• Sat. Sep 25th, 2021

The Daily News Box

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Kiss and assist as Bellingham inspires Dortmund to win at Besiktas

ByRoborto Sykes

Sep 15, 2021

English midfielder Jude Bellingham shone with a goal, assist and kiss for Erling Haaland as Borussia Dortmund stepped down from their Champions League campaign with a 2-1 win over Besiktas.

Bellingham silenced the boisterous crowd in Istanbul with the opening goal, then loosened the home defense to give Haaland a simple tap to claim his 21st goal in his 17th Champions League game.

It remained 2-0 until Javi Montero headed in a consolation goal for Besiktas deep in extra time.

“It’s a great atmosphere and a joy to play for these fans,” Bellingham told DAZN, “but the most important thing was to put in that performance and get the win.

“It was end-to-end, kind of like basketball, but we were just more clinical.”

Haaland was full of praise for Bellingham, who kissed his teammate’s cheek during his post-match interview.

“He’s amazing, he’s 18, three years younger than me — it’s crazy,” Haaland said.

The towering striker underlined his reputation as a prolific goalscorer, taking his tally to 14 goals in 10 appearances for Dortmund and Norway this season.

“It was a very difficult game, the field was not good, but we fought and did well, so I’m happy with the win,” Haaland said.

“I love the Champions League and, I mean, I’m a goalscorer, that’s my job,” Haaland added when asked about his Champions League record.

Haaland and Bellingham balked to celebrate the second goal, but the club are reportedly facing a battle to keep both young stars past this season, with Europe’s elite following the pair.

Haaland, 21, has now scored 66 goals in 66 appearances for Dortmund.

His contract includes an escape clause, which will become active next year, which could see him leave for 75 million euros ($88 million).

Likewise, plenty of Premier League clubs such as Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea are chasing Bellingham.

When asked whether he can win the Champions League with Dortmund, Haaland chose his words carefully.

“I don’t think too much about that. I go from game to game, but that is my dream and I will try to do that in my life.”

Just a one-handed save from Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel after six minutes denied Besiktas striker Michy Batshuayi, who is on loan from Chelsea.

Still, it was one-way traffic for the rest of the first half.

The Besiktas crowd was stunned as Bellingham grabbed Thomas Meunier’s muffled volley from behind the defense and fired between the legs of Besiktas goalkeeper Ersin Destanoglu.

Dortmund doubled their lead just before half-time when Haaland tapped in after a dizzying run from Bellingham.

The Besiktas team made it a point to applaud their vocal supporters before trudging 2-0 at halftime.

The hosts upped their game when Besiktas playmaker Miralem Pjanic caused many problems for the Dortmund defence.

Dortmund were denied their first out in more than five weeks when Montero was awarded the end of a free kick from Pjanic in stoppage time.

ryj/mw

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