Dembele ready for Dortmund rescue job

Ousmane Dembele has justified the €15 million (S$22.4 million) Dortmund paid Rennes for him by scoring six league goals and providing eight assists this season.
Ousmane Dembele has justified the €15 million (S$22.4 million) Dortmund paid Rennes for him by scoring six league goals and providing eight assists this season.PHOTO: EPA

DORTMUND (Germany) • With Germany winger Marco Reus injured, French wunderkind Ousmane Dembele will look to shine as Borussia Dortmund bid to overturn a first-leg deficit against Benfica in the Champions League.

Dortmund host Benfica at their Westfalenstadion home in the last-16 second leg today, looking to overturn a 1-0 defeat in Portugal three weeks ago.

But the bad news Dortmund were dreading was confirmed on Sunday - club captain Reus tore his hamstring in their 6-2 rout of Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday and is out until next month.

The loss of Reus is a significant blow, but Dembele was on fire against Leverkusen and is enjoying a stellar first season at Dortmund.

The 19-year-old winger has justified the €15 million (S$22.4 million) Dortmund paid Rennes for him by scoring six league goals and providing eight assists this season.

"I'm enjoying myself, but I can do better," said the gangly teenager.

He showcased his dazzling skills with the opening goal on Saturday, turning Leverkusen's Tin Jedvaj inside out and firing home on six minutes.

"We are brimming with confidence; the atmosphere within the team is great," Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel said after his team crushed Leverkusen.

"We are focused, we take it step by step, and that is a great development for the team and a really good phase for us at the moment." AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

DORTMUND V BENFICA

Singtel TV Ch111 & StarHub Ch202, tomorrow, 3.45am

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2017, with the headline 'Dembele ready for Dortmund rescue job'. Print Edition | Subscribe