Dortmund, Germany: Borussia Dortmund were clinically dismantled by an astonishing Rangers performance on Thursday and their Europa League hopes hang by a thread after a 4-2 home defeat.
It was a miserable night for Dortmund in their historic 1,000th game at their Signal Iduna Park though the 500 visiting Rangers fans in the coronavirus-restricted crowd of 10,000 would beg to differ.
James Tavernier started the rout from the penalty spot and Alfredo Morelos doubled the lead for the Scottish champions before the break.
A peach from John Lundstram opened the second half and Morelos restored the three-goal advantage via a Dan-Axel Zagadou deflection after Jude Bellingham had pulled one back.
Zagadou was also culpable for the opening goal as his handball was spotted by the video assistant, who also intervened to overrule an offside flag on the fourth.
“We watched a lot of games of Dortmund and we knew they were getting a lot of goals against them lately,” said Rangers manager Giovannivan Bronckhorst.
“I think we prepared the game well and had a lot of meetings on the way Dortmund can play.
“We were prepared technically, but more important mentally. We had the right attitude today to getting a good result.”
Raphael Guerreiro curled in late on to give the hosts hope, however, and without the away goals rule a turnaround is far from impossible.
“We play a lot of nonsensical football. You can win or lose like that,” Mats Hummels told RTL. “But you will never be successful.”
Dortmund were lacklustre without injured star striker Erling Haaland and must improve considerably in the play-off return leg at Ibrox next week if they are to reach the last 16.
“The starting situation is difficult now, two goals at Ibrox Park in front of 50,000 spectators, that will be a difficult task,” said coach Marco Rose. “But we will try to still take the chance.”
Haaland has been out for three weeks with a groin issue and Rose, who is on the brink of a third competition exit in his first season at Dortmund after going out the German Cup and Champions League said there was no timeframe for his return.
The team also trail leaders Bayern Munich by six points in the Bundesliga and host Rose’s former club Borussia Mönchengladbach at the weekend.
RB Leipzig, who like Dortmund dropped down from the Champions League, did slightly better in drawing 2-2 at home to Real Sociedad.
Robin Le Normand and Mikel Oyarzabal, from the spot, twice put the guests in front only for Christopher Nkunku and Emil Forsberg — also from the spot — to equalise.
Barcelona drew 1-1 with Napoli in a high-profile clash, Sheriff beat Braga 2-0 and Real Betis won 3-2 at Zenit Petersburg.
Atalanta beat Olympiacos 2-1, Porto edged Lazio 2-1 and record winners Sevilla started their bid to reach the final in their own stadium 3-1 against Dinamo Zagreb. — dpa