Marco Reus wasn’t available for an interview after his dream comeback against Eintracht Frankfurt, but he certainly let his feet do the talking…
The Germany forward had been injured for six weeks, but on his return to Borussia Dortmund’s starting line-up he opened the scoring inside two minutes, helping Thomas Tuchel’s side to a 3-1 win.
Reus’ eye for goal, slalom-like dribbling ability and dashes of skilful brilliance make him a welcome returnee for BVB at the business end of the season, and Tuchel is delighted to be able to call upon the 27-year-old once again.
“We miss him infinitely and we need him,” said the coach last week. “We miss his radiance and his intensity. He makes all the players around him better. You can’t imagine how much we’ve missed him. His return to the starting line-up would release a lot of energy in this team.”
It was not the first time Reus had made such a startling return to the team. In January he did exactly the same against Mainz, taking just three minutes to open the scoring in the 1-1 draw. Indeed, more than one third of Reus’ 83 goals have given Die Schwarzgelben the lead.
But this is just one reason why Reus has been so sorely missed. His pace, dribbling and eye for a pass combined to make him a deadly addition to the Dortmund attack. A pulled thigh muscle sustained in the 6-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen in March had left Reus out until now. It was his second such injury this term, and the match against the Eagles was just his 16th in all competitions this term.
Watch: Reus, Götze and Schürrle - BVB's BFFs!
Three goals and four assists in just 807 Bundesliga minutes paint a clear picture as to how prolific Reus is, though. All-told, he has scored seven goals in all competitions, laying on another seven. That attacker was replaced by Ousmane Dembele at half-time against Frankfurt, a decision grounded firmly in the desire to ease Reus back to peak physical condition.
Dortmund have a crucial couple of weeks ahead of them. Currently fourth in the table, BVB face Hoffenheim – the team directly above them in the third and final automatic Champions League qualification place – on Matchday 32. Before then, there’s the small matter of overcoming the 3-2 deficit from the first leg of their quarter-final tie with Monaco on Wednesday in this season’s competition.
Reus boasts some 24 goals from his 42 Champions League appearances so far. It is little wonder, then, that Tuchel isn’t alone in being delighted to call upon him again.
“We’re very happy that Marco is back,” said club captain Marcel Schmelzer in the post-match scrum. “He’s an absolute leader. It’s so fun to play with him. We have developed a great understanding for many years and we don’t need many words to understand each other.”