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Advantage Dortmund: BVB Cruises Past Zenit
Guardian, February 26th, 2014 1:39PM

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TAGS:  germany, russia, uefa champions league

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Jurgen Klopp hailed his players’ “optimal” performance, as Borussia Dortmund cruised to a 4-2 win at Zenit St. Petersburg in its UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first-leg clash with the Russian giant on Tuesday. Early goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marco Reus gave Dortmund a 2-0 lead after just five minutes while a pair of second half goals from Robert Lewandowski secured the away win for the German giant despite Zenit pulling back two goals for the home team through Oleg Shatov and Brazil international Hulk.

"We were close to optimal this evening," Dortmund coach Klopp said in his post-game press conference. "It was a great game, no question.” Captain Sebastian Kehl added: “We stayed compact. We wanted to pressure them to win back the ball. That was very important. We brought the game in the right direction and made Zenit uncertain."

Zenit coach Luciano Spalletti noted that the two-game series is not yet decided and that his side still has a chance of going through. "In football there's always a chance of coming back," the Italian said. "Everything depends on what kind of performance you deliver. It all depends on what you put into it and how much you're prepared to run. It all depends on your effort."

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