While Robert Lewandowski made Champions League history by scoring four goals for the first time ever in the competition’s semifinal, it was the departing Mario Gotze and the remaining Marco Reus that did all of the work behind him, creating the space and freedom for the Polish striker to give Borussia Dortmund one of its biggest wins ever.
There weren’t any boos, or nothing too blatant, towards Mario Gotze, despite the threats. His family has been abused since the news of his departure to Bayern Munich, but it didn’t seem to effect him on the pitch. Gotze showed, and not for the first time, that he’s a superior player to Mesut Ozil, although the Real Madrid star didn’t play in his favored position. Gotze got to play in the middle, and kept escaping both Xabi Alonso and Luka Modric to the wings, while the other two didn’t follow.
Marco Reus the partnership of Gotze as the two kept overloading the right side of the Real Madrid defense, sometimes switching positions or Gotze drawing attention to the other side, playing on the “Polish” wing with Kuba and Lukasz Piszczek. Real Madrid looked lost and always inferior in every positional and physical battle, while the Jurgen Klopp preaching towards quick transitions and intense minutes of extremely quick football proved to be the correct way to play football.
While Real Madrid relied on one player to make everything happen, Dortmund had an easy time making sure he doesn’t see too much daylight. Lukasz Piszczek got a lot of help from Subotic and Hummels on Ronaldo, who was isolated on the left wing in the few attempts we saw from Real to shake off the incredible pressing Dortmund applied deep in their territory. Once in a while he tried to break into the middle, but was picked up by Sven Bender, in another quiet yet efficient performance next to Ilkay Gundogan, who also did most of his work in the unnoticeable way, which means pressure and making sure both Luka Modric and Xabi Alonso lose a lot of their bite.
If there was any question regarding how elite and world class Robert Lewandoski is, scoring four goals in one match – showcasing complete control in the box, be it on the air or on the ground, not to mention his physical superiority over two strong centre backs like Pepe and Varane, that question is now answered in the most direct and impressive way possible. Whether or not he’s going to stay for another season is a different case, sorted out by agents and general managers.
Dortmund aren’t 100% in the clear like Bayern Munich are, but a performance like this leaves teams stunned, partially broken. Real Madrid were outplayed by the same team three times in six months. It’s hard to believe that in one match they can turn that dominance around so drastically it’ll be enough to mount and improbable comeback.