Haaland scores as Dortmund beats Beşiktaş 2-1 away in opener
ISTANBUL (AP) — Erling Haaland scored again to help Borussia Dortmund to a 2-1 win at Turkish champion Beşiktaş in their Champions League opening game on Wednesday.
The 18-year-old Jude Bellingham was outstanding as he scored the opener and set up Haaland for the Norwegian’s ninth goal in six games across all competitions this season.
Haaland, who was the Champions League’s top scorer with 10 goals from eight games last season, now has 21 goals from 17 appearances in the competition.
“I don’t really think too much about it, to be honest. You know my love for the Champions League and how much I enjoy that,” the 21-year-old Haaland said. ”I’m just enjoying the game. I mean, I’m a goal-scorer, so I need to score goals. That’s my job. That’s how it is.”
Beşiktaş made the much better start, roared on by vocal supporters, while the visitors seemed to struggle with the soft playing surface.
“It was really hard. I’m tired now,” Haaland said. “The pitch was not good, but we cannot complain about anything. We fight and we did good. So I’m happy for the win.”
Former Dortmund forward Michy Batshuayi almost scored in the sixth minute when he drew a good save from Gregor Kobel.
It took 17 minutes before the visitors first showed a threatening sign, but the move between Marco Reus, Julian Brandt and Haaland lacked precision and broke down.
Bellingham scored three minutes later when he took Thomas Meunier’s cross on his chest before firing the ball through goalkeeper Ersin Destanoğlu’s legs.
For the rest of the first half, it was all Dortmund, though the visitors had to wait before Bellingham set up Haaland for the second just before the break. The England midfielder moved past a defender by switching the ball from his right foot to his left before he picked out Haaland for an easy finish.
“He’s amazing. So he’s 18 and is three years younger than me. It’s crazy. What can I say? He’s amazing,” Haaland said of Bellingham, who gave the Norwegian a kiss on the cheek in his post-match interview.
Destanoğlu stopped a central shot from Bellingham early in the second half, before Kobel did well to deny Batshuayi again at the other end.
Dortmund coach Marco Rose made three substitutions at once with 20 minutes remaining, with Bellingham among those to go off, before Destanoğlu saved another good chance from Haaland.
Ansgar Knauff came on for Haaland with five minutes of normal time remaining and grazed the crossbar in injury time.
Francisco Montero scored Beşiktaş′ consolation goal in the fourth minute of injury time with a header off Miralem Pjanic’s free kick.
“It was end to end, a bit like basketball,” Bellingham said. “One end, they attack, the next end, we attack. We were just a bit more clinical tonight. And we got the win.”
In the other Group C game, Sébastien Haller scored four goals on his Champions League debut as Ajax romped to a 5-1 win at Sporting Lisbon.
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