Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund face an uphill struggle to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League after they were unexpectedly held to a 1-1 draw by Apoel Nicosia on Tuesday which left them third in Group H.
Apoel scored in the 61st minute when Poté took advantage of a defensive lapse, rounding Roman Burki in the Dortmund goal after the keeper could only parry Lorenzo Ebecilio’s effort from the right hand side of the area.
Dortmund drew level when Mario Götze’s floated cross to the back post was headed in by Papastathopoulos after the Greek defender stayed up following a corner.
This appeared to wake the Germans from their slumber and just a minute later, Shinji Kagawa’s strike from the edge of the box was tipped on to the crossbar by Apoel’s substitute keeper, Raul Gudino.
Peter Bosz’s men had been expected to outclass the Cypriot minnows but they are now in danger of suffering a group-stage exit as they have yet to secure victory in the group where Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur lead the standings with seven points apiece.
The lacklustre game sparked into life just after the hour mark when Apoel took the lead through substitute Mickael Poté following a goalkeeping error. A strike from Sokratis Papastathopoulos allowed Dortmund to draw level five minutes later but they were unable to score again. Along with Apoel, they have one point in Group H.
Dortmund almost snatched it at the death but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s header was shovelled on to the post by Gudino before Götze blazed the rebound over with the last kick of the game.
In Group E, Spartak Moscow sliced Sevilla apart with rapid counterattacks to beat the Spanish team 5-1 and move level on points with Liverpool. Quincy Promes headed the Russian champions’ opening goal in the 18th minute, eventually finishing with two goals and two as
The victory moves Shakhtar up to second in the group with six points from three matches, three behind leaders Manchester City.
Elsewhere, Monaco slumped to a 2-1 home defeat against Besiktas that left last year’s semi-finalists bottom of Group G and facing a battle to reach the knockout rounds. Cenk Tosun scored twice for the visitors, either side of the interval, after Radamel Falcao had opened the scoring for the Ligue 1 club.
The result put the Turkish side on a perfect nine points from three games and left Monaco propping up the table with one point. RB Leipzig are second on four points after a 3-2 win over Porto, who are a point further back in third.