Four-star Lewandowski fires Dortmund rout of Real
Madrid demolished in their semi-final first leg of champions’ league campaign
DORTMUND - Robert Lewandowski scored four goals to inspire Borussia Dortmund to a stunning 4-1 demolition of Real Madrid in their Champions League semifinal first leg on Wednesday.
Dortmund's dazzling performance came a day after Bayern Munich crushed Barcelona 4-0 in the other semifinal first leg, raising the prospect of an all-German clash in next month's final at Wembley.
Poland striker Lewandowski, became the first player to score four goals in a Champions League semifinal and opened his account after eight minutes, with speculation rife that he is not going to renew his contract in 2014 with the German side.
The 24-year-old added three more in the second half, including an emphatic penalty to leave the nine-times European champions badly wounded.
"We had to force ourselves to remain calm but the return leg in Madrid will not be easy for us," said Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp.
"But whatever happens in Madrid no one can take tonight away from us."
Cristiano Ronaldo equalised just before the break for the Spaniards, who face a monumental task against Dortmund, still undefeated in the competition in Tuesday's home leg.
"We lacked commitment, starting with myself and including the 10 others who were on the pitch," Real defender Sergio Ramos told media.
"We have to keep faith that we can turn it around in the return leg, there are 90 minutes left. We will come out fighting from the first minute because it's a competition that means a lot to us."
It took Real more than 20 minutes to curb their opponents' attacking game and Ronaldo tested goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller with a stinging long-range free kick.
But they needed a Dortmund mistake to level in the 43rd, seconds after the Germans had demanded a penalty for a challenge on Marco Reus.
Central defender Mats Hummels miscued a back pass and Gonzalo Higuain intercepted before feeding the unmarked Ronaldo who levelled with his 12th goal of the competition.
Ronaldo's goal equalled a record of scoring in six successive Champions League games and left him level with Thierry Henry in fourth place on the Champions League all-time scorers' list with his 50th goal.
But Real's joy was short lived when Lewandowski struck twice in five minutes after the break as Dortmund resumed their domination.
"It was superb performance for almost 90 minutes," said Dortmund sports director Michael Zorc.
"I think it was a deserved win but we still need to be very careful in the return leg. The goal we conceded was our mistake and we brought Real back in the game. But the team corrected it very well."