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Four-goal Lewandowski leaves Madrid reeling

Published: Wednesday 24 April 2013, 22.55CET
Borussia Dortmund 4-1 Real Madrid
Robert Lewandowski struck a semi-final record four times as José Mourinho's men were floored by a stunning display by the German hosts.
by Andy James
from BVB Stadion Dortmund

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Published: Wednesday 24 April 2013, 22.55CET

Four-goal Lewandowski leaves Madrid reeling

Borussia Dortmund 4-1 Real Madrid
Robert Lewandowski struck a semi-final record four times as José Mourinho's men were floored by a stunning display by the German hosts.

Robert Lewandowski became the first player to score four goals in a UEFA Champions League semi-final match as Borussia Dortmund made an all-German final increasingly likely with a 4-1 home victory over Real Madrid CF.

The Bundesliga side dominated this semi-final first leg from start to finish and were unfortunate to see Lewandowski's early opener cancelled out by Cristiano Ronaldo's 50th goal in Europe's premier club competition. However, the Schwarzgelben responded fiercely, with Lewandowski registering a further three times in the second half to take his tally in this season's edition to ten and leave Madrid's 'Décima' dreams hanging by a thread.

Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp had asked for a special "BVB night" and the home fans duly obliged with a vociferous reception for their team, who began with obvious hunger. They almost took the lead when Marco Reus ran at the centre of Madrid's defence, beating Raphaël Varane and Pepe only to see his finish pushed aside by the outstretched hand of Diego López.

It proved to be no empty threat as Lewandowski found a deserved breakthrough for the hosts after eight minutes, stretching to touch in FC Bayern München-bound Mario Götze's cross. The Spanish Liga side's response was limited to set pieces, with Xabi Alonso afforded three opportunities to cross and Ronaldo's trademark spiralling drive being fisted away by Roman Weidenfeller.

Still, José Mourinho's men remained on the back foot, making it all the more frustrating for Dortmund when Ronaldo levelled proceedings two minutes before the interval. Individual mistakes were blamed for Madrid's downfall at the BVB Stadion on matchday three, but it was a Dortmund error this time, from Mats Hummels, which allowed Gonzalo Higuaín to surge in behind and tee up Ronaldo for his 12th UEFA Champions League goal of this campaign.

The danger was that the equaliser might puncture Dortmund's intensity, but Klopp's charges reacted just as they have throughout this year's tournament – with nerve and ambition.

Five minutes of the second period had elapsed by the time Lewandowski restored Borussia's advantage with his second of the night, turning on Reus's goal-bound attempt and slotting calmly past López. The crowd soon roared their team, and Lewandowski, on to a third as the prolific Polish international completed his treble on 55 minutes, again swivelling brilliantly on the spot before slamming emphatically into the roof of the net.

The famous Yellow Wall was baying for more goals, their incessant, deafening chanting spurring Dortmund on to more – and they would not be disappointed. The excellent İlkay Gündoğan almost added another when he slipped past three defenders before unleashing a left-footed shot that López did well to tip over, yet it was Lewandowski's night.

When Xabi Alonso bundled Reus over in the box on 66 minutes, there was no doubting Dortmund's top scorer as he rifled the resulting penalty down the middle for his 29th goal in his last 27 club outings to round off a brilliant two nights for the Bundesliga in Europe. Where Bayern had gone in their dismantling of FC Barcelona, Dortmund boldly followed.

Last updated: 24/02/14 9.18CET

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