Dortmund - Following eight months on the sidelines, Serbian international centre-back Neven Subotic made an earlier-than-expected comeback as Borussia Dortmund picked up a thrilling victory over newly-promoted Bundesliga 2 side 1. FC Heidenheim.
Mkhitaryan at the double
The 25-year-old, who missed the whole of the second half of the 2013/14 campaign after tearing both the anterior and cruciate ligaments in his right knee against VfL Wolfsburg, came off the bench in the 74th minute of the 4-3 win on Saturday.
Head coach Jürgen Klopp had confidence in the defensive stalwart’s fitness and was full of praise for the mental fortitude shown by his preferred partner for World Cup winner Mats Hummels. “From the very first day, Neven has worked meticulously to make his return,” claimed the 47-year-old of Subotic, who couldn’t hide his delight at completing his comeback: “It was super! I felt like a little kid all over again. The first quarter of an hour felt like two minutes, but it was nevertheless worthwhile. Training cannot replicate matchday situations.”
In their second pre-season friendly, the Dortmund stars present at the Austria-based training camp got a taste of the sub-tropical climates they missed out on this summer in Brazil, playing in close to 40 degree heat in front of 9,000 fans.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring in the 21st minute, before Florian Niederlechner and Robert Leipertz put the second-tier outfit ahead at the break. However, a Henrikh Mkhitaryan double either side of Patrick Mayer’s 66th-minute strike was rounded off by American youngster Joseph-Claude Gyau as BVB made it two pre-season wins from two.