September 15, (THEWILL) – UEFA Champions League football continued on Wednesday with Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund benefiting from an inspired performance by English teenager Jude Bellingham to see off Group C Turkish hosts Besiktas 2-1 at the Vodafone Park in Istanbul.
The 18-year-old opened the scoring early in the first half and was at hand to assist their centre forward Erling Haaland for a comfortable first half lead before the hosts hustled to carve out an injury time goal to halve the deficit.
Yet, Besiktas started the better of both sides with the comfort of home advantage. In the early exchanges, Miralem Pjanic was pulling the strings while they gained in ball control. Twice before the 10th minute, Besiktas could have taken the lead but the keeper and the finishing did not allow.
Pjanic picked out Michy Batshuayi with a perfectly weighted cross from deep. The striker controlled the ball with a brilliant chest-drop to take it beyond centre back Mats Hummels before hitting a good strike only to see his shot brilliantly tipped over by Gregor Kobel, in the Dortmund goal.
The corner kick from Pjanic also reached Batshuayi again at the far post. This time the striker’s header was not as good as his strike and went wide without threatening Kobel.
With the initial storm of Besiktas attacks well-weathered, Marco Rose’s injury-ravaged side took the lead when Thomas Meunier’s deft pass was rifled into the net by Bellingham in the 20th minute to give the visitors the momentum.
A rewarding first half finished with Dortmund scoring a crucial second goal at the very stroke of the interval. Bellingham ran onto a quickly taken throw-in and found his forward teammate Haaland, who stroked in his 66th goal for the club in 66 games.
Dortmund introduced midfielder Axel Witsel at the start of the second half to shore things up alongside the impressive Mahmoud Dahoud in his defensive midfield role, restricting the hosts to few chances. Yet, Batshuayi spurned one of their best opportunity in the scarcity of opportunities of the second period for Besiktas.
Golden boy Haaland could have finished with a hat-trick if he had been a little more of his clinical best too. Then, at the end, just at stoppage time, Pjanic got his assist with the cross that Francisco Montero headed past Kobel, for a consolatory goal as the three points returned to Germany with Dortmund.
It was a good start for Rose and a beautiful performance by Belington. While all eyes were in Haaland and with a host of attacking players missing including Gio Reyna and Thorgan Hazard, the 18-year-old stepped up on the big stage again. He took his goal well and then showed quick thinking to set up Haaland.