After a midweek misfire against FC Rangers, Dortmund needed to realign their heads and their hearts. One blowout defeat to Leverkusen was enough to sober Die Schwarzgelben, but a second, to European opponents, was sure to strike to the core. Dortmund responded against a struggling Monchengladbach side, smashing six past a hapless Yann Sommer. The effort was championed, 100%, by a talismanic performance from captain Marco Reus. The captain led from the front, showing tenacity and composure to bury a rebound from Donyell Malen’s opening strike at goal, which bounced back into Reus’s path. He played an inch-perfect ball through to Malen for the second goal before taking a massive blow to his head defending a corner. Reus rose to meet an in-swinging Gladbach corner when Gregor Kobel came out to punch the ball clear. Kobel accidentally caught a lot of the captain, who went down in a heap. After several minutes on the ground, Reus made it to his feet to tough it out until halftime. Having seen Gio Reyna and Dan-Axel Zagadou withdrawn due to injury, the captain was determined not to leave his side stranded for the second half.
Reus returned to the pitch after the break, hungry for more. A pair of assists to Marius Wolf and Youssouffa Moukoko rounded out Reus’s performance as a provider, and he once again turned finisher before the match was done. Reus and Hummels rolled back the years when the later found the captain with an incisive through ball to spit the Gladbach defense apart. Reus collected the ball, darted down the field, and smashed his second into the net.
Reus’s grit and determination reaffirmed his role as the captain of this team, something that was beginning to come into question after the apathetic performance against the Rangers. Through every good and bad performance, Marco has been there to face the critics, registering the second-most minutes this season after Gregor Kobel. The captain showed today he takes that criticism on the chin, carrying his team to a season-high scoreline, and a clean sheet.
Marco Reus’s technique and ability are what made me fall in love with this game and this team; seeing a performance like this in the twilight of the captain’s career truly brings a few tears to my eyes. Marco wore his heart on his sleeve at the Signal Iduna today, and his teammates will be thinking about their commitment to the club after witnessing such a performance.
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