Press praise lethal Lewandowski
The German media hailed the performance of Borussia Dortmund and their star striker Robert Lewandowski following the 4-1 demolition of Real Madrid on Wednesday.
"Madness continues: Lewandowski shoots Real," they wrote. "The madness in the Champions League continued on Wednesday. A German-German final in London's Wembley Stadium is within reach."
The remainder of the German press focused their praise on four-goal hero Lewandowski, who became the only player this season to score more than three goals in a Champions League match. "Lewandowski 4 Real 1," headlined Die Zeit. "Where to start after such a game? Robert Lewandowski is a good guess, the last casual fan should have heard of him by now."
Bild continued: "4 goals! Lewandowski shoots Real. German final very near. An unearthly performance by Lewandowski."
"Before kick-off in Dortmund everyone was talking about Mario Gotze, the youngster set to make the switch to Bayern in the summer. But it was Robert Lewandowski who was the centre of attention," Frankfurter Allgemeine commented.
Locally, the Dortmund media were equally impressed with BVB's clinical display against the La Liga giants. Dortmund paper Ruhr Nachrichten delighting in the performance of Jurgen Klopp's "beasts".
"The black and yellow beasts - Robert Lewandowski, Ilkay Gundogan, Marco Reus - Dortmund's triumph against Real Madrid had many faces," their assessment read. "The black and yellow beast - and without exaggeration you can say that - on a memorable night were simply too good for Real."
Sueddeutsche Zeitung, meanwhile, succinctly summed up Real's nemesis on the night as: "Royal nightmare Lewandowski."
Madrid's sports papers were hurting on Thursday morning, but vowed not to give up yet.
AS' front cover launched 'Operation 3-0' with a [small] photo of Jose Mourinho saying "we can come back". Inside their 'mad Madridista' Tomas Roncero, as always, accentuated the positive for his side, remembering fabled comebacks at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu - 5-1 v Derby County in 1970s and 6-1 v Anderlecht and 4-0 v Borussia Moenchengladbach in the 1980s.
"From today on we must forget what has happened and dedicate ourselves to watching videos of the players from these magical nights," he wrote. "In my head there is just one day, next Tuesday, and one word - COMEBACK. I believe."
The paper's tactical whizz Julio 'Maldini' Maldonado was more measured, saying Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp had won the tactical battle against Mourinho hands down.
"A tactical exhibition from Klopp, who repeated various keys from the group game," he wrote. "Gotze very close to Xabi Alonso, and surely Mourinho knowing that put [Luka] Modric and [Mesut] Ozil together. But neither Modric functioned, nor Ozil came in from the right wing to get involved. Everything began from there."
Marca's cover said 'Palizowski' - a weak enough pun mixing the Polish striker's name with the Spanish word for beating.
"From today, Real Madrid will never forget the name of the Polish forward, future Bayern player who is still at Borussia Dortmund," wrote Delfin Melero inside. "Madrid would have paid to speed-up his move and hired a private jet to Munich."
A Marca piece headlined 'Another black night for Madridismo' remembered that suffering in Germany is nothing new for Madrid, who have now won just one of 25 competitive away games against "los teutones".
The Catalan papers mixed relief that Barcelona were not the only La Liga side humiliated in Germany with some gloating over Madrid's defeat. Sport's cover recalled Barca's defeat the night before saying 'They also put four past Madrid', while Mundo Deportivo went with 'Madrid given a bath'.
"Complete debacle for Madrid in Dortmund" reckoned MD's match report. Manel Bruna said "Real Madrid fell without excuses in Dortmund and can almost wave goodbye to winning 'la décima' this season at Wembley. Even with the return legs still to come, that final will have a German colour."
Sport, over a photo of a certain Polish striker holding up four fingers, headlined their piece 'Lewandowski guts Madrid'.
The more neutral [in theory] El Pais also praised the four-goal man: "If you shake Lewandowski, goals fall out," wrote Jose Samano's match report. "He tortured them with four. The Pole went into a trance for an entire European semi-final, against the most hyped team of them all. He was a demon against a Madrid which in no way made any impression, did not play at all, lacked spirit in many moments and disappointed in every facet of the game."