behind the Portuguese champions with only one group game left. Due to a worse head-to-head record, Dortmund can not skip Sporting and will enter the Europa League after Christmas.
Star striker Erling Haaland has missed the last few weeks with a hip problem, where father Alf-Inge reveals that he may not be in shape again until the beginning of 2022.
Dortmund have flattered to cheat in his absence, with the summer signing Malen recently in shape, and it was not enough to save their Champions League dreams.
Due to the restructuring of European club tournaments, Dortmund will end up in the new knockout play-off round along with the Europa League group runner-up and the other seven teams that lose the Champions League.
The winners advance to the Europa League round of 16.
Having regained power under Jurgen Klopp in the early 2010s, Dortmund have been a consistent figure in the knockout stages of the Champions League over the past decade – they have failed to appear in the last 16 just three other times during the last ten years.
Dortmund finished bottom of a group that included Arsenal, Marseille and Olympiacos during the 2011/12 season, before finishing third behind Tottenham and Real Madrid in the 2017/18 campaign. They failed to qualify for the Champions League 2015/16.