Dortmund shreds Madrid behind four-goal Lewandowski

Borussia Dortmund took a big step toward reaching the Champions League final on Wednesday as Robert Lewandowski scored four times for Dortmund in a 4-1 thrashing of Real Madrid in the first leg of their semifinal at Signal Iduna Park.

Just one day after Bayern Munich humbled Barcelona, 4-0, in Germany, Dortmund took care of the other Spanish giant on Wednesday, with Lewandowski scoring three times in the second half to break a 1-1 halftime deadlock.

The Poland international started his scoring splurge in the eighth minute when he got on the other end of a left-wing cross from Mario Gotze to stab home a volley from a few yards.

Dortmund continued to dominate much of the play in the opening half, but after a penalty decision didn't go the home team's way, Madrid took advantage of a defensive error late in the half to equalize.

Mats Hummels gave away possession on the wing, allowing Gonzalo Higuain to get into the area and square the ball to Cristiano Ronaldo for a simple finish.

The score may have been level, but Dortmund cashed in on its superiority after the break with Lewandowski firing them ahead in the 50th minute.

Marco Reus threaded a pass into the area for the striker, and after managing to stay onside, he turned neatly with the ball and tucked it inside the right post.

Lewandowski completed his hat trick five minutes later when Marcel Schmelzer's deflected shot fell to him inside the area, where he hammered the ball into the roof of the net.

Things were falling apart quickly for Madrid, and Xabi Alonso made a foolish challenge on Reus inside the area 10 minutes after that, bundling him over inside the box.

Of course, Lewandowski marched to the penalty spot and calmly hammered the ball down the middle past diving goalkeeper Diego Lopez, leaving Real with a mountain to climb in the return leg in Spain next Tuesday.