Thu, Nov 06, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Dortmund cruise past Galatasaray into round-of-16

Reuters, DORTMUND, Germany

Borussia Dortmund’s Ciro Immobile, front center, scores against Galatasaray in their UEFA Champions League Group D match in Dortmund, Germany, on Tuesday.

Photo: Reuters

Borussia Dortmund shrugged off their dismal domestic form to sweep past Galatasaray 4-1 on Tuesday and cruise into the round-of-16 of the UEFA Champions League with two matches to spare.

Germany international Marco Reus, on the transfer wish-list of several leading European clubs, slotted in the first goal after 39 minutes.

Central defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who also hit the woodwork, and Ciro Immobile netted in the second half, before Semih Kaya added an own-goal with four minutes left as Dortmund made it four wins from four games in Group D.

Galatasaray pulled one back through Hakan Balta’s header in the 70th minute, but could do little to counter Dortmund’s attacking punch.

Dortmund, who have plunged into the relegation zone in the Bundesliga, have 12 points in Group D, five ahead of Arsenal, with Anderlecht on two points and Galatasaray bottom on one.

“We fought from the very first minute and played a really good game,” Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp told reporters. “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 UEFA Champions League title in 1996-1997.

Tuesday’s match was twice briefly interrupted as Galatasaray fans threw firecrackers on to the pitch near the corner flag.

“It was not a fair result if you look at our performance tonight,” Galatasaray coach Cesare Prandelli said. “The guys worked very hard. We conceded the goals because of some little mistakes. We will improve in time.”

The hosts 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 Turkish side dropping back, deep in their own half.

The visitors had one good chance when Wesley Sneijder saw his bicycle-kick smothered by goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller, but with possession close to 70 percent Dortmund circulated the ball, looking for a chink in the armor of the opposition.

The home side 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 goalkeeper Fernando Muslera after a perfectly-timed pass from Lukasz Piszczek sent the attacking midfielder charging through.

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

Papastathopoulos gave the German side 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 substitute Immobile and the own-goal from Kaya.

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