TUESDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2014 – LAST 16 FIRST LEG
ZENIT ST.PETERSBURG 2-4 BORUSSIA DORTMUND
Borussia Dortmund are all but through to the next stage of the Champions League with an excellent 4-2 away victory in northern Russia this evening against Zenit.
Using the familiar high-pressing tactic, Jurgen Klopp’s side exploded out of the blocks and shell-shocked Zenit by scoring twice within the opening five minutes.
Dortmund carved the Russian defence apart for the opening goal all stemming from Nuri Şahin controlling the ball in the middle of the pitch from a wayward goal kick from Yuri Lodigin. The midfielder played the ball into Robert Lewandowski’s feet, and the Polish striker instinctually back-heeled to Marco Reus through on goal. As the blue shirts scurried to get back and place Reus under the pressure, the ball spilled to Henrikh Mkhitaryan who tapped the ball home.
The 1,000 Dortmund fans that made the travel to northern Russia were still celebrating when the second goal went in after the restart just sixty seconds later. Mkhitaryan ended up with the ball down the right, and the Armenian laid a low cross into Kevin Großkreutz who controlled for Marco Reus to fire past Lodigin’s near post. Two-nil down after just five minutes, the stunned Stadium Petrovski, apart the German contingent, was deathly silent.
Zenit suffered another blow after just 15 minutes when creative midfielder Andrei Arshavin pulled up with a twinge in his hamstring, and Luciano Spalletti’s decision to replace him with defensive midfield warhorse, the 34 year-old Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, would surely shore up the defence. The first half fizzled out with Dortmund have a few chances from set-pieces and on the counter but Zenit failed to get their game going.
After the break, the Russians picked their game up and got back into the game through Oleg Shatov on 58 minutes. Marcel Schmelzer failed to clear a Shatov cross and a scramble in the box ensued, Dortmund players were throwing themselves in front of the ball and blocked Hulk’s effort. After Salomón Rondón’s close range shot smashed off the foot of the post, Shatov was on hand to blast the rebound home.
Minutes later, Zenit went to sleep and Dortmund regained their two-goal advantage. Łukasz Piszczek had a free rein to sprint down the right, as fellow compatriot Robert Lewandowski played the full-back through. As the striker continued on into the box unmarked, Piszczek returned the ball to Lewandowski, who still had time to correct his feet and finish without challenge.
It was end to end stuff and the hosts got a lifeline to make it 3-2 in the 69th minute. After Piszczek had blocked off a Viktor Fayzulin run in the area, the referee pointed to the spot. Hulk finally got the goal he had been threatening by blasting the ball into the top corner. This was the first successful penalty out of four in the competition this season for the Brazilian.
However, Zenit switched off again just ninety seconds later when Tymoshchuk was robbed by Reus and played into Lewandowski’s feet, who hit a low, angled shot past Lodigin to regain Dortmund’s two goal advantage.
Zenit will now face the uphill task of visiting the world-famous ‘yellow-wall’ and try and defeat Dortmund by three goals to progress.
ZENIT: Lodigin, Anyukov (Smolnikov 83), Neto, Lombaerts, Criscito, Witsel, Fayzulin (Kerzhakov 83), Hulk, Shatov, Arshavin (Tymoshchuk 15), Rondón.
SUBS NOT USED: Malafeev, Hubočan, Zyryanov, Luković.
GOALS: Shatov 58, Hulk 70P.
BOOKINGS: Anyukov 53.
DORTMUND: Weidenfeller, Friedrich, Schmelzer, Papastathopoulos, Piszczek, Kehl, Şahin, Großkreutz (Durm 90), Mkhitaryan (Aubameyang 70), Reus (Hofmann 85), Lewandowski.
SUBS NOT USED: Langerak, Jojić, Schieber, Sarr.
GOALS: Mkhitaryan 4, Reus 5, Lewandowski 61, 71.
BOOKINGS: Piszczek 67.
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