Porto vs. Borussia Dortmund: Winners and Losers from Europa League

Mark Jones@@Mark_Jones86Featured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2016

Porto vs. Borussia Dortmund: Winners and Losers from Europa League

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    Borussia Dortmund cruised into the last 16 of the Europa League thanks to a 1-0 win at Porto which confirmed a 3-0 aggregate victory.

    Thomas Tuchel's side were believed to be facing one of the tougher round-of-32 ties, but they navigated their way past the Portuguese giants thanks to an own goal from Porto's veteran goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who turned the ball into his own net after a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang effort had hit the crossbar,

    After that away goal there was no way back for the Portuguese, with Dortmund emerging to remain as one of the favourites for what is an increasingly competitive tournament. 

Winner: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

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    As he has been all season, the Gabon forward was superb again here, leading from the front and helping to set the tone for Thomas Tuchel's hard-working side.

    Whereas some forwards would have wanted to take the night off given the 2-0 first-leg victory and the many tests lying ahead, Aubameyang was brilliant here. He was fortunate to see his missed chance result in a goal, but he did see another effort disallowed for offside.

Loser: Iker Casillas

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    People around the world might look at this result and who the goal has been credited against and immediately use it as more evidence to criticise Casillas, but he was undoubtedly unlucky with the only goal of the evening. Yet that almost doesn't matter.

    The Spanish veteran has long since been seen as yesterday's man, and the fact that Porto have been eliminated from European competition so early will be seen as a slight against him.

Winner: Thomas Tuchel

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    Thomas Tuchel's authority at Borussia Dortmund grows and grows, with the manager pulling off a fine victory here at a venue where plenty of European superpowers have fallen over the years.

    Dortmund protected their 2-0 first-leg lead superbly, with Tuchel's growing stature on the European stage again evident as they somewhat sailed into the last 16.

Loser: Vincent Aboubakar

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    After enjoying a wonderful start to his European season with two goals in Porto's 2-2 Champions League draw at Dynamo Kiev back in September, the continental campaign has all ended rather flatly for the Cameroonian forward Vincent Aboubakar.

    After being replaced shortly before the end of the first leg against Dortmund he left the field before the hour mark here, leaving many to wonder if the 24-year-old has what it takes to succeed on the European stage.

Winner: Roman Burki

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    In contrast to Casillas at the other end of the pitch, the 25-year-old Roman Burki is still considered fairly young for a goalkeeper and put in an authoritative performance here.

    The Swiss international made three fine saves as Porto pressed for the goal which would have at least made the 90 minutes interesting, with the hosts frustrated by what was an excellent display.

Loser: Jose Peseiro

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    We've been used to seeing Porto at the business end of European competitions for the past few seasons, and so their elimination here is sure to ring alarm bells.

    It will also do little to further the job prospects of Jose Peseiro, the successor to Julen Lopetegui after the latter's sacking in January, and a man who is effectively on trial to see if he deserves the top job on a longer-term basis.

    The disjointed display over these two legs suggests he doesn't.