Dortmund beats Galatasaray to reach knockout stage
DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — Despite being down in the relegation zone in the Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund is perfect in the Champions League and has advanced to the knockout stage with two matches to spare.
Ciro Immobile scored three minutes after coming on as a substitute to help Dortmund to a 4-1 victory over Galatasaray on Tuesday, its fourth straight win the tournament.
Marco Reus put Dortmund ahead in the 39th and defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos doubled the lead in the 56th.
Hakan Balta pulled one back for Galatasaray in the 70th, the first goal Dortmund has conceded in the group stage. But Immobile then scored his third Champions League goal in the 74th, before Semih Kaya deflected a shot by Immobile into his own net in 85th.
Galatasaray fans set off firecrackers, smoke bombs and flares, briefly interrupting the match twice. Some flares landed in the section of Dortmund fans and the match was close to being abandoned.
There were disturbances after the final whistle, too. One Galatasaray fan ran onto the field but was hugged by Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan, himself of Turkish roots, and escorted off the pitch. Gundogan gave the fan his shirt.
Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp said the behavior of the visiting fans was “pure provocation.”
“It was incredible. We took all the security steps but it still happened,” Klopp said.
As for the game, Klopp said his team played a “fantastic match.”
“We defended very well and we executed our plan very well,” Klopp said. “I was never worried.”
Dortmund leads Group D with 12 points and is five ahead of Arsenal, which had a 3-3 draw against Anderlecht.
So for the first time, Dortmund has qualified for the second round with two matches to spare. Dortmund won the title in 1997 and was runner-up in 2013.
In early chances before Dortmund’s first goal, Sokratis hit the crossbar with a header from a corner by Reus, Shinji Kagawa narrowly missed the target and Neven Subotic mishit the ball high at the far post after another corner by Reus.
Reus scored after picking up a perfect through ball from Lukasz Piszczek and slotting it through the legs of goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.
Galatasaray had an opportunity early in the second half when Wesley Sneijder picked up a goal-kick and fired a volley that caught goalkeeper Roman Widenfeller off guard and on the wrong foot, but the shot went wide.
Sokratis got Dortmund’s second after Galatasaray failed to clear a corner and Sebastian Kehl won the ball in the air. He headed toward the goal and the defender slammed it in from close range.
Hakan Balta scored with a powerful header after a corner from Sneijder to raise Galatasaray’s hopes.
But Immobile finished a swift counter-attack shortly after coming off the bench. He controlled a cross from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with his chest and slipped the ball past Muslera although he was brought down from behind by Hamit Altintop.