Two goals in five minutes had Borussia Dortmund up early at Zenit, handing the 2013-14 finalists a lead they’d never relinquish in St. Petersburg. Ahead of the teams’ second leg in Germany three weeks from now, BVB’s built a 4-2, with two goals from Robert Lewandowski leaving little doubt question as to whether Jürgen Klopp’s team can overcome their persisting injury concerns.
Along with Lewandowski, Dortmund’s other big star was Marco Reus, with a goal and two assists giving the German international a part in his team’s first, second, and final goals. According to the 24-year-old star, it was BVB’s well-executed plan that allowed the visitors to put their hosts down two within the game’s first five minutes.
“Our tactics worked perfectly,” Reus said, after BVB’s Tuesday victory. Each of Dortmund’s first two goals were build down their right, with Reus’s volley into the goal’s lower-right corner giving the visitors a two-goal lead. “[W]e took an early 2-0 lead and put in a fine display, especially in the first half.
“In the second period we slacked off a bit and this should serve as a lesson to us for the return leg. It was very important to start well and we did just that. Our 2-0 advantage was deserved, as was the final result, I think.”
The final margin could have been even worse. Replays showed Zenit’s first goal could have been waved off for offside, while their second came after a disputed penalty call.
For Dortmund right back Lukasz Piszczek, the misfortune underscored the importance of BVB’s fast start. Having assisted on his team’s third goal, the Poland international touted Dortmund’s concentration, saying the visitors were “unlucky” to concede twice.
“We had quite a good start with the two goals and that made life a bit easier for us,” Piszczek said. “But we were also very focused the whole time and were a bit unlucky to concede those two goals. I don’t think we were lacking concentration when we conceded, those two goals were a bit of a fluke for Zenit.”
With scores from Oleg Shatov and Hulk, Zenit were able to take some encouragement out of the match, but thanks to a defense that wouldn’t let its team establish a foothold in the game, Russia’s co-leaders will probably have to do more than make up their two-goal deficit in Germany. Unlikely to match Dortmund’s four away goals, Luciano Spalletti’s team must target a three-goal victory in its away leg to qualify for Champions League’s quarterfinals.