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UEFA Champions League
February 25, 2014
• 12:00 PM
• Stadion Petrovskij, Sankt-Peterburg (St. Petersburg)
Referee: W. Collum
• Attendance: 15099
O. Shatov 57'
H. Mkhitaryan 4'
M. Reus 5'
R. Lewandowski 61', 71'
That's all we have time for from Stadion Petrovski, as Dortmund run out as 4-2 away winners against Zenit in the first leg of the Champions League knockout stages. I've been Simon Harrison, and I will hope to see you again next time, be sure to stick around for later coverage of Manchester United's clash against Olympiakos.
Suicidal defending from Zenit has been the undoing of Spalletti's men, as conceding two goals in the opening six minutes of the first half was never going to get Zenit off to the sharpest start. A brief resurgence from the hosts in the second-half, but overall Klopp can revel in an efficient performance, despite plenty of injuries.
FULL TIME! Job done for Dortmund in Russia, as Klopp's side run out as 4-2 winners, taking an important two goal lead back home to Signal Iduna Park. Goals from Mhitaryan, Reus and a brace from Lewandowski were enough for the visitors, despite Shatov and Hulk finding the net for Zenit.
90' + 3'
Zenit are looking to run out of steam, with Dortmund absorbing the late pressure with ease. Hofmann has made a good impact on the game, with the youngster looks to press forward and win free-kicks in the opposition half, to push his team over the finish line.
90' + 1'
90' + 1'
There have been four minutes of stoppage time awarded at Stadion Petrovski, leaving time for Zenit to find a vital goal.
Hulk fires in a powerful cross, which is half-cleared by Schmelzer, before Sokratis hoofs the ball upfield. Witsel is found in space at the edge of the penalty area, but the Belgian midfielder fires straight at Weidenfeller.
A few minutes remaining, and the home supporters are getting restless, they know that heading to Germany with a two goal deficit is a very tough position to be in. The substitutes have been made, so it's all down to the players now. Dortmund run down the clock, with Shatov fouling Hofmann.
Great move from Zenit! Two backheels in quick succession make for some eye-catching buildup, before Hulk fails to pick an eye-of-the-needle pass through to Rondon. The Venezuelan throws his arms up in frustration, this just hasn't been his night!
Five minutes left on the clock, and there is an air of all-or-nothing about this game for Zenit now. Kerzhakov, the top scorer in European competitions from any formerly Soviet state, is thrown into the fray with the intention of the hosts grabbing a late lifeline.
Half chance for Zenit! Anyukov overlaps from right-back, after receiving a pass from Shatov, but his cross is too close to Weidenfeller! Spalletti readies Kerzhakov on the sidelines, as the Italian coach prepares to throw the kitchen sink at Dortmund.
Both sets of supporters continue to urge their respective sides forward, with an extra goal for either outfit having a rather large effect on the next leg. Tymoshchuk tries to carve the Dortmund defence in two with a ball in behind for Shatov, but Schmelzer intercepts.
Yellow CardViktor Faizulin
HULK! The Brazilian forward rockets an effort towards the near post from 25 yards, and Weidenfeller gets down well to turn it behind for a corner - he wasn't taking any chances there. The resulting set piece is then claimed by the Dortmund keeper, who has commanded his area well this evening.
We're approaching the final ten minutes of this match, and Spalletti's side need at least one goal to send them to Signal Iduna Park with half a chance. This game has been very end-to-end, with poor defending all round, meaning that ending at any possible scoreline would be conceivable.
HULK! Shatov does brilliantly, dancing inside from the right touchline, before carving Dortmund apart with one incisive pass. Hulk takes it into his stride, sidestepping one man in the penalty area, before the ball is cleared into touch. This game is scandalously open.
There's a quarter of an hour left on the clock, and Zenit aren't looking likely to be able to match their opponents' four goal haul. Hulk drives down the left, clipping a cross from the byeline to the near post, but Weidenfeller claims.
As soon as Zenit get their noses in front, their horrific defending comes back to haunt them! Neto stares in disbelief, as the hosts concede their fourth goal of the night. With the injection of pace given by Aubameyang, on top of the existing Dortmund dangermen, there could be more goals yet.
GOOOOOOAL! LEWANDOWSKI FIRES INTO THE BOTTOM CORNER TO MAKE IT 4-2! Zenit look shellshocked, as soon as they get back into the game, they concede again! It's a good finish from the Polish international, steering a low drive into the bottom left corner and beyond Lodygin, after being released by Reus!
GOOOOOAL! WHAT A PENALTY! It's now 3-2! Great finish from Hulk, cannoning the spot kick into the top right hand corner, leaving Weidenfeller with no chance! That was a stonewall decision, Piszczek stepping across Fayzulin, leaving Hulk to do the rest.
Yellow CardLukasz Piszczek
Weidenfeller remains alert! The Dortmund keeper has had little to do in this game, but is quick to race off his line as Rondon is played in behind the visiting defence. On the break, Zenit are beginning to have a bit of luck. Zenit attack again, break into the box, and WIN A PENALTY!
Great work from Reus! The Germany international races down the right flank, before cutting inside Criscito with a lovely chop, before his eventual square ball is intercepted by Witsel. So nearly a wonderful move from the 24-year-old.
Another heavy challenge flies in on Mkhitaryan from Lombaerts, and the Armenia international looks rather shaken. Zenit haven't been taking any prisoners in the second half, but they're only slowing down a game that they need to find another goal in.
Thankfully for the visitors, Sokratis is back to his feet, but very gingerly. He accepts Hulk's apologies as he leaves the field, but he isn't moving too well. Klopp doesn't have any central defensive options of note on the bench, meaning that the Bundesliga side will probably have to try to return Sokratis to the field regardless.
Hulk brings down Sokratis, and the Greek defender looks to be in some pain, despite the Brazilian's apologies. As the former Wolfsburg defender attempts to win a header, Hulk appeared to tread on the back of the Dortmund man's leg. With a raft of defensive injuries already, Klopp will be hoping that this isn't too serious.
GOOOOOAL! LEWANDOWSKI SCORES TO RESTORE DORTMUND'S CUSHION! It's wonderful work from Dortmund, before Lewandowski scrappily squeezes the ball underneath Lodygin! Piszczek squares the ball brilliantly, before the Polish striker digs the ball out from under his feet and applies the finishing touch!
Friedrich is forced into a last-ditch clearance, with Hulk bearing down on him. The pace in the Zenit frontline is just beginning to cause a few problems. Dortmund break, with the ball finding its way to Grosskreutz on the left flank, but the 25-year-old's effort is blocked en route to goal.
Well, how a goal can change the mood inside a stadium! Dortmund restart the game and continue to look confident, but Zenit have forced their way back into this fixture. Schmelzer whips in a cross, which Lodygin comes to claim before changing his mind, but Lewandowski is unable to chase it down.
GOOOOOOAL! ZENIT DRAW BLOOD THROUGH SHATOV! The midfielder blasts a strike into the bottom right corner, after Hulk forces a goalline clearance out of Schmelzer and Rondon rattles the inside of the post! Dortmund just couldn't clear their lines, and Zenit made them pay!
Half chance for Zenit! A cross is fizzed into the box, with none of the hosts' players able to get a touch, as Weidenfeller wades out of the box with the ball in his grasp. The Dortmund keeper hasn't been tested whatsoever in this game so far.
Yellow CardAlexander Anyukov
Anyukov picks up a yellow card for a very nasty late challenge on Mkhitaryan, with his studs clattering into the Armenian midfielder's calf. Dortmund continue to look the brighter of the two outfits, with one piece of skill from Shatov being the only encouraging thing from Zenit in this second half.
GROSSKREUTZ! The utility man presses towards the penalty area, drifting onto his right foot, before a ball aimed for Mkhitaryan is cut out well by Neto. Witsel throws himself into a challenge on the Armenian, who picks up the rebound, with the loose ball then falling to Tymoshchuk. The substitute tries to pass the ball back to his goalkeeper, but it's so powerful that it nearly creeps into the bottom corner.
Half chance for Zenit! It's Hulk at the heart of the problems again, as he fires a cross into the penalty area, which takes a touch off a yellow shirt on its way behind for a corner. The Brazilian whips in the resulting set piece himself, but Weidenfeller claims well.
Great challenge from Friedrich! Hulk looked to knock the ball beyond the veteran defender and race around the other side, but the German defender slides in brilliantly to hook the ball away. Dortmund break, with Mkhitaryan drifting down the right hand side, but his eventual cross is too close to Lodygin.
Another half chance for Dortmund, as Lewandowski and Mkhitaryan almost combine brilliantly! The former swivels on the edge of the area, before poking a pass into the path of the Armenian, but Lombaerts does just enough to pressure the Poland international, whose ball is slightly too heavy. Mkhitaryan fails to get on the end of it, and Zenit survive.
LEWANDOWSKI! The Polish striker cannons an effort towards the near post, but Lodygin is alive to the danger, and palms it behind for a corner. The set piece comes to nothing, but Dortmund will be pleased with how they've come out of the blocks after the break.
Anyukov goes down in a heap whilst under pressure from Grosskreutz, and the Zenit right-back looks to have experienced some ankle troubles. As the 31-year-old looks to push off and accelerate, his ankle gave way.
We are back underway in the second half! Zenit have plenty to do if they want to get back in this game, and the hosts can't afford to concede another away goal!
Be sure to rejoin us in ten minutes, to stay with all of the second half action, as Dortmund try and complete the perfect away day. Two goals in the opening six minutes have sapped Zenit of confidence, but Spalletti just might be able to work wonders in the dressing room at the break.
Spalletti's side have looked low on confidence, sharpness and ideas, with Zenit's long winter break potentially taking its toll. Even with an injury-ravaged squad, Die Schwarzengelben have looked comfortable, with only Hulk able to force Weidenfeller into a first half save.
HALF TIME! The away side have had a brilliant opening 45 minutes in Russia, with two goals in the opening six minutes giving Dortmund the perfect platform to build upon. Mkhitaryan and Reus have given the Bundesliga side important away goals, as the theme of visiting teams triumphing in this season's knockout stages continues.
Dortmund's pressing is forcing Zenit back to Lodygin with regularity, and the hosts are really struggling to offer anything going forward. Rondon has been isolated, with Hulk representing the only real driving force. Replacing Arshavin with Tymoshchuk has perhaps sapped the hosts' attacking options.
Both managers have stayed rooted in their technical areas for the entire half, with Spalletti being the more vocal of the two coaches. The Italian is desperately trying to breathe some life into this Zenit side, but they're not looking sharp at all, perhaps due to their long break from competitive action.
Good header from Lombaerts! The defender wins an important aerial battle over the Poland international, as another Reus free-kick works its way into a dangerous area! The Dortmund goalscorer is sometimes inconsistent with his set piece deliveries, but they've been excellent this evening.
The home fans continue to make plenty of noise, despite Spalletti's side being incredibly flat in the first half. They've been gifting away possession, permitting Dortmund to break forward with regularity and really peg back the Russian side. Frustrations are rising for the hosts.
REUS! The Germany international fires a 30-yard free-kick towards goal, which Lodygin is able to smother under some considerable pressure. It was on target, but the Zenit keeper perhaps made a save that was for the cameras, he had a long time to watch it.
KEHL! The returning defensive midfielder tries his luck from 25 yards, but his low drive is straight at Lodygin. Moments later, Tymoshchuk is penalised for a late challenge on Lewandowski, who turns the Ukraine international with a lovely piece of skill.
Ten minutes until the break, and Zenit could really do with a goal before they head back to the dressing room. Since conceding twice, the hosts have firmed themselves up, repelling plenty of quick counters from the visitors, but remain devoid of any ideas. The responsibility of scoring a goal from nothing appears to be with Hulk.
Poor ball from Grosskreutz! The Dortmund utility man drives into the final third, before looking to open the play up with a smart ball out wide to Mkhitaryan. However, the pass is massively overhit, and the Armenian attacking midfielder has to watch the ball shoot past his path.
Poor challenge from Hulk! The Brazilian clatters through the back of Schmelzer, earning him a telling off from Sahin. Zenit still aren't quite at the races, they've slowly settled down, but haven't offered much in the way of threats. Dortmund, on the other hand, look dangerous whenever they press forward.
REUS! CLOSE FOR DORTMUND! What a beautiful passage of play! Piszczek feeds the ball into Reus, who returns possession, allowing for the Polish right-back to feed his teammate once again with a clever backheel. Reus digs out a strike from the edge of the box, but it curls narrowly wide of the back post.
As we approach the half hour mark, Klopp will hardly be able to believe what position his side are currently in. Lewandowski rises excellently to meet a Reus free-kick, but the striker can only direct the ball over the crossbar from close-range - thankfully for him, the linesman's flag was raised for offside.
HULK! The Brazilian forward finally registers a shot on target, but it bounces comfortably into the waiting gloves of Weidenfeller. Not quite the rocket that we're accustomed to from the former Porto man, but it's a platform to build upon, even if only psychologically.
Good defending from Lombaerts! The Belgian defender slides in to dispossess Lewandowski on the edge of the penalty area, as the Polish striker looked to pivot and slip the ball into the path of the overlapping Mkhitaryan. An important intervention!
Rondon streaks clear of two yellow shirts down the right flank, but has nobody in the penalty area to aim for. The Zenit striker bides his time, before his eventual delivery is blocked by the recovering Sokratis. The home supporters have seen little to inspire them thus far.
REUS! Almost a moment of fortune for the German side once again, as Reus charges down a clearance, almost deflecting the ball in such a manner that the Germany international could run onto it as though it was a through ball. Lodygin is quick off his line to collect.
RONDON! Hulk whips in an early cross, in search of the Venezuela international, but despite getting around Friedrich, the Zenit striker can't get any contact on the ball. It bounces wide of the far post, for a Dortmund goal-kick.
After a hectic start, things are settling down, though Zenit are keen to make quick transitions using their dynamic front three. Hulk and Rondon have seen the ball sparingly, and should the Russian side want to get back into this game, their key players have to shoulder the responsibility.
LEWANDOWSKI! The Dortmund man does his best to outpace Lombaerts, and just about manages to race around the Zenit defender in the penalty area. From a tight angle, Lewandowski attempts to slot the ball into the far corner, but Lodygin makes a save to concede a corner. The set piece comes to nothing.
RONDON! Good defensive work from Piszczek! The right-back covers across behind Friedrich brilliantly, preventing a through ball from running into the path of Rondon, before moments later he robs the Venezuelan forward of the ball again.
Great hold up play from Lewandowski, the Poland international has been excellent in this first half, bringing other players into play regularly. Zenit look unable to deal with his physicality and tidy technical ability.
After feeling his hamstring somewhat, and running around uncomfortably, the home side are forced into an early substitution. Arshavin is replaced by Tymoshchuk, who used to ply his trade for Dortmund's Bundesliga rivals Bayern.
Zenit continue to look completely shellshocked, as Spalletti's side have been unable to register a shot on target, with Dortmund sitting well in their shape. The hosts have to navigate a thick yellow midfield screen, if they are to thread the likes of Hulk and Rondon through on goal, and neither high-profile forward has been in a dangerous area yet.
Dortmund have managed to bag themselves a record in this game, as well as two opening goals, as the Bundesliga side are the first team in the history of the Champions League to score two goals away from home in the opening six minutes of a match. Something of a Blitzkrieg from Klopp's men.
Weidenfeller has been a spectator for the away side, as Klopp's side continue to enjoy the dream opening to this fixture. Arshavin looks to chase a long ball down the left flank, but the former Arsenal midfielder is unable to make up the required ground, and just feels his hamstring slightly as he gets back into position.
Dortmund are moving the ball well in the opening stages, and look rather surprised that they've been clinical, taking their chances has been a real issue for the Schwarzengelben this season. Lewandowski tries to bullishly race through on goal, but Fayzulin robs him of possession.
The away supporters are in great voice, and what a start this has been for the Bundesliga visitors! Reus and Mkhitaryan have grabbed two important away goals in the opening six minutes of the match, leaving Spalletti's men with a ridiculous amount of work to do to salvage this tie, let alone tonight's leg!
GOOOOOOOAL! IT'S TWO, DORTMUND SCORE AGAIN! Reus nets, and Dortmund are two goals to the good in the opening six minutes! The blonde-haired forward thrashes the ball past the helpless Lodygin, who has been given no help by his defence in the early stages!
GOOOOOOAL! MKHITARYAN GIVES THE AWAY SIDE AN EARLY LEAD! It's a great run from Reus, who gets beyond the last man and races into the penalty area, before the pacey winger is felled by a half-efficient tackle. The rebound falls to Mkhitaryan from ten yards out, and the Armenia international slots home past Lodygin!
Schmelzer does just enough for Dortmund! Zenit break with speed, pressing three forwards onto the visiting backline, but Shatov's attempted through ball is directed back to Weidenfeller by the German left-back. That could have been a terrible start for the away side.
We are underway in the first half! It's certainly not temperate weather, with the Champions League anthem ringing out in the chilly air. The away support look to be in good voice, holding their yellow and black scarves aloft, and they'll be hoping for a good showing from their injury-ravaged side. Zenit look strong, and though sections of their ultras are banned from tonight's game, they'll be tough for the Bundesliga outfit to overcome.
With ten minutes until kick-off, be sure to stick with us for all of the action as Dortmund face Zenit, with both sides having plenty to play for. The Russian side will be wanting to justify their qualification to the knockout stages, despite a meagre group stage points tally, while Klopp's men will want to keep their season alive by progressing further in this season's Champions League.
Dortmund will be hoping to forget their domestic woes tonight, given that the Bundesliga side are edging slowly out of the Champions League places in the German top flight, with a raft of injuries not helping their cause. Sven Bender has recently been sidelined for an additional ten weeks, joining the likes of Mats Hummels, Nevan Subotic and Jakob Blaszczykowski on the treatment table. Should Robert Lewandowski pick up a yellow card tonight, the Polish striker would also miss the second leg through suspension.
During Zenit's winter break, the St Petersburg-based outfit recorded a friendly record of five wins, two draws and three losses, setting them in good stead for this evening's fixture. In the last of such friendlies, new Venezuelan signing Rondon netted his inaugural goal for the club, which could propel the striker into a good performance against Dortmund - who are starting with a weak central defensive duo.
Today's stadium will be partially closed, due to Zenit facing punishment from UEFA over the behaviour of a section of their fans. During their away clash against Austria Vienna, the travelling support were responsible for throwing fireworks and causing trouble, as well as racism behaviour. Due to UEFA's zero-tolerance to any of these offences, today's hosts will have to play with a little less of an intimidating atmosphere.
Dortmund substitutes: Hofmann, Aubameyang, Langerak, Schieber, Sarr, Durm, Jojic.
Dortmund starting line-up: Weidenfeller; Piszczek, Sokratis, Friedrich, Schmelzer; Sahin, Kehl; Grosskreutz, Mkhitaryan, Reus; Lewandowski.
Zenit substitutes: Kerzhakov, Hubocan, Zyryanov, Smolnikov, Lukovic, Tymoshchuk, Malafeev.
Zenit starting line-up: Lodygin; Criscito, Lombaerts, Luis Neto, Anyukov; Shatov, Fayzulin, Witsel; Hulk, Rondon, Arshavin.
TEAM NEWS: An injury to Sven Bender last time out means that Dortmund's defensive midfielder partnership consists of Kehl and Sahin, with Sokratis and Friedrich chosen as the second-string central defensive two. Aubameyang can only find a place on the bench, with Klopp favouring the work rate of Grosskreutz in what could be a difficult visit to Eastern Europe.
TEAM NEWS: Roman Shirokov misses out through injury for the hosts, despite the Russian forward netting twice against Benfica, the last time that Zenit made it to this stage of the competition. Hulk and Rondon are the two-pronged attack, with Axel Witsel and Andrey Arshavin making up part of the midfield. Lodygin starts in goal for the home side, with Malafeev taking a seat on the bench.
I'm Simon Harrison and I will be keeping you up to date with of the action from St Petersburg, as Die Schwarzgelben attempt to make the Champions League the pinnacle of their season. In the Bundesliga, things aren't going swimmingly for the German club, partially due to injury woes, but their European affairs are in order. Zenit haven't played a competitive fixture since their 4-1 away defeat to Austria Vienna in the group stages, where Spalletti's men crawled through with merely six points.
Hello and welcome to today's Champions League early kick-off, with Jurgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund looking to forget their league season with a good performance against Zenit. This is only the second time that the Russian side have progressed this far in the competition, the previous occasion being back in the 2011/12 season. Today promises a tough away test for Dortmund, despite parts of the Stadion Petrovski being shut to home supporters.
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