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Haaland double gives Dortmund edge over PSG but Neymar strike keeps tie alive

Dortmund (Germany) (AFP) – Teenage record-breaker Erling Braut Haaland scored twice as Borussia Dortmund sealed a 2-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain, for whom Neymar scored on his return to action, in Tuesday’s Champions League last 16, first leg in Germany.

Forward Haaland took his tally to 11 goals in seven games since Dortmund paid Salzburg 20 million euros ($22 million) for the 19-year-old with second-half goals either side of Neymar’s equaliser.

Having also scored eight times for Salzburg in the group stage, Haaland now has 10 goals in just seven Champions League games this season.

“These are the moments you play football for. I really enjoyed it,” beamed the Norwegian, who insisted Dortmund will still have it all to do in the return on March 11.

“We want to go through, but we will have to raise our game again,” he warned.

“It’s going to be a hard game, but we are a good team and we have to keep going.”

His performance left Kylian Mbappe and Neymar in the shade, with the latter struggling to truly make his mark having been kept on the sidelines for the last two weeks ahead of this game due to a rib injury.

However, the Brazilian superstar’s away goal means PSG remain very much in contention to reach the quarter-finals after three consecutive exits in the last 16.

The presence of the world’s most expensive player was a major boost for his team, after he missed last season’s surprise last-16 loss to Manchester United with a foot injury.

He also sat out the second leg of their defeat by Real Madrid at the same stage in 2018.

– Sancho denied –

However, Dortmund deserved the win as PSG’s star-studded attack, with Angel Di Maria supporting Mbappe and Neymar, was repeatedly frustrated by the home side, for whom the midfield duo of Axel Witsel and Emre Can regularly helped snuff out attacks.

There was little to separate the teams in the first half although Dortmund’s English winger Jadon Sancho squandered one chance on the counter-attack and then forced a fine save from Keylor Navas just before the half-hour mark.

Witsel was calling the shots in midfield, while his midfield partner Can — whose loan deal from Juventus was made into a permanent move earlier in the day — had a penalty appeal waved away by Spanish referee Mateu Lahoz after being clattered in the area by Marco Verratti.

After the goalless first half, Dortmund poured forward and kept finding spaces to exploit down the flanks.

Dortmund’s Swiss coach Lucien Favre then brought on Giovanni Reyna, who only turned 17 last November, for his Champions League debut midway through the second half.

Moments later Haaland got the breakthrough when he stabbed past Navas from close range after Thiago Silva had blocked a Raphael Guerreiro shot.

The game had now come to life, and with their German coach Thomas Tuchel frantically urging them on, PSG drew level six minutes later when Mbappe unpicked the Dortmund defence and presented Neymar with a straightforward finish.

However, the scene was set for Haaland to continue his phenomenal scoring run with a stunning finish from the edge of the area following a Reyna pass.

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