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Dortmund to attempt the impossible against Tottenham: Reus

Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus during the press conference. Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge Dortmund to attempt the impossible against Tottenham: Reus Berlin, March 4, 2019 (Reuters/NNN) Borussia Dortmund are going into their Champions League Round-of-16 second leg at home against Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday with a clear disadvantage after a 3-0 first-leg loss but the […]

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Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus during the press conference. Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

Dortmund to attempt the impossible against Tottenham: Reus

Berlin, March 4, 2019 (Reuters/NNN) Borussia Dortmund are going into their Champions League Round-of-16 second leg at home against Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday with a clear disadvantage after a 3-0 first-leg loss but the Germans will attempt a major upset, said Captain Marco Reus.

Bundesliga leaders Dortmund have managed just one win in their last five league games, while also losing to Tottenham in London and being eliminated by Werder Bremen in the German Cup.

Reus, injured in the game against Werder in early February, returned on Friday but could do nothing to avert their second league loss of the season, 2-1 at Augsburg.

On Monday, he sounded confident that his team could still turn things around against the English side if they hit top form on the night.

“I think this stadium (in Dortmund) has seen its share of games where history was written,” Reus told a news conference. “We can also do it.

“But we need a top performance and to score the goals at the right time. I think we are in a position to achieve the impossible.”

Dortmund still has the best attack in the German Bundesliga but in recent weeks they have struggled to score while also conceding goals through individual errors.

Their seven-point gap a few weeks ago has now shrunk to a slim goal difference ahead of second-placed Bayern Munich, while their lacklustre first-leg performance against Tottenham also raised alarm bells.

“We know in the past weeks we have gifted away points because we made too many mistakes,” Reus said. “We have to remain positive and keep working.

“We have to be stronger, have a stronger mentality, like we had in the previous months. We will emerge from this.” (Reuters/NNN)
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Edited by Emmanuel Okara/Silas Nwoha

 

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Hertha Berlin and Borussi Dortmund players kneel in tribute to George Floyd

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Their action was a tribute to George Floyd, an unarmed black man whose death in United States police custody has triggered protests around the world.

Both teams gathered around the centre circle and knelt ahead of their league game, which was being played in an empty Signal Iduna Park stadium in Dortmund due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The coaches and their staff on the benches also joined in.

Earlier this week the German Football Association (DFB) ruled that players were free to show their support for protests over the death of Floyd.

Several players last week lifted their shirts to show messages in support of the protests.

The DFB said it would take no action against symbols of solidarity with the protests in the United States and across the world.

The protests have been sparked by the May 25 killing of Floyd in Minneapolis after a white officer detaining him knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes as fellow officers stood by.
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Dortmund’s Sancho, Akanji, fined for getting haircuts without face masks

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The DFL said both players had broken the health guidelines that had governed Bundesliga clubs and players since the league restarted amid the COVID-19 pandemic on May 16.

In total, six Dortmund players, including rising star Sancho and Akanji, got their hair cut by the visiting hairdresser, who then asked some of them to take pictures with him.

“It is clear that pro players also need to get their hair cut. But that has to happen in line with the medical and hygiene concept,” the DFL said in a statement.

“The fines are not against the club which is not seen as having a responsibility in this case.”

Bundesliga matches are played without fans and teams must adhere to strict health guidelines that regulate the process and operation of training sessions and games.

The league, with five rounds of matches left in the season, plans to finish by the end of the month.

Sancho also hit the headlines last weekend when he, after scoring, revealed an undershirt with the message ‘Justice for George Floyd’ — an unarmed black man who died in Minneapolis after a white United States police officer knelt on his neck.

Sancho escaped any sanction after the German Football Association said players were free to show their support for protests over Floyd’s death.


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Sancho, other Borussia Dortmund players under fire over haircut photos

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Photos on social media showed them and the hairdresser without face masks.

Sports director Michael Zorc said on Thursday it appeared that the players and the hairdresser observed all rules during the cut itself.

“However, taking off the masks for the photo violated the rules.

“We were in contact with the German Football League (DFL) which says in the hygiene concept that allowed the Bundesliga restart that players must have no contact to the outside world at home and cannot receive visitors.

“We talked to the players again in a very clear way and made it very clear to them how they should behave.

“We also talked to the hairdresser. I don’t understand why you have to take pictures as well,” Zorc said.

He confirmed that young star forward Sancho was among the players but also said “we shouldn’t forget that Jadon is 19 and testing his limits.”

Second-placed Borussia Dortmund host Hertha Berlin on Saturday without suspended defender Mats Hummels while teenage striker Erling Braut Haaland will be a late decision following injury.
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Sancho hat-trick keeps Borussia Dortmund in title hunt

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England forward Jadon Sancho capped a blistering individual performance with a second half hat-trick which helped Borussia Dortmund to a 6-1 win at Paderborn on Sunday.


The victory kept alive their slim Bundesliga title hopes and left Borussia Dortmund second on 60 points from 29 games with five rounds of matches remaining.

They are seven behind champions and league leaders Bayern Munich, while Paderborn remained rooted to the foot of the standings on 19 points.

With prolific 19-year-old Norway striker Erling Haaland sidelined by a knee injury, the visitors missed a string of chances in the first half.

But Sancho lit up the second half as Borussia Dortmund ran riot.

Thorgan Hazard, who took Haaland’s place upfront, gave Borussia Dortmund a 54th minute lead from close range.

This was after goalkeeper Leopold Zingerle, who had made a string of good saves, failed to deal with an Emre Can cross from the left.

Sancho made it 2-0 with a simple tap-in from two metres three minutes later, thanks to some good work from Julian Brandt.

An Uwe Hunemeier penalty kick briefly rekindled Paderborn’s challenge in the 72nd minute.

It turned out to be a false dawn as Sancho scored Borussia Dortmund’s third two minutes later with a fine left foot shot from inside the penalty area and Paderborn fell apart in the closing stages.

Achraf Hakimi drilled in the fourth in the 85th minute with a crisp shot into the far corner and Marcel Schmelzer added the fifth in the 89th from close range.

The unstoppable Sancho broke away at the halfway line barely 60 seconds later.

With Paderborn throwing everybody forward for a corner kick, he had all the time and space to put the icing on the cake with a clinical finish.

Borussia Dortmund, the 1997 UEFA Champions League winners who last won the German title in 2012, are at home to ninth-placed Hertha Berlin in the next round on Saturday.

Paderborn visit fifth-placed RB Leipzig.
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