Marco Reus scored no hat-trick but rightly ended up with a ball signed by his Borussia Dortmund team-mates after returning to action in an 8-4 win, says Steffen Potter.
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After a match in which UEFA Champions League records were broken, it was Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus who was the centre of attention.
BVB's 8-4 home win against Legia Warszawa was the highest-scoring game ever in this competition, but the feel-good story of the day was the return of Reus from a six-month absence caused by a persistent pubis injury.
With Mats Hummels, İlkay Gündoğan and Henrikh Mkhitaryan having left the club in the summer, BVB coach Thomas Tuchel stressed that Reus "suddenly became our fourth lost key player" and that "we have waited impatiently his return". The comeback was postponed several times but was suitably dramatic when it arrived, Reus scoring two and setting up a couple more in the demolition of Legia.
"I have taken the match ball with me and all the players signed it – it will get a special place in my trophy cabinet," a beaming Reus said. "It was an important step forward for me. Now we have to show more consistency and work better in defence than we did tonight."
It was not really a night for looking at mistakes, but more a night to savour Reus' return and a glut of goals.
"The past weeks with Marco have been fantastic; he is already back at a very high physical level," Tuchel marvelled. "Still, you couldn't have expected him to put in a game like this in his first competitive match, in the Champions League to boot. It was an incredible comeback and underlines what quality he has and how much we have been missing him."
Kagawa at the double, quick smart
There were other stories to come out of the night. Unofficially, it took 76 seconds for Shinji Kagawa to turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead. That would beat the 77-second record established by Gareth Bale for Tottenham Hotspur against Internazionale Milano in October 2010.
"I haven't played much in recent weeks and always hoped for my chance," said Kagawa. "I am happy about the win, but it also feels weird tonight."
While Tuchel said that goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller was "rightly angry" about conceding four, defender Marc Bartra felt it was a "magic evening", the 25-year-old explaining: "Playing in this stadium with that kind of atmosphere is always a joy; scoring eight makes it very special."
It might take statisticians a few days to sort out all the records, but it was Reus's night, though he warned: "I am not back at 100% yet."