Champions League: Large step forward for Borussia


Borussia Dortmund took a large step towards making the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for a second year running as Robert Lewandowski’s second-half double helped secure an entertaining victory at FC Zenit, final score 2-4, according to uefa.com. Last season’s runners-up raced into an early two-goal lead thanks to strikes from Marco Reus and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Oleg Shatov gave the home side hope just before the hour, but Lewandowski swiftly restored the visitors’ cushion and then made the game safe with a second smart finish after Hulk’s penalty had again reduced Zenit’s arrears.
Jurgen Klopp, Dortmund coach told uefa.com: “We were close to an optimum performance. We showed great pressing and counterpressing against a really talented team. (…) We reacted perfectly to every goal we conceded. It was a good evening for us, but we are not yet through. We still have some work to do in the return leg”.
Luciano Spalletti, Zenit coach said: “We went out with a desire to play football. However, the two quick goals we conceded made a big imprint on the game and, you could say, decided the match. We made too many naive mistakes and were punished”.
Happy night in Piraeus
On the other site Olympiacos FC are within touching distance of a UEFA Champions League quarter-final place for the first time in 15 years after sailing to a comfortable 2-0 victory against Manchester United FC in Piraeus.
Alejandro Dominguez gave the hosts a deserved lead seven minutes before half-time with a clever flick to divert Giannis Maniatis’s shot past the wrong-footed David de Gea. Joel Campbell, on loan from Arsenal FC, doubled the advantage ten minutes after the restart and United never looked like getting back into it. The English champions will need to improve drastically to turn this tie around on 19 March at Old Trafford.
Michel, Olympiacos coach said: “To beat a great side like United in the manner we beat them is very special. I can’t hide my joy. I feel proud of my players. It was a great moment for us. But we must look ahead to the second leg. We still have the match at Old Trafford. We expect a different United at Old Trafford, we have huge respect for them. Anyone who thinks 2-0 is enough to qualify is mistaken: 2-0 is not enough to get through against United at Old Trafford. We have to keep on working to make it through and make history”.

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