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Borussia Dortmund hit four to stun Real Madrid

Poland striker Robert Lewandowski netted four goals in Borussia Dortmund's crushing win over Real Madrid in Wednesday's Champions League semi-final first-leg, hinting at the possibility of an all-German final at Wembley.

Borussia Dortmund hit four to stun Real Madrid
Photo: DPA

After Bayern Munich’s 4-0 hammering of Barcelona on Tuesday in the other semi-final, Borussia followed their Bavarian rivals’ example, winning 4-1.

Dortmund were as clinical as Bayern as they floored Jose Mourinho’s Real who narrowly avoided suffering their worst defeat in the competition – AC Milan beating them 5-0 in what was then the European Cup in the 1988/89 campaign.

“We have taken only the first step, but of course we are happy,” said Lewandowski, who became the first player to score four goals in a Champions League semi-final. “I am pleased with the four goals, but now we want to reach the final.”

Just as Lionel Messi had failed to shine for a subdued Barcelona at Bayern on his return from a hamstring injury, Real star Cristiano Ronaldo was fairly anonymous apart from scoring the visitors only goal.

Real coach Jose Mourinho, already a two-time winner of the trophy with Porto and Inter Milan, conceded that Dortmund had been the better side but insisted his side could pull off a remarkable comeback.

“I have learnt that anything can happen in football, it will be tough next week, but nothing is impossible and my footballers will try to show that next Tuesday,” said Mourinho.

Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp had promised his players would not be destabilised by the news on Tuesday that 20-year-old midfield star Mario Götze was to join Bayern Munich next season and his prophecy proved correct.

“We have to force ourselves to stay focused, we still need to go to Madrid, which will be no walk in the park,” said Klopp referring to next Tuesday’s return leg in Madrid.

The night belonged to Lewandowski who stole the limelight with the opening goal, then added a second-half hat-trick to put Dortmund on the verge of their second Champions League final having won the 1997 title.

“It will be very difficult in the return leg at home but we must remain confident and try to react,” said Real captain Sergio Ramos. “When the draw for the semi-finals was made a lot of people thought this was going to be easy for us, but this is a German team we are talking about. They are a great side.”

The anticipated hostile reaction from the home fans towards Götze never materialised and he helped give the hosts the perfect start.

His floated cross from the left wing found Lewandowski unmarked at the back post to stab the ball home with just eight minutes on the clock.

The goal spurred Real into life and Ronaldo forced Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller into a diving save on 24 minutes.

Referee Bjorn Kuipers won himself few fans among the Dortmund faithful when he refused their penalty appeal when Marco Reus was brought down in the area by Raphael Varane.

Real drew level almost immediately after that decision when Dortmund defender Mats Hummels’ back pass was seized on by Gonzalo Higuain, who drew Weidenfeller and squared for Ronaldo to tap in his 11th goal in 10 European games.

The hosts upped the pace in the second half and Lewandowski grabbed his second with a clinical finish on the turn to slot home Reus’ pass and beat Lopez on 50 minutes.

He netted his third five minutes later when he latched onto Marcel Schmelzer’s cross, then beat centre-back Pepe before drilling his shot home.

With Dortmund fans in delirium, he claimed his fourth of the night when Reus was fouled in the area by Xabi Alonso, after Goetze’s through-ball, and there was only one candidate when Kuipers pointed to the penalty spot on 66 minutes.

Mourinho tried to breathe some life into his side with two changes as Karim Benzema came on for Higuain and Angel Di Maria took over from Luka Modric in the central midfield position.

But only Lopez’s excellent diving save denied Lewandowski his fifth moments later.

AFP/mry

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EXPLAINED: The Covid rules for attending German football matches

The German Bundesliga kicks off on Friday evening with a match in Mönchengladbach. Here's a run-down of the Covid rules for football fans itching to join the crowds at the stadium.

EXPLAINED: The Covid rules for attending German football matches
Crowds cheer at a match between FC Kaiserslautern and Borussia Mönchengladbach, on August 9th, 2021. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Uwe Anspach

All eyes will be on Mönchengladbach this evening as the Bundesliga season kicks off with a match against reigning champions Bayern Munich – and this time, a crowd will be present in the stadium.

READ ALSO: German football fans get green light to return to stadiums next season

With several states liberalising their rules for public gatherings in recent months, many football fans are looking forward to enjoying a lively atmosphere at football matches once more. 

There’s just one problem: there are different rules for different stadiums. Here’s what you need to know about the Covid rules before you book your ticket for any of the upcoming fixtures. 

How many fans are allowed in the stadiums? 

According to a recent decision by the federal and state governments, football stadiums around the country are allowed to fill half of their seats and sell up to 25,000 tickets to fans. 

Of course, how much this limit affects the overall atmosphere – and the football clubs’ bottoms lines – depends on the capacity of the stadium. In Borussia Dortmund this weekend, the full 25,000 tickets have been sold – but that only equates to 30 percent of the stadium’s full capacity.

READ ALSO: German football: Which Bundesliga club should I support?

Meanwhile, in the stadium owned by Berlin’s FC Union, selling just 11,000 tickets is enough to fill half of the available seats. 

What do I need to show to get in? 

That really depends on the stadium in question, although in general anyone over the age of six will need to show a negative test or proof of vaccination or recovery – the so-called ‘3G’ rule – to enter the grounds. But other clubs, such as FC Cologne, have decided to only permit people who are vaccinated or recovered to attend matches from August 28th onwards – with exceptions for people who can’t get vaccinated, like children and pregnant woman.

At Mönchengladbach’s Borussia Park stadium, however, unvaccinated fans can enter with a negative test, though visitors who’ve stayed in a high-risk or virus variant area over the past two weeks will be unable to enter – along with people who’ve had recent contact with someone who has Covid. 


If you want to see action like this at FC Cologne’s stadium, you’ll need to get your Covid jabs sorted first. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Robert Michael

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund has taken a middle ground. While the 3G rule applies in principle, only 1,000 of the available 25,000 tickets will be sold to people who are providing a negative test. The remaining 24,000 seats will only be available for those who are vaccinated against – or recently recovered from – Covid. 

If you’re not vaccinated and are keen to see a match, it’s worth checking on your local club’s website beforehand or sending them an email to double-check whether you will be allowed in. 

What else do I need to know about? 

You’ll need to bring a FPP2 mask with you to matches to wear in your seat and while heading to the bathroom or bar, and also observe social distancing rules – meaning staying 1.5 metres apart from your fellow fans.

In most states, you’ll also need to provide your contact details, which will be saved by the club and potentially passed on to local health authorities in order to monitor a potential Covid outbreak. 

Will these rules continue throughout the season?

That’s still an open question. If infection rates in Germany continue to rise or high-profile superspreading events occur at future matches, the government could potentially crack down further on sports events in autumn.

This could involve limiting the seat numbers even further, or (more controversially), introducing a ‘vaccinated-only’ rule for entering stadiums. 

READ ALSO: Should Germany bring in Covid restrictions for unvaccinated people only?

A recent outbreak of Covid in the Mainz football team has also dampened celebrations slightly in the run-up to the start of the Bundesliga – leaving club owners urgently calling for both fans and footballers to get vaccinated. 

Speaking to WDR ahead of the season’s start, FC Cologne’s managing director Alexander Wehrle said widespread vaccination was the best route back to normality – a message reiterated by Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann. 

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