TUESDAY 18 MARCH 2014: A very strong Dortmund II side won 4-1 at Freiburg this afternoon, with First Team Manager Gray Surman giving Reserves Manager David Wagner his blessing to play any of the senior squad. Mats Hummels played 70 minutes on his first action since recovering from a hamstring injury.
Marco Reus blasted home the opening goal after seven minutes, with Neven Subotic heading home from a corner three minutes later. Amir Falahen pulled one back for Freiburg around the half-hour mark, but Subotic’s second headed goal moments after the interval sealed the win. Kevin Großkreutz added a late fourth.
The first team are back in action on Saturday, hosting Nürnberg in the league. The following day, the Reserves/U23 squad play Nürnberg’s second-side at Stadion Rote Erde.
Head of Youth Development Volker Kersting has told senior management that he’s very impressed with the development of Moritz Leitner recently. He feels that the player is progressing well under Surman’s management and that further exposure to first team action would help him blossom.
AC Milan and Fenerbahçe are the next teams to book their places in the last eight of the UEFA Champions League following their First Knockout Round Second Leg ties tonight.
Milan beat Benfica 2-1 at the San Siro after a 0-0 First Leg draw in Portugal, despite the late dismissal of Nigel de Jong. Fenerbahçe were held to a 1-1 draw by Zenit St Petersburg (who saw out the game with ten men), but progress 3-2 on aggregate.
They join Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United, Juventus, and Manchester City in the last eight. Looking to join them in Saturday’s Quarter-Final draw will be Barcelona or Dynamo Kyiv (2-0), and the winners of Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur (0-1).
There is the potential that only two of the eight sides remaining will be their current domestic champions. Of the six sides already through, only Fenerbahçe won their league title last season, though they will be joined by either Real Madrid or Tottenham who are reigning champions in Spain and England respectively. Dynamo Kyiv can make it three of eight with a three-goal victory at Barcelona.