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Dortmund deal Porto heavy blow

Dortmund 2-0 Porto
Łukasz Piszczek and Marco Reus goals leave the hosts strongly placed after the Portuguese visitors were seen off impressively in Germany.

Highlights: Dortmund 2-0 Porto
  • Łukasz Piszczek and Marco Reus give Dortmund healthy first-leg lead
  • Polish defender puts hosts in front with poacher's header
  • Reus and Kagawa go close to doubling advantage before interval
  • No11 sees deflected shot make it two
  • The return leg takes place next week in Portugal before Friday's draw

Goals either side of half-time from Łukasz Piszczek and Marco Reus earned Borussia Dortmund a richly deserved UEFA Europa League round of 32 first-leg victory against Porto.

Boosted by the return of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, BVB took the game to the visitors from the start and went ahead after just six minutes. Piszczek's initial effort was saved by Iker Casillas, but the Polish international reacted quickest to nod in the rebound.

The Bundesliga team continued to dominate possession as the first half wore on and should perhaps have doubled their lead before half-time. Reus's curling free-kick from the edge of the area flew over, before the effervescent Shinji Kagawa sliced a shot wide of the target from another promising position.

Porto, by contrast, only managed one attempt on target in the opening period – a Sérgio Oliveira strike which flew straight at Roman Bürki – and the visitors did little to alter the pattern of the match after half-time. A teasing Reus cross was almost turned into his own net by Silvestre Varela, but Casillas was out quickly to gather the ball.

The former Real Madrid custodian could do little to prevent Reus sealing the victory moments later though. Kagawa's sweeping crossfield pass found Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who laid the ball on a plate for Reus to hit a crisp finish past Casillas and give his side a solid foundation ahead of the return at the Estádio do Dragão.

Fast start pays dividends
Seeing Dortmund boss the pace and rhythm of a game in front of their own fans is hardly a rare occurrence, but the Schwarz-Gelben have not always been able to turn that dominance into goals, particularly in the initial phase of a match. Piszczek's early breakthrough settled the nerves of players and fans alike and set the tone for a comfortable win.

Dortmund's key quartet
Dortmund's fluid front four of Reus, Kagawa, Mkhitaryan and the returning Aubameyang caused the Porto defence all sorts of problems with their pace and movement. If Porto are to stand any chance of reaching the last 16, coach José Peseiro must find a way of keeping the quartet quiet in next week's sequel.

Not over yet
Porto have proved a hard nut to crack in European competition in recent years, particularly on home soil. The Portuguese giants beat Bayern 3-1 at the Estádio do Dragão in the UEFA Champions League last season, and although that result would mean a swift UEFA Europa League exit this term, Dortmund must be on their guard.