Borussia Dortmund booked their place in the Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday, overturning a 1-0 first leg defeat with a 4-0 win at home to Benfica. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang completed a hat trick after a Christian Pulisic strike broke the visitors’ stubborn resistance early in the second half, with the final score eventually flattering the victors.
Benfica supporters were left fearing the worst when their first leg lead was nullified within five minutes of kickoff. An Ousmane Dembélé corner was flicked on at the near post by Pulisic and kicked in at the far post by an unmarked Aubameyang. It was a goal of embarrassing simplicity, and it doubtlessly gave Dortmund the early momentum.
But despite seeing plenty of possession in the following few minutes, the hosts struggled to create anything with it. The longer the half wore on, the more Benfica grew in confidence, their superb organization giving rise to slightly more attacking swagger. Their first great chance came midway through the opening period, though Nélson Semedo’s low cross was met by a tame effort by Franco Cervi, and Roman Bürki got down to save.
Any other year, those top line mates would be great for Sheahan. But Larkin and Tatar are both struggling this season, a big reason why the Red Wings are out of the playoff race. When put together, that trio is at 48 percent in Corsi For and just doesn’t generate much offensively.
Sheahan played a lot more with Gustav Nyquist last season with great results: a 54 CF% and 12 points for Sheahan when they played together. He only put up four points and 12 shots on net with limited time alongside Larkin last year … and has just three points on 26 shots with lots of time with Larkin this year. It’s almost like there’s a ceiling there.