B Dortmund 4 - 1 Real Madrid: Lewandowski is Real deal

ROBERT Lewandowski scored a stunning four goals to steer Borussia Dortmund to a 4-1 ­demolition of Real Madrid in their Champions League semi-final first leg.
Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski celebrates his fourth goal           Picture: ReutersBorussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski celebrates his fourth goal           Picture: Reuters
Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski celebrates his fourth goal Picture: Reuters

Scorers: B Dortmund: Lewandowski (8, 50, 55, 67pen); Real Madrid: Ronaldo (43)

Referee: B Kuipers (Ned)

Attendance: 65,829

Dortmund’s dazzling performance came only a day after Bayern Munich crushed Barcelona 4-0 in the other semi-final first leg to raise the prospect of an all-German match-up in the final at Wembley in May.

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Poland international Lewandowski, who looks set to leave after refusing to extend his contract beyond 2014, became the first person to score four goals in a Champions League semi-final.

The 24-year-old opened his account after just eight minutes and added three more goals in the second half.

His fourth, an emphatic penalty, left Real, the nine-times European champions, in disarray and with a huge deficit to ovecome in the second leg at the Bernabeu.

Cristiano Ronaldo had equalised just before the break for the Spaniards, who will have to end Dortmund’s undefeated record in this season’s Champions League when the side’s meet again on Tuesday.

Dortmund, who had beaten Real at home in the group stage, had hoped a surprise July 
transfer of Mario Goetze to Bayern Munich, announced on Tuesday, would not distract them.

Coach Juergen Klopp had appealed for a great footballing evening and the 62,000 Dortmund fans, angered by the 20-year-old Goetze’s decision to join their arch-rivals in the south, showed restraint when he came onto the pitch.

He soon paid them back, curling a superb cross into the box for Lewandowski, who had come close a minute earlier, to tap in after holding off Real’s Pepe.

It was Lewandowski’s seventh goal of the Champions League campaign.

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It took Real more than 20 minutes to curb their opponents’ attacking game and 
Ronaldo was finally able to test keeper Roman Weidenfeller with a stinging long-range free kick. But they needed a Dortmund mistake to level in the 43rd minute, seconds after the Germans had appealed for a penalty for a challenge on Marco Reus.

Central defender Mats Hummels miscued his back pass and Gonzalo Higuain intercepted before feeding the unmarked Ronaldo in the box. He levelled with his 12th goal of the competition. Ronaldo also joined Thierry Henry in fourth place on the all-time Champions League scorers list with 50 goals.

But the Spaniards’ joy was shortlived when Lewandowski struck twice in five minutes after the break as the one-sided traffic resumed.

The Pole was picked out by Reus in the 50th minute to score from close range after evading the offside trap and then controlled a Marcel Schmelzer cross to drill in from ten yards after some superb skill. He completed a brilliant individual and team performance when he converted a 66th minute spot kick with Real looking wildly out of sorts, much like their La Liga rivals had done in Munich on Tuesday.

Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Piszczek (Grosskreutz 83), Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer, Bender, Gundogan (Schieber 90), Blaszczykowski (Kehl 82), Goetze, Reus, Lewandowski. Subs not used: Langerak, Leitner, Sahin, Felipe Santana.

Real Madrid: Diego Lopez, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Pepe, Fabio Coentrao, Khedira, Alonso (Kaka 80), Ozil, Modric (Di Maria 68), Ronaldo, Higuain (Benzema 68). Subs not used: Casillas, Albiol, Callejon, Nacho.