Berlin, April 25 (IANS) Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Levendowski scored four goals as his side defeated Real Madrid 4-1 in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal.
The result sees the German side take a huge step towards the final of the competition and the result could have been even better given that they were denied a first half penalty and had a goal wrongly ruled out for offside.
Dortmund dominated from start to finish and in which, just like Bayern Munich who beat FC Barcelona 4-0 Tuesday night. They showed themselves to be physically superior to their Spanish rivals.
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho was forced into making a change in his starting 11 as Luka Modric, who had recovered from a muscle problem, replaced Angel de Maria, who did not.
Meanwhile, Sergio Ramos played at right back for the suspended Alvaro Arbeloa, while Diego Lopez continued in goal.
Borussia’s build up to the game had been ruined Tuesday by the news that playmaker Mario Gotze will join rivals Bayern Munich next season, but he was in the side and aside from a few sparse boos from the home fans the news didn’t affect the spectacular atmosphere in the packed Westfalestadion.
Borussia had beaten Madrid in the group stage and started confidently, looking to pressure Madrid high up the field and force errors they could exploit on the break.
Levendowski opened the scoring when a quick break saw Gotze cross from the left for the Polish striker to beat Pepe to power the ball into the back of the Madrid net.
The Spanish side were clearly rattled and their only chance was a Ronaldo free kick which was parried by Roman Weidenfeller, who later received a foul from Ronaldo who was unlucky to escape without at least a booking.
Borussia continued to look faster and stronger and should have had a penalty after 42 minutes when Rafael Varene clipped the Reus ‘ heels, although the referee waved play on.
It was a key moment of the game as Madrid levelled the score in the following move as Mats Hummels misread a flick-on allowing Gonzalo Higuain to square the ball for Ronaldo to slip the ball into an empty net.
Halftime allowed the Borussia players to calm down from the last few minutes of the first half and they opened up a two goal lead early in the second half as Levandowski netted his second.
His second goal came after 49 minutes as he turned and flicked the ball past Lopez and the Polish forward completed his hat-trick after 55 minutes after a turn and thumping shot into the top corner of the Madrid net.
It could have been 4-1 had Lopez not produced a magnificent save after Ilkay Gurdogan’s fantastic run and left foot shot, but the fourth goal had to wait until the 67th minute when Lewandowski thrashed home a penalty after Xavi Alonso had pushed him over.
Real Madrid now need to win the return leg 3-0 next Tuesday if they are to overturn the result and prevent what looks an all-German Champions League final.