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Dortmund replace Madrid as Group D leaders

Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Real Madrid CF
The German champions leapfrogged Madrid at the top of Group D thanks to left-back Marcel Schmelzer's first goal in UEFA club competition.

Dortmund replace Madrid as Group D leaders
Dortmund replace Madrid as Group D leaders ©UEFA.com

Borussia Dortmund seized control of UEFA Champions League Group D with a thrilling victory over Real Madrid CF.

An enthralling encounter became all the more intriguing when Robert Lewandowski fired Jürgen Klopp's side in front on 36 minutes, only for Cristiano Ronaldo to swiftly equalise with his fifth European goal of the campaign. As a breathless game unfolded after the break between two former winners of this competition, Marcel Schmelzer ultimately sent the Bundesliga team to the top of the section with a left-foot volley just after the hour.

Madrid kicked off to a chorus of jeers but showed few signs of intimidation as they piled forward from the off. It took five minutes for the first threat to materialise as a misplaced pass by Marco Reus allowed Ronaldo to sprint in behind, and his low cross only evaded the arriving Mesut Özil by a whisker.

Alien to starting on the back foot, Dortmund nevertheless reacted positively. Sebastian Kehl ushered in the home side's best spell of the opening period with a low drive which Iker Casillas had to beat away and, after efforts at the other end from Ángel Di María and Ronaldo, almost capped it with a powerful curling shot from Mario Götze's pull-back. Again Casillas did well to palm clear.

Instead, Kehl turned architect when the German title holders broke the deadlock. Seizing on a loose pass from Pepe, the experienced midfielder threaded through for Lewandowski to thump into the near corner. However, the home crowd's elation would last barely two minutes as Özil found Ronaldo with a fine floated pass which the competition's top scorer lifted over Roman Weidenfeller for his first club goal on German soil.

Both teams began the second half with purpose and Casillas saved superbly to deny Götze following a flowing move down the right. A Reus free-kick and two subsequent corners troubled the Liga title holders' back line, but the Merengues replied when Di María raced clear only to see his finish go wide of the upright.

Drawn towards the ever vociferous Yellow Wall, Dortmund became increasingly adventurous and earned their reward when Götze's strong run ended in a cross that was slapped out by Casillas. Schmelzer met it on the volley, sending a controlled finish into the far corner. Madrid's intensity remained into the final stages yet, unlike on matchday two, there would be no nasty late surprise for Dortmund.

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