CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Dortmund 3-0 Marseille


GROUP F – Tuesday 1st October 2013


Borussia Dortmund continued their blazing start to the season at their Westfalenstadion Stadion on Tuesday night, pulling Marseille apart with ease in Group F. Last years beaten finalists have looked in imperious form this season, their only blip coming away at Napoli on match-day 1.

Coach Jurgen Klopp watched the game from the stands, serving out a UEFA suspension, but he will have enjoyed the show, as his teams were never troubled by the French runners-up. Marseille had to make do without their influential top-scorer in Andre-Pierre Gignac, with Saber Khalifa stepping in to make his first Champions League start.

Robert Lewandowski once again showed why he is possibly the best front-man in European football – the Polish striker notching two and causing chaos at the back for OM’s beleaguered defence. It took just 19 minutes for him to collect his first goal of the evening. Dortmund caught the French club on the break, and with a lightening quick counter-attack, criss-crossing the ball across the 18 yard box, the ball found its way to Lewandowski’s feet 2 yards from goal for the easy tap in.

The Pole should have added a second not long after – Marseille’s defence, looking shell-shocked from the quick attack, lost Lewandowski at the near post and he should have done better with the cross, but saw it steered wide of Steve Mandanda’s goal.

Germany’s Marco Reüs was having a fine game, and was Dortm8unds best player on the night. He was rewarded for his efforts in the 52nd minute, when his long-range free-kick arced into the area and Mandanda made an awful mess of it. The goalkeeper will have nightmares of his handling as he let the ball slip and could not recover to stop it crossing the line.

Marseille were keeping the ball well, however found it hard to carve out any real chances. They suffered the same against Arsenal at home two weeks ago, and Elie Baup will worry about his side’s attacking qualities in this competition. While the usual front three can cause great damage in Ligue 1, they have failed to ignite the CL so far, and without Gignac they looked even more toothless in Germany.

It was Reüs again who proved the telling factor for the 3rd goal – charging down the right and into the area, where he was brought down by Nicolas N’Koulou. The referee pointed directly to the spot and up stepped Lewandowski to notch his 13th Champions League goal.

Elie Baup will have some serious work to do with his men if they want to proceed past the group stages now. His side is littered with young talents and they will pick up some serious experience from this group, however with an opening home loss to Arsenal and Rafa Benitez’s exciting Napoli side yet to play in the first round of games, OM may just need a miracle.

Andrew Davidson

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