Dortmund, Schalke make it a perfect European night for the Ruhr district | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 01.10.2013
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Dortmund, Schalke make it a perfect European night for the Ruhr district

Two bitter Ruhr district rivals have both picked up victories to make it a perfect German night in the Champions League. Dortmund bounced back from a defeat in their first match, while Schalke made it two in a row.

Borussia Dortmund collected their first win in the group stage of this year's European Champions League campaign, beating the French side Olympique Marseille 3-0 in front of a sold-out Signal-Iduna Park on Tuesday.

The Bundesliga leaders started the game brightly in front of their home fans, putting the Marseille defenders under pressure repeatedly in the opening minutes. The first decent chance fell to Kevin Grosskreutz who tested keeper Steve Mandanda early from just outside the box.

It didn't take too much longer for the home side to make their breakthrough. In the 19th minute Dortmund's Polish international striker, Robert Lewandowski finished off a nice play from young striker Erik Durm who has been filling in at left back. Durm passed the ball through the six-yard box to Lewandowski who had run into space to the left of the Marseille keeper. Lewandowski completed the easy left-footed tap-in to put Dortmund up 1-0.

Within the space of two minutes, the Polish striker got an almost identical chance to double his side's lead, but this time Mandanda got his leg out to make an impressive save and keep Marseille in the game.

Dortmund were without head coach Jürgen Klopp, who was facing a ban for an outburst at an official in their first game - a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Napoli. They also lacked goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller, who was serving a red-card ban. And yet, the last year's Champion's League finalists never looked in trouble against the French side.

It wasn't until they got their second and third goals that Bosnian assistant coach Zeljko Buvac, who replaced Klopp on the sidelines, could breathe a sigh of relief.

Dortmund midfielder Marco Reus must have had trouble suppressing a smirk after his free kick from outside of the box seemed to startle Mandanda - the ball bouncing just in front of the keeper, and then just over the line. Mandanda bailed it out with a desperate sweep of his left arm, but in vain.

Reus had a hand in the third goal as well, barging his way into the French area before being brought down. Lewandowski converted from the spot to make it a 3-0 final.

Klopp was pleased with his team's performance, but not so much with having to view the action from the stands.

"Our transition game looked very good," he said, adding that "you really do see better (from the stands), but apart from that it's crap."

Schalke keep perfect record

Julian Draxler, right, during an UEFA Champions League group E group stage matchday 2 soccer match between Switzerland's FC Basel 1893 and Germany's FC Schalke 04 at the St. Jakob-Park stadium in Basel, Switzerland, 01 October 2013. EPA/LAURENT GILLIERON

Draxler (r) got the business done for Schalke

South of the border in Basel, meanwhile, Dortmund's Ruhr district rivals were looking for their second win in Group E, following their 3-0 victory over Bucharest on Match Day 1.

Basel were also coming off a win, having defeated English Premier League side Chelsea in their first match, 2-1.

The game was briefly delayed when Greenpeace protesters unfurled a huge banner criticizing Russian state-owned gas supplier Gazprom, sponsors of Schalke and the Champions League.

This match featured less action, on the pitch at least, and just one goal. Schalke, who generally looked to have their Swiss opponents under control, didn't manage to create many clear cut chances. In the end though, they got the only goal they needed with a brilliant strike from one of their young stars.

After a corner from Denis Aogo at first didn't really seem to trouble the Basel defense, it soon also became clear that they have failed to clear the errant ball sufficiently. Julian Draxler pounced on the ball as it squirted free just beyond the edge of the box. The Schalke midfielder hit the ball on the volley, curling it beyond the reach of the Basel keeper and into the top right-hand corner of the net.

That made the score 1-0 in the 54th minute and would be all coach Jens Keller's side would need to take home the three points and keep a perfect record in Group E.

Following the match, Draxler told reporters he was lucky that the ball came to him "and I took a risky shot."

Coach Keller though, was full of praise for the midfielder, who turned 20 a couple of weeks ago.

"That was no fluke. He has the quality, a beautiful goal," Keller said.

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