Dortmund thrash Atletico Madrid in Champions League

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Dortmund (Germany), Oct 25 (IANS) Atletico Madrid suffered a humbling 0-4 away defeat in Champions League Group A action at the hands of German club Borussia Dortmund.

The blowout loss here on Wednesday night was the most lopsided that Atletico has endured in Europe’s premier club competition since Diego Simeone took over as head coach in 2011, reports Efe news agency.

Dortmund was clearly the more offensive-minded side in the first half at Signal Iduna Park and deserved the 1-0 advantage it took into the intermission, even if its lone goal came on a fortunate shot by Axel Witsel in the 38th minute that deflected off of defender Lucas Hernandez and far out of the reach of keeper Jan Oblak.

But the German side had other chances to score over the first 45 minutes, with Witsel forcing Atleti’s star net minder to make a save at the bottom corner of the goal and American midfielder Christian Pulisic squandering a chance in the area by sending the ball high and wide.

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By contrast, all Atleti could muster in the first half was one attempt by star forward Antoine Griezmann that went wide of the right upright.

The visitors improved after the intermission thanks in part to head coach Simeone’s decision to insert Rodri in place of Thomas Partey.

Saul was the main beneficiary of the move as he asserted himself more in attack and nearly scored on one shot that went just wide and another that struck the crossbar.

But all the momentum swung back in Dortmund’s favor when Raphael Guerreiro received a pass from Achraf Hakimi (who had three assists on the night), snuck in between two defenders and fired a shot past Oblak to give the hosts a 2-0 lead in the 73rd minute.

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After substitute Angel Correa nearly pulled one back for the Colchoneros on a shot that Dortmund net minder Roman Burki mishandled, Dortmund added two more insurance goals: one by 18-year-old English winger Jadon Sancho that was allowed even though he was clearly in an offside position and another by Guerreiro, who took advantage of a sloppy pass by Filipe Luis.

“They were better. I think we had a good first half, where absolutely nothing happened and they got a goal. In the second, we were close to making it 1-1 and they went up 2-0. We were close to 2-1 and they made it 3-0. Congratulations to Dortmund,” Simeone told Movistar+ television after the match.

With the win, the Bundesliga club (nine points) is in first place and in a commanding position in Group A.

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Dortmund has a three-point lead over second-place Atletico and a whopping nine-goal edge over the La Liga club in goal differential with three group-stage matches remaining.

Ligue 1 club Monaco and Belgian side Club Brugge are third and fourth in Group A, respectively, with one point apiece.

–IANS

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