With the light shining on Borussia Dortmund after Tuesday’s big result — a loss that all the same moved BVB into their second-ever Champions League final — it’s easy to forget that small cloud that just peaked its head over the horizon sometime after kickoff on Tuesday. You know what I’m talking about – that cumulus blob Dortmund and their fans may have to deal with when they encounter it four weeks from now?
That cloud is Mario Götze’s injury. The young German creator left today’s game early after picking up what appeared to be a hamstring injury. Dortmund, often cited as lacking depth, were only able to replace him with Kevin Grosskreutz and move Marco Reus to the middle. Sorry if we can’t shed a tear for the talent-rich.
But with everybody at this stage of UEFA Champions League being talent-rich, the difference between a Götze and Grosskreutz may prove decisive, which is why this preliminary report should scare BVB fans (when they sober up, tomorrow):
The word “tear” – that’s really a worst-case scenario. If Honigstein were citing a “strain,” Dortmund supporters could be reasonably sure rest would restore their talented attacker before May 25’s final in Wembley. But a tear? How often do we hear “four-to-six weeks” as the prognosis around those?
Sure, Borussia Dortmund will be fine if Mario Götze can’t play in Wembley. A three of Reus, Grosskreutz, and Jakob Blaszczykowski behind Robert Lewandowski? Again, nobody is going to shed a tear.
But that doesn’t mean Götze’s absence wouldn’t matter.
Catch up on all of Friday’s EURO qualification action, as two more teams have booked a ticket to France.
Spain 4-0 Luxembourg
Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla hadn’t scored a competitive goal for Spain in more than six years, but he scored twice today to help earn his country a berth in EURO 2016. Cazorla and Paco Alcacer scored all four goals for the Spanish, while Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas became Spain’s all-time leader in assists. However, both David Silva of Manchester City and Alvaro Morata of Juventus were forced off with injuries, with Morata’s looking to be serious.
Switzerland 7-0 San Marino
Switzerland led just 1-0 at halftime, but a six-goal second half which included three penalty kicks means the Swiss have secured qualification from Group E for EURO 2016. As expected, Switzerland dominated every aspect of the match against minnows San Marino, and Vladimir Petkovic’s side had seven different goalscorers.
[ MORE: Thursday’s EURO 2016 roundup — Northern Ireland qualify ]
England 2-0 Estonia
England remained perfect in Group E, taking their ninth win from nine matches today at Wembley. Theo Walcott‘s great scoring form from Arsenal carried over to the national side, opening the scoring just before halftime. In the second half, Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy came on as a substitute and assisted to Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, who made it 2-0. With a few minutes to play, Tottenham teenager Dele Alli got a short run in his England debut.
Elsewhere in EURO qualifying
Macedonia 0-2 Ukraine
Slovakia 0-1 Belarus
Slovenia 1-1 Lithuania
Liechtenstein 0-2 Sweden
Moldova 1-2 Russia
Montenegro 2-3 Austria
After scoring five goals against Newcastle United, Sergio Aguero may have to wait a bit of time to get back to scoring in the Premier League.
The Manchester City striker lasted just 25 minutes in Argentina’s World Cup qualifier on Thursday, as he was stretchered off with a hamstring injury.
Aguero underwent testing in Argentina, and told the local media “I think I’m going to be out for a month.”
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
Manchester City and Argentina teammate Nicolas Otamendi said Aguero was in tears in the dressing room, and some reports have penned the injury as a torn hamstring.
If Aguero were to be ruled out for a month, he would miss City’s Champions League clash vs. Sevilla, as well as the massive Manchester derby away at United on October 25.
To make matters worse for City supporters, David Silva was forced off after just ten minutes while playing for Spain today. Silva took a harsh challenge from behind, and hobbled off with what looked to be an ankle injury. If Silva’s injury ends up being more than just a knock, City could be without their two most important players in the attack.