(CNN) – It was Muhammad Ali who warned his opponents he would “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee”.
Now, perhaps Borussia Dortmund can claim similar after crushing Real Madrid 4-1 in the first leg of its Champions League semifinal Wednesday.
Decked out in black and yellow, it swarmed around Real from the start with a buzz and infectious enthusiasm to be marveled at — but it was left to one man to administer the fatal sting.
Robert Lewandowski, the Poland striker, was already one of the most feared forwards in European football before his took the field.
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He left with his reputation enhanced four-fold, his asking price at an all-time high and his team within touching distance of next month’s Champions League final.
His four goals lit up an extraordinary encounter in which Dortmund went from young pretenders to serious contenders.
Barring the prospect of miracles at Camp Nou and the Bernabeu next week, Dortmund will contest the first ever all-German Champions League final against Bayern Munich at Wembley on May 25.
“It was an unbelievable,” Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp told Sky Sports.
“It was a great game by my team. It was so difficult today because they are so strong and fast and they are so brilliant on the counterattack.