Dortmund rout Gladbach in Real Madrid warm-up
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice and Marco Reus provided three assists as Borussia Dortmund prepared for their Champions League clash at Real Madrid by routing Borussia Moenchengladbach 4-1 in the Bundesliga yesterday.
Dortmund are fifth in Germany’s top flight, six points behind leaders Bayern Munich, who won 3-1 at Mainz on Friday, and RB Leipzig, who host Schalke on Saturday evening, ahead of their trip to Spain. With both sides already into the last 16, the victor at Real’s Bernabeu on Wednesday will be confirmed as Group F winners. Dortmund warmed-up with an emphatic win over Moenchengladbach at Signal Iduna Park.
The fleet-footed Reus was outstanding as Dortmund fought back after Gladbach took the lead with six minutes gone when Brazilian forward Raffael slotted home from the edge of the area.
However, Dortmund were level 59 seconds later. Ousmane Dembele dribbled through the visitors’ defence and his pass found Reus, who laid the ball off to Aubameyang to drill past Gladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer with his first touch.
Dortmund grabbed a second on 15 minutes when Dembele’s corner was flicked on by Marc Bartra to Lukasz Piszczek, who headed home. Reus had a goal ruled out for offside just after the break, but there was no containing the winger.
With deft footwork, Reus poached the ball off Gladbach defender Nico Elvedi to allow Dembele to slot home Dortmund’s third on 64 minutes. The pair struck again four minutes later when Dembele’s pass and Reus’ backheel saw Aubameyang score his second and Dortmund’s fourth. Having slammed his team after their 2-1 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt last Saturday, Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel was full of praise. “It was a complete performance from us,” he enthused. “We had to be very industrious up front and brave due to the lack of room they allowed us. “We kept the e ergy and the aggressiveness in our game over the 90 minutes, that was the key.”
Hertha Berlin held onto third with a 3-2 comeback victory at 10-man Wolfsburg as Salomon Kalou converted the winning penalty in the 91st minute. With his side near the relegation zone, Wolfsburg coach Valerien Ismael dropped Germany international Julian Draxler from his starting lineup and his side responded with two goals in the opening 20 minutes. Ex-Real Madrid striker Borja Mayoral gave Wolfsburg a 12th-minute lead before Marvin Plattenhardt put Hertha level by expertly drilling his free-kick over the wall.—AFP