PIcture by Ian Hodgson/Daily Mail
Manchester City forward Edin Džeko is being linked with a transfer to Dortmund in British and German media this week begging the question: would the Bosnian be an upgrade over Robert Lewandowski?
In a word, no.
I see Džeko as a good finisher, with good aerial prowess and decent hold up play, but significantly less dexterity and speed when compared to his Polish counter part.
If the rumors are true that Lewandowski will not his extend his contract in the summer, than surely Jurgen Klopp has to find a replacement, and is said to have a significant transfer budget at his disposal.
But City are reported to be asking over £20 million for a player who has warmed the bench for the better part of 2 seasons.
If Dortmund want compete with Bayern next season, they will need to improve and their’s very forwards in the class of Lewandowski.
If Klopp does choose the Bosnian, he will need to find a significant upgrade in at least one of the other positions, which are already occupied by quality international players.
This is a worrying issue for the Borussians.
Felipe Santana’s magnificent leap for the opener
Photo by: tvi24.iol.pt
Borussia Dortmund were virtually perfect in every respect of their 3-0 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.
The Ukrainians were overrun from the first whistle as Jurgen Klopp’s game plan worked better than probably even he expected.
Brazilian centerback Felipe Santana opened the scoring just after the half hour mark with a fantastic header over Yaroslav Rakitskiy.
The victory qualified the Borussians for the quarter-finals.
Goals: Santana 31, Götze 37, Blaszczykowski 59
Dortmund’s coach Jurgen Klopp hugs German midfielder Ilkay Guendogan after the DFB Pokal quarter-final football match against FC Bayern Munich
GUENTER SCHIFFMANN/AFP/Getty Images
02/27/2013 Munich, Germany
Jurgen Klopp went defensive and it backfired.
The talented trio of Marco Reus, Mario Gotze, and R0bert Lewandowski weren’t capable of creating all the offense without midfield help thus Dortmund were completely outplayed in the 1-0 loss to Bayern Munich.
The German Cup represented an opportunity to split bragging rights with the runaway Bundesliga leaders, but there was only one clear winner on Wednesday.
Ilkay Gundogan, Sven Bender, and especially Kevin Großkreutz were completely overrun in midfield, as the scoreline does not even begin to describe the beating that Klopp’s men suffered.
After playing 2nd fiddle in Germany for nearly two seasons, the tide has clearly shifted in favor of the Bavarians, who have accumulated a massive advantage in talent.
Arjen Robben has essentially been a reserve player this season, but the Dutchman came on to score the winner. Meanwhile, Dortmund’s backups all proved impotent in one of the most important matches of the season.
To reclaim the title of best team in Germany at any time in the near future, now seems impossible.
At least there’s still a chance in the Champions League.
For a full match review along with pictures and highlights visit TheSoccerDaily.com/.
Just before UEFA Champions League match against Shakhtar Donetsk
Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images
02/13/ 2013 Donetsk, Ukraine
Borussia Dortmund 2 Shahktar Donetsk 2
Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg at the Donbass Arena
Shahktar outplayed Dortmund for most of the game and deserved more than a draw against the much more talented Germans, who were lucky to rescue a point through Mats Hummels late header.
With Ilkay Gündogan sidelined due to a leg injury, Jurgen Klopp went with enforcer duo of Sebastian Kehl and Sven Bender, who couldn’t create and pass out of the midfield with the same quality.
After getting off to a flying start in both halves, the Borussians couldn’t sustain their pressure as the rested Ukrainians played their way into rhythm.
Robert Lewandowski was gifted the first goal after a missed touch forced a collision from two Shakhtar players, but showed good composure to ensure the finish.
The Polish forward was the most consistent player up top, while Jakub Błaszczykowski looked particularly off color coming off his long injury layover.
Still, the 2 away goals are a tremendous help as the two sides will play out the 2nd leg at Signal Iduna Park in three weeks.
For more pictures and highlights of the game visit The Soccer Daily.
Borussia Dortmund vs. Shakhtar Donetsk 2:45 EST on Fox Soccer Plus
Of all the tantalizing matchups in this week’s Champions League knockout round, the most watchable of them all is probably between Shakhtar Donetsk and Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.
These sides are both strictly devoted to playing a highly technical, attacking style with fantastic world class talent across their rosters.
Jurgen Klopp’s side won the Bundesliga last year and impressively qualified 1st from the Group of Death this year with Manchester City, Ajax, and Real Madrid.
The Ukrainians suffered a set back this week as they just cashed in on their top forward talent in Willian, selling him to Anzhi Makhachkala for €35 million.
But they do have a couple advantages since they are currently enjoying their 3 month long winter break and will be playing the first leg at home in the Donbass Arena.
Players To Watch:
Donetsk: Famous for their Brazilian influence, their most pivotal player is the immensely talented and versatile center midfielder Fernandinho, who tore apart defending Champions Chelsea in both legs of the group stage.
Dortmund: In a roster full of top international talent, the player with the most consistent penchant for the spectacular is 23 year old winger Marco Reus. The first year transfer from Borussia Mönchengladbach has been in sublime form this season and is one of the world’s top talents.
While there may be more famous clubs competing in bigger stadiums elsewhere across Europe this week, the soccer purists will be watching what happens in Ukraine.
For info on the results of the match, visit TheSoccerDaily.com.
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