As stadium announcer Norbert Dickel began at 15:24 CET to read out the team sheet, he left a gap between the goalkeeper, Roman Bürki, and the number 15, Jeremy Toljan. Only after a good minute had elapsed did he speak the following into the microphone when announcing the final and eleventh Borussia man: "After 259 days...wearing the number 11: Marco..."

The Signal Iduna Park was shaken to its foundations at that moment. The 'Reus' emitted by 73,000 black and yellow throats was so loud that it could be heard for miles around.

Marco Reus celebrated his roundly rejoiced comeback after an eight-and-a-half-month layoff. He set up four shots on goal, one of which a good chance for André Schürrle in the very first minute of the match. And the returnee played a decisive role in the first goal when he fed the ball to Christian Pulisic in the 49' minute, who then subsequently provided the assist for Michy Batshuayi.

"It was very exciting and really great to be back with the team and to soak up the atmosphere. I was delighted and am happy that we were able to crown it with a home win", said the 28-year-old, who had torn his cruciate ligament on 27 May 2017 in a foot race with Timothy Chandler during the cup final against Eintracht Frankfurt. Reus started the move during that scene that would give BVB a 1-0 advantage.

"Gratifying", but not "surprising" was how manager Peter Stöger experienced his number eleven's successful comeback: "We gave him a relatively long period of time in training after such a serious injury, and we were pretty sure that it would work out today."

Stöger took Reus off after 70 minutes and replaced him Mario Götze, who would score the goal to wrap up the game. "It is hard to assess how great the risk is with regard to his muscular system. Maybe he could have played the whole 90 minutes", said the manager. He concluded: "It was really good, a really great feeling for us, and probably a fantastic feeling for him."

Back in November 2017, after a five-month break caused by an inflammation to his pubic bone, Reus ably demonstrated his strength in coming back from injury in an 8:4 rout of Legia Warschau, during which he was involved in five goals (scored three, assisted two). Onlookers were unified in their assessment once again today: Reus was the best player in a Dortmund team that had to battle hard for the win. "When you make your return after eight months out, you can't expect that you'll play your best game", said the 28-year-old, who also observed: "We must continue to stabilise as a team and successfully negotiate each small step forwards." Reus' conclusion: "I'm taking the positives with me from this game."
Boris Rupert