‘I'm not Messi’ - Dortmund’s Delaney plays down role in 4-0 win over Leverkusen

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The Danish midfielder admitted he lacks the attacking skill of the Barcelona man ahead of their meetings with Spanish champions on Tuesday

Dortmund’s Thomas Delaney has played down the impact he had in his side’s 4-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, claiming he’s ‘not Lionel Messi’.

BVB enjoyed a superb afternoon in the Bundesliga clash and ultimately emerged victorious thanks to goals from Paco Alcacer, Marco Reus (2) and Raphael Guerreiro.

Delaney started for just the second time in the league this season at Signal Iduna Park and it was the first time the Dane had completed 90 minutes for Dortmund all season.

Despite that, the midfielder was quick to move the spotlight away from himself and his contribution to the four-goal victory. 

“I'm not Messi, I can’t dribble as nicely as he does, so I have to do other things on the pitch,” Delaney said after the match. “It's a good performance if I win a lot of duels and play good short passes.”

The comparisons with the little Argentine were well timed, considering Dortmund play the Catalan side on Tuesday in the first game of their Champions group. 

For Delaney, he feels the impressive win over Leverkusen puts the German outfit in a good frame of mind ahead of the Barca showdown.

“I don’t want to say that Leverkusen are Barcelona, but the game today was a good test for us. Leverkusen are one of the teams in the Bundesliga who play the most beautiful football. 

“We needed a good performance and I think we played well defensively today as well. There have been long periods without the ball, but we have moved very well. That may also be important against Barcelona. We are now feeling confident,” he added.

Delaney is also looking forward to locking horns with the four-time European champions in midweek, something he has not done since 2010, when he played for Copenhagen.

“I played against Barcelona a couple of years ago,” he reflected. “At that time we played at home and drew 1-1 - that was not bad.”

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The victory over Leverkusen was even more important after the shock defeat to relegation candidates Union Berlin just before the international break.

“We all know that it was disappointing in Berlin,” said Delaney. “You can not do that often in a season if you want to become the league winners. For that we needed a great performance today. It was really a great day.”

Saturday’s result leaves Dortmund second in the table, with nine points from four games this term.

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