Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Robert Is Proving He's the Real Deal

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Robert Is Proving He's the Real Deal

Article excerpt

Borussia Dortmund 4 Real Madrid 1 ROBERT Lewandowski fired four goals as Borussia Dortmund emulated fellow Germans Bayern Munich's Champions League semi-final domination of Spanish opposition.

The Poland striker gave Jurgen Klopp's men an early lead and, after Cristiano Ronaldo equalised late in the first half for Real Madrid, Lewandowski struck three times more in the second half.

Following 2012 finalist Bayern's 4-0 hammering of Barcelona on Tuesday night, it was a further indication ahead of next week's return legs in Spain that the balance of power in European football may be shifting.

After a build-up dominated by the announcement that Mario Gotze will depart Dortmund for Bayern in the summer, his current side made a blistering start.

Raphael Varane cleared Marcel Schmelzer's early cross but Dortmund soon had a clear opportunity.

Marco Reus, of whom even more will be expected once Gotze departs, isolated Varane and surged through the visiting defence. His shot was parried by Diego Lopez and Lewandowski, reluctant to over-stretch, failed to tuck away the loose ball.

The goal arrived in the eighth minute, though, Gotze swinging in a superb cross from the left for Lewandowski, this time reaching out a long right leg after losing his marker Pepe, to sidefoot home.

Real began to establish themselves in the game as the tempo settled down, and a 30-yard free-kick provided their first sight of goal.

Ronaldo's dipping effort was beaten though away by goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller.

Another wonderful run by Reus was broken up on the edge of the box and Fabio Coentrao's interception then halted a lightning break.

Jakub Blaszczykowski caused problems with a surge into the Real penalty area, past Coentrao, but Gonzalo Higuain had tracked him all the way back and the striker made a superb challenge as the last man.

And having excelled defensively, Higuain then played his part at the other end as he seized on Mats Hummels' poor back-pass and squared for Ronaldo to slot the ball home. …

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