Borussia Dortmund skipper Marco Reus returned to haunt former club Borussia Mönchengladbach once again on Matchday 8. - © imago images
Borussia Dortmund skipper Marco Reus returned to haunt former club Borussia Mönchengladbach once again on Matchday 8. - © imago images
bundesliga

Borussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus: The scourge of Borussia Mönchengladbach and MD8's Man of the Matchday

Marco Reus gave much to Borussia Mönchengladbach in his three years at the club, but he's taken almost as much away from them in the colours of Borussia Dortmund.

Reus joined the Dortmund youth academy in 1996, only to be offloaded to nearby Rot-Weiß Ahlen after being told he didn't have the physique to cut it professionally. He was snapped up by Gladbach in the summer of 2009, however, and went on to shape the immediate future of the club, netting the decisive goal that helped the Foals avoid relegation in 2011 and then striking 18 times – a personal best in a single season - to secure a fourth-placed finish and entry to the UEFA Champions League qualifying stage.

The Germany international returned to Dortmund ahead of the 2012/13 campaign and, despite a spate of career-threatening injuries, has gone on to make 253 appearances for his boyhood club in all competitions. He's scored 121 goals in that time, including 85 in the Bundesliga - the latest of which fired Dortmund to a 1-0 win over league leaders Gladbach.

"We all knew how it was the start of a really tough run of games for us that could shape our season," Reus told Sky afterwards. "That's why it was important to get off to a winning start. It could have gone either way, but we were aggressive and created chances. At the end of the day, we're just happy to have got the win."

Watch: Marco Reus reflects on Dortmund's win over Gladbach

Dortmund hadn't won in three Bundesliga matches, following a succession of 2-2 draws that brought back unwanted memories of last season's ultimately unsuccessful title challenge when BVB finished two points short of Bayern Munich, despite leading the record champions for much of the campaign.

Reus was the driving force behind the club's tilt at top honours, and the talismanic qualities that had enabled him to produce a 17 goals and 11 assists were laid bare once again in the Battle of the Borussias.

Dortmund's captain fantastic helped himself to his fifth league strike and sixth in all competitions this season, putting him one clear of the injured Paco Alcacer at the top of the BVB scoring charts. All told, he fired off four efforts on the Gladbach goal, while he was second only to full-back Achraf Hakimi in terms of distance covered. If the chips were down, Reus didn't show it.

"I'm not sure Marco needed to break the dam as such (laughs)," said Dortmund midfielder Julian Brandt of Reus, whose personal record against Gladbach now reads 12 games, 10 wins and nine goals scored.

"He certainly had one or two games that were a bit tougher for him, but he was fantastic last season and set the bar very high for himself. He helped us again against Gladbach with his goal. The team firmly believes in Marco!"

Reus is expected to lead his team out against Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League in midweek, ahead of a testing run of league fixtures against Schalke in the Revierderby, unbeaten Wolfsburg and perennial rivals Bayern, as well as a rematch with Gladbach in the DFB Cup second round.

The 2019 German Footballer of the Year is chasing his fourth major trophy as a Dortmund player - his current collection comprises one DFB Cup, and three German Supercups - but first in the Bundesliga following four runners-up finishes.

"I challenge anyone who says it's easy to win the Bundesliga," Reus told German publication Der Westfälische Anzeiger. "It's so difficult to deliver consistently in the Bundesliga. We've been close, but Bayern have been a touch better when it matters. It's a learning process and we've learned from or mistakes. Hopefully we can go one better this season."