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Lewandowski floors Real Madrid with four

Germany deliver Spain another knock-out blow as Dortmund thrash Real Madrid in their first leg Champions League semi.

Last Modified: 24 Apr 2013 21:58
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Easy as 1,2,3...4 - Dortmund's Lewandowski (R) celebrates his final goal of the night in Germany [AFP]

German football again showed its supremacy on Wednesday, just one day after Bayern Munich's 4-0 rout of Barcelona. 

This time it was the turn of Borussia Dortmund who also scored four in a 4-1 thrashing of Real Madrid. It has been two days that have humbled Spanish football with Germany looking down on the rest of Europe. 

An all-German Champions League final now beckons at Wembley on May 25. Unless Real or Barca manage to pull off the ultimate turnovers.  

"I am pleased with the four goals, but now we want to reach the final"

Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski

It was Poland striker Robert Lewandowski who netted all four goals in the semi-final, first leg.

Dortmund were as clinical as Bayern as they floored Jose Mourinho's Real who narrowly avoided suffering their worst defeat in the competition - AC Milan beating them 5-0 in what was then the European Cup in the 1988/89 campaign.

"We have taken only the first step, but of course we are happy," said Lewandowski, who became the first player to score four goals in a Champions League semi-final.

"I am pleased with the four goals, but now we want to reach the final."

Just as Lionel Messi had failed to shine for a subdued Barcelona at Bayern on his return from a hamstring injury, Real star Cristiano Ronaldo was fairly anonymous apart from scoring the visitors only goal.

Dortmund claimed their sixth straight European win at home this season and their second over Real in emphatic style at Signal Iduna Park having run out 2-1 victors in October's group stage win over Madrid.

Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp had promised his players would not be destabilised by the news on Tuesday that 20-year-old midfield star Mario Goetze was to join Bayern Munich next season and his prophecy proved correct.

Poles apart

The night belonged to Poland's Lewandowski who stole the limelight with the opening goal, then added a second-half hat-trick to put Dortmund on the verge of their second Champions League final having won the 1997 title.

The anticipated hostile reaction from the home fans towards Goetze never materialised and he helped give the hosts the perfect start. 

His floated cross from the left wing found Lewandowski unmarked at the back post to stab the ball home with just eight minutes on the clock.

               Dortmund are unbeaten in the Champions League under enigmatic coach Juergen Klopp (L) [Reuters]

The goal spurred Real into life and Ronaldo forced Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller into a diving save on 24 minutes.

Referee Bjorn Kuipers won himself few fans among the Dortmund faithful when he refused their penalty appeal when Marco Reus was brought down in the area by Raphael Varane.

Real drew level almost immediately after that decision when Dortmund defender Mats Hummels' back pass was seized on by Gonzalo Higuain, who drew Weidenfeller and squared for Ronaldo to tap in his 11th goal in 10 European games.

The hosts upped the pace in the second half and Lewandowski grabbed his second with a clinical finish on the turn to slot home Reus' pass and beat Lopez on 50 minutes.

He netted his third five minutes later when he latched onto Marcel Schmelzer's cross, then beat centre-back Pepe before drilling his shot home.

With Dortmund fans in delirium, he claimed his fourth of the night when Reus was fouled in the area by Xabi Alonso, after Goetze's through-ball, and there was only one candidate when Kuipers pointed to the penalty spot on 66 minutes.

Mourinho tried to breathe some life into his Real side with two changes as Karim Benzema came on for Higuain and Angel Di Maria took over from Luka Modric in the central midfield position.

But only Lopez's excellent diving save denied Lewandowski his fifth moments later.

All eyes now turn to Spain for the second-legs to see just how good these German sides are away from home.

721

Source:
AFP
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