Dortmund’s win lined up the prospect of an all-German final at Wembley
Second leg matches will be played next week
Lewandowski opened the scoring in the eighth minute
DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — Robert Lewandowski scored four goals as Borussia Dortmund romped to a convincing 4-1 victory over Real Madrid on Wednesday and took a huge step toward the Champions League final.
Dortmund’s triumph in the first leg of the semifinal also lined up the prospect of an all-German final at Wembley Stadium on May 25, following Bayern Munich’s 4-0 rout of Barcelona on Tuesday. The second leg matches will be played next week.
Lewandowski opened the scoring in the eighth minute, only for Cristiano Ronaldo to equalize against the run of play two minutes before the interval.
But Lewandowski beat the offside trap to claim his second in the 50th, and the Poland striker completed his hat trick in stunning fashion five minutes later. He rounded off the scoring with a penalty in the 67th, after Xabi Alonso brought down Marco Reus.
“It was an outstanding game from my team,” Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp said. “The third goal was worth every cent (broadcasters) ZDF and Sky give us.”
Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Guendogan, playing on Madrid’s name, which means royal in Spanish, said: “It was a royal evening for us.”
The only unbeaten side remaining in the competition, Dortmund made it six wins from six at home and extended Madrid’s run of six consecutive defeats in Germany.
“I could see there was one team on the pitch that was much better than the other. The better team definitely won,” Madrid coach Jose Mourinho said after his worst result as a coach in the Champions League.
The hosts’ preparations for the game looked to have been disrupted by news breaking the day before of attacking midfielder Mario Goetze’s decision to join Bayern at the end of the season. There was no obvious fallout during the match, though.
“Today put everything in the shade. To take all that (background) and deliver that performance,” Klopp said. “Without this atmosphere this game would not have been possible. One hundred percent.”
His side almost claimed an early the lead when Reus ran at three defenders before forcing a save from Lopez. The rebound fell just beyond the lurking Lewandowski in front of the open goal.
Lewandowski took his chance a minute later, however, when Ilkay Guendogan sent Goetze free down the left, and the 20-year-old whipped in a dangerous cross that Lewandowski managed to reach ahead of Raphael Varane and Pepe.
Mesut Oezil almost played Ronaldo through as the visitors sought a response, but the pass was too far ahead of the Portugal star.
The visitors’ troubles in the face of Dortmund’s pressing game were summed up when Alonso went back to collect the ball from his goalkeeper, only to put a long pass out over the sideline.
Ronaldo brought a smart save from Roman Weidenfeller with a free kick, before Guendogan shot over at the other end as the visitors resorted to last-ditch defending.
Lewandowski, Reus and Goetze again were striking terror through the heart of the Madrid defense, which was resorting to last-ditch tackles to avert the danger.
Dortmund’s swashbuckling forays forward had the crowd on their feet, rising to the occasion as they sensed something special was happening.
Penalty appeals were waved away after Reus fell under Varane’s challenge in the area, and the home fans had further ground for complaint when Gonzalo Higuain seized on Mats Hummels’ weak back pass and rolled it across goal for Ronaldo to fire into an unguarded net.
It was his 12th goal of this season’s campaign in Europe and his 50th in the Champions League overall.
The game was being played at such a frenetic pace after the break that both sides found it hard to complete passes.
However, Lewandowski ran onto Reus’ defense-splitting pass before tucking the ball past Lopez, and he did even better five minutes later when he eluded Pepe by dragging the ball back and hammered the ball home from close range.
Only a fingertip save from Diego Lopez denied Guendogan from claiming Dortmund’s fourth in the 62nd, but Lewandowski notched his fourth from the spot five minutes later.
“I also scored four goals,” joked Klopp, who once played in Germany’s second division. “1990 in Erfurt.”
Lewandowski might have had a fifth late on, only to be denied by a flying save from Diego Lopez, before Varane missed the chance to pull one back in injury time.
Though Dortmund will be looking for only its second appearance in the final — having won the competition in 1997 — Mourinho refused to give up hope of Madrid reaching a 13th European Cup final.
“In football everything is possible,” Mourinho said. “Anything can happen next week.”
Luis Suarez suspended 10 matches for biting opponent
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was handed a 10-match ban Wednesday for biting an opponent during a Premier League game, the latest transgression in the Uruguay international’s turbulent career.
A disciplinary panel ruled that a regular three-match ban for violent conduct was “clearly insufficient” and added seven games to the suspension, which rules Suarez out for the rest of the campaign and for the first six matches of next season.
Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre said in a statement that Suarez and the club were “shocked and disappointed” at the decision. Suarez has until Friday to appeal against the extra seven games added to his sanction.
In a Premier League match broadcast globally on Sunday, Suarez bit Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic on the upper right arm during the 2-2 draw at Anfield. He wasn’t sent off because the referee didn’t see the incident, which was reviewed retroactively by the English Football Association.
Suarez, who has admitted to biting Ivanovic and apologized, was banned for seven matches in 2010 for a similar offense while playing for Ajax against PSV Eindhoven in the Dutch league. That incident earned him the nickname “Cannibal of Ajax.”
Suarez was suspended for eight games in December 2011 for making racist insults toward Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during a match.
If he fails in any appeal, Suarez likely won’t play another game for Liverpool for five months.
“We await the written reasons tomorrow before making any further comment,” added Ayre, who said Monday that Liverpool had no intention of selling Suarez — the Premier League’s second highest scorer with 23 goals.
The FA has come down hard on Suarez, giving him a more severe ban than it handed to him and Chelsea captain John Terry (four matches) for racist abuse last season. It has parallels with a recent judgment in rugby league, when England international James Graham was banned for 12 games for biting an opponent during an Australian league game.
It’s not as heavy, though, as the 12-game ban handed to Joey Barton after he clashed with Manchester City players after his sending-off for Queens Park Rangers on the final day of last season.
With his goals and performances this season, Suarez was starting to rehabilitate a reputation that was first damaged when he was sent off for a deliberate handball to prevent Ghana from scoring a late goal in a World Cup quarterfinal match in 2010. He was seen celebrating on the sideline when Ghana missed the spot kick and Uruguay advanced in a shootout.
His penchant for diving aside, even his critics had been starting to warm to one of the world’s most gifted players. He is on the six-man shortlist for English football’s Player of the Year award, compiled before Sunday’s incident.