St. Petersburg - Borussia Dortmund are poised for the Champions League's
quarter-finals after Robert Lewandowski scored twice in Tuesday's 4-2
win at Zenit St Petersburg in their last 16, first-leg clash.
WRAP: Champions League
raced into a 2-0 lead after only five minutes at Zenit's Petrovsky
Stadium as Henrikh Mkhitaryan, then Marco Reus scored to leave the
The hosts pulled two goals back after the break
as central midfielder Oleg Shatov scored, then Brazil's Hulk converted a
On both occasions Dortmund gave the perfect response,
with Lewandowski scoring just seconds later, as the Germans take a
commanding lead home for the second leg on March 19.
"We steered the game in the right direction with the early goals," said Dortmund captain Sebastian Kehl.
"We dominated well after that.
"It was clear Zenit would come back at us."
Zenit got off to a nightmare start as both of Reus' first two touches led to goals.
With barely four minutes gone, the Germany winger muscled through the Zenit defence and on to a Lewandowski pass.
When he went to ground, central midfielder Mkhitaryan fired home to put last season's Champions League finalists ahead.
70 seconds later, Mkhitaryan crossed from the right for left winger
Kevin Grosskreutz to lay off to Reus, who fired a right-footed shot past
Zenit goalkeeper Yuri Lodygin.
Zenit leaked nine goals in the group stages and their back four were woeful for both goals.
hosts' coach Luciano Spalletti responded by replacing former Russian
captain Andrei Arshavin, who looked to have injured a hamstring, with
ex-Bayern Munich midfielder Anatoliy Tymoshchuk.
Dortmund struggled to maintain the lightning tempo after the initial goals, while Zenit were left subdued.
It finished 2-0 at the break, but the hosts pulled one back on 57 minutes after a goalmouth scramble.
signing Jose Rondon's shot was cleared by Dortmund's Marcel Schmelzer,
but the Venezuelan hit the post with the rebound before Shatov rifled
his shot home.
The goal sparked Dortmund's attack as Lewandowski scored twice to maintain their two-goal advantage.
exchanged passes with Poland team-mate Lukasz Piszczek then slotted the
ball past Zenit goalkeeper Yuri Lodygin on 61 minutes.
then conceded a penalty when he blocked Viktor Fayzulin's run into the
area and Brazilian right winger Hulk stepped up and smashed home the
It took Dortmund just 90 seconds to reply
when Lewandowski snapped up Reus' pass and fired his 71st-minute shot
past Lodygin for his second of the game.
Spalletti's Zenit looked
rusty, having played their last competitive game in December, and face
an uphill task in Germany in three weeks.
In contrast, Dortmund
can start planning for the last eight in Europe having given the perfect
response to Saturday's shock 3-0 at relegation-threatened Hamburg in
"It was clear to me that my team would produce a reaction," said Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp.
team can never be accused of going about their business without showing
some character, but we still have work to do in the second leg."