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Borussia Dortmund Reach Knockout Stage With Easy Win Over Galatasaray

in Sports/Top News

BORUSSIA Dortmund shrugged off their dismal domestic form to sweep past Galatasaray 4-1 and cruise into the last 16 of the Champions League with two matches to spare.

Marco Reus, on the wish-list of several leading European clubs, scored the first goal after 39 minutes and the central defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who also hit the woodwork, and Ciro Immobile scored in the second half before Semih Kaya added an own goal with four minutes left as Dortmund made it four wins from four in Group D.

Galatasaray pulled one back through Hakan Balta’s header in the 70th minute.

Dortmund, who have plunged into the relegation zone in the Bundesliga, have 12 points, five ahead of Arsenal who drew 3-3 with Anderlecht. Galatasaray are bottom on one point.

“We fought from the very first minute and played a really good game,” the coach Jürgen Klopp said. “If it did not work tactically we tried to do it with passion. I saw today that the team was stable but Galatasaray kept playing good football and made it hard for us.”

The last time Dortmund won their first four group games they went on to lift the European Cup – in 1997.

The match was twice briefly interrupted as Galatasaray fans threw firecrackers on to the pitch near the corner flag. “This is frustrating and a bad image. It casts a bit of a shadow over an otherwise great game,” Klopp added.

Dortmund got off to a fiery start, eager to bounce back from Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by Bayern Munich – their fifth straight reverse in the Bundesliga.

Reus fired wide and it was all Dortmund in the opening minutes, with the Turks dropping back deep in their own half.

The visitors had one good chance with Wesley Sneijder seeing his bicycle kick smothered by Roman Weidenfeller but with possession close to 70% Dortmund circulated the ball, looking for a chink in the armour of the opposition.

They went close when Papastathopoulos rose high to connect with a Reus corner and his header cannoned off the bar.

Reus then showed him how it was done, slotting the ball through the legs of Fernando Muslera after a perfectly timed pass from Lukasz Piszczek sent the attacking midfielder charging through.

Dortmund looked nothing like the team who are struggling domestically, pouring forward at every opportunity, with the driving rain making the pitch slippery.

Papastathopoulos gave them a two-goal cushion when he beat Muslera to the ball and drilled in from close range after a header from Sebastian Kehl in the 56th minute.

Galatasaray breathed new life into the game through Balta’s thumping header in the 70th minute but Dortmund struck again thanks to Immobile and the own goal from Kaya. – The Guardian

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