Borussia Dortmund ensured that all will still be to play for in the final round of matches of Champions League Group F with a 3-1 victory over Napoli at the Westfalenstadion. After losing at home to Arsenal last time out, Dortmund were badly in need of victory as they went into the penultimate game trailing both Napoli and Arsenal by three points.
An early penalty from Marco Reus set them on their way before Jakub Blaszczykowski got a welcome second on the hour mark. Despite Lorenzo Insigne pulling one back, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came off the bench to clinch a priceless victory with 12 minutes remaining.
Dortmund now head into Matchday Six knowing that a win away at Marseille is likely to be enough to take them through to the knockout phase, while even a defeat will suffice if Napoli fall to defeat at home to Arsenal. Rafael Benitez’s side now have it all to do.
Dealing with a plethora of injuries, particularly in defense, Dortmund’s season was appearing on the verge of collapse having followed up that loss to Arsenal with a defeat to Bayern Munich at the weekend to fall seven points behind their great rivals in the Bundesliga.
Instead, Jurgen Klopp inspired a fine performance to get their campaign back on track. They were helped on their way by being presented with a penalty in the 10th minute. From a corner Federico Fernandez blatantly held back Robert Lewandowski in the box and Reus coolly slotted home from the spot.
Dortmund then wasted several chances to add to a lead that always remained precarious at just a solitary goal. There was huge relief then when Reus burst clear down the left with Blaszczykowski the only man who could keep pace with him and the Polish midfielder side-footed his teammate’s square pass through the legs of Reina to double his side’s advantage.
But nerves were temporarily restored just over 10 minutes later. Gonzalo Higuain slipped Insigne in down the left of the box and the young Italian’s finish took a touch off a desperate Dortmund defender but still found its way into the net off of the far post.
Still, Dortmund were able to confirm the three points when the speedy Aubameyang came off the bench and received Lewnadowski’s lay off before dinking a skillful finish over Reina for his eighth goal in his first season for last season’s Champions League finalists.