Marco Reus had a hand in five goals in one game for the first time as Borussia Dortmund beat Borussia Mönchengladbach 6-0 on Matchday 23. - © IMAGO / Team 2
Marco Reus had a hand in five goals in one game for the first time as Borussia Dortmund beat Borussia Mönchengladbach 6-0 on Matchday 23. - © IMAGO / Team 2

Marco Reus: Borussia Dortmund's Foal whisperer and Matchday 23's Man of the Matchday


Borussia Dortmund against Borussia Mönchengladbach is more than an ordinary game of football for Marco Reus, as he underlined again on Matchday 23.

Once upon a time, the sight of Reus would have warmed the cockles of Gladbach supporters' hearts, but after he scored two and set up three against them on Matchday 23, they would be quite happy to see the back of him.

Since his return to Dortmund in 2012, Reus has developed a knack of taming the Foals; he has become BVB's very own foal whisperer.

In 16 games against his former club, the Germany forward has plundered 11 goals and supplied 10 assists, finishing on the winning side 13 times and losing just twice. Only Robert Lewandowski (22) and Klaus Allofs (12) have scored more against teams they once played for.

Watch: Marco Reus: "We have to keep this up"

On Sunday - his 333rd Bundesliga appearance - Reus had a hand in five goals in a single game for the first time and boosted his own Bundesliga account to 144 goals, taking him into a tie of 17th on the league's all-time scoring charts with Stefan Kießling.

That is not bad for a boy who was initially rejected by Dortmund after spending a decade in their youth system, where he was told his slight physique would hinder him turning professional.

After that, he moved to Rot-Weiß Ahlen to play regular football. "It was very painful for me to leave‚" he told The Guardian in 2013. "When you spend your whole youth career at one club, you want to make the next step - especially when you support that team."

Reus was signed by Gladbach in the summer of 2009 and went on to shape the immediate future of the club. He bagged the decisive goal that helped the Foals avoid relegation in 2011, and then scored 18 times in 2011/12 to secure a fourth-placed finish and entry to the UEFA Champions League qualifying stage.

Over the course of three Bundesliga seasons he notched up 36 goals and 26 assists for Gladbach, which earned him a high-profile move back to his hometown club in the summer of 2012.

Watch: Reus - then and now

Those three years made a lasting impression on Reus. Even if he was returning to the club he had always supported, it was still a wrench to walk away from the one that had believed in him and given him his breakthrough.

Not that he has shown it on the field of play.

Reus has offered his former club no mercy, scoring his first Bundesliga brace when the teams met at the Signal Iduna Park that first September in a BVB shirt as his new club stormed to a 5-0 win. Then there was his hat-trick of assists in the 4-1 rout in 2016, the last of which Reus describes as the best provision of his career as he fed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang "with my heel."

Reus' dominance in this fixture is unrivalled, with his brace on Matchday 23 taking him ahead of Frank Mill, who is now second with 10 goals in top-flight meetings between the two sides. Reus' haul of 12 includes one for Gladbach in five appearances against Dortmund before taking a prolific turn in yellow and black.

A golden patch against the Foals came between 2015 and 2019, when Reus contributed 13 goals in eight outings, while he found the back of the net in five successive league meetings with his old club between April 2017 and October 2019.

The 32-year-old missed the reverse fixture at Borussia Park earlier this season due to a knee injury. Gladbach won that game 1-0, but on Sunday, he more than made amends by adding to a remarkable record in a game that means more to him than any other.