Thursday, September 29, 2022

Dortmund over last season´s early Champions League exit, claims Reus

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 5 Sep 2022

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Marco Reus is confident Borussia Dortmund have left last season’s poor Champions League campaign firmly in the past.

Dortmund failed to make it out of their group last season, despite having one of Europe’s most prolific forwards in the form of Erling Haaland.

Having started with successive wins over Besiktas and Sporting CP, BVB lost three games straight, including a 4-0 defeat to Ajax in Amsterdam.

A 5-0 rout of Besiktas in December was only enough to secure a play-off place for the Europa League last 16, and they lost to eventual finalists Rangers over two legs.

Dortmund get this season’s Champions League campaign started with a home game against Copenhagen on Tuesday – it will be the first competitive meeting between the sides since 2001.

With four wins from five games to start the Bundesliga season, Dortmund are in fine form, and Reus, speaking at a press conference on Monday, is sure there is no lingering disappointment from last term.

“[It] is no longer an issue for us,” said Reus, Dortmund’s all-time top scorer in major European competition with 26 goals.

“But it’s a new season and every team that is in it has earned it, and Copenhagen have earned it as well. 

“We’ve got 90 minutes where we want to show that we’re a team and we just want to get the season off to a good start. And that equals, hopefully, a win.”

Reus’ sentiment was echoed by head coach Edin Terzic, who knows Copenhagen – who have never previously lost their first group-stage match in a Champions League campaign – will be no pushovers.

“There is no team in the Champions League that doesn’t deserve to be in the Champions League,” said Terzic. “Regarding Copenhagen, they are back I think for the first time since 2016.

“They have been fighting for years to be allowed to play on this stage again and accordingly they will want to start this group stage with a lot of passion, a lot of euphoria.

“It doesn’t matter against which opponent we would want to play tomorrow. For us, it’s all about getting through the group stage successfully and about performing well at home.”

Dortmund are competing in the Champions League/European Cup for the 20th time, having played in UEFA’s flagship club competition in each of the last seven seasons.

They have never lost to a Danish club in Europe in four previous meetings, while Copenhagen have not beaten German opposition in 10 matches.

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