Borussia Dortmund 4 Real Madrid 1: Three lessons as Lewandowski stars
Borussia Dortmund 4 Real Madrid 1: What lessons did we learn as Robert Lewandowski put four past Los Blancos?
Lewandowski sparkles for Dortmund
Jürgen Klopp cut a distraught figure discussing Mario Götze’s decision to join Bayern Munich in the summer at his pre-match news conference on Tuesday. The Dortmund boss revealed that he had less than 24 hours to enjoy their Malaga triumph before being informed of the midfielder’s intentions and he may well be forced to fight off more transfer drama after Robert Lewandowski’s heroics on Wednesday night. The Poland international’s future is still in doubt amid interest from Bayern and Manchester United – and that suitor list will surely be longer following his exploits against Madrid. Germany’s leading scorer managed to nick past Pepe and slide his opening strike past Diego Lopez in the eighth minute. The 24-year-old further illustrated his proficiency in the nine-yard area as he beat Madrid’s offside trap and tucked a second past Lopez before his close control and quick feet managed to manufacture enough room to evade Pepe’s desperate lunge and rifle a third into the roof of the net. When Marco Reus was bundled over in the box by Xabi Alonso, Lewandowski capped a memorable European night for both him and Dortmund with a clinical penalty.
Reus overshadows Götze
Naturally, Götze was always going to be centre of focus at the Westfalenstadion but it was his midfield colleague Reus who stole the show, particularly in the first half. The 23-year-old was in good form ahead of the Real Madrid clash, with the midfielder scoring after 33 seconds in a 2-0 victory over FSV Mainz at the weekend. And the Germany international burst out of the blocks, like the whole Dortmund side, as he tried to meander his way through Madrid challenges and test second-choice goalkeeper Lopez. In the sixth minute, Reus robbed his compatriot Sami Khedeira of possession and advanced through the centre, dodging tackles before pulling the trigger, forcing a low save from Lopez. Constantly on the move, Reus was proving a thorn in Madrid’s side and he was denied a spot-kick in the 43rd minute. Another direct run caused young Madrid centre-half Raphaël Varane to slip and as the French defender recovered ground lost, there was a tangle of legs and Reus hit the ground. The referee was unmoved and Madrid were level moments later. Unfazed by the setback, Reus was the architect of Lewandowski’s second, threading a pass into the feet of the Polish striker, who poked a finish into the net. And he finally got his penalty decision when Alonso’s clumsy foul was penalised by Bjorn Kiopers.
Ronaldo can’t spare Madrid blushes
For most of the first leg, Dortmund were menacing as the Bundesliga side broke into Madrid’s half, but Klupp’s men also maintained to stay tight at the back, limiting the visitors to few chances. But Dortmund’s lapse of concentration just before the interval handed Madrid an away goal at the Westfalensadion which leaves Los Blancos with faint hope of a revival. Dortmund’s downfall was triggered by Reus’s penalty claim which failed to move Dutch referee Kiopers. Distracted by their frustration with the official, Klopp’s side faltered for the first time in the first-leg tie. Mats Hummels’s under-hit back pass to goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller was intercepted and Cristiano Ronaldo finished with the goal at his mercy. It was the 28-year-old’s 12th in this season’s European campaign and 50th in the competition, emulating Madrid legends Raul and Ruud van Nistelrooy – and his nemesis Lionel Messi. It was a cruel twist of fate for Dortmund who could have been leading 2-0 at half-time but instead found themselves level at 1-1. Lewandowski’s second-half treble restored Dortmund’s advantage but Ronaldo’s goal could still have a decisive say on the semi-final, with a 3-0 victory sufficient to send Madrid through to next month’s Wembley showpiece.