Marco Reus perfect in return as Borussia Dortmund outgun Legia
Borussia Dortmund were already qualified for the Champions League round of 16, but decided to make Tuesday night at the Westfalenstadion an entertaining one as they defeated Legia Warsaw 8-4 in a goal-laden frenzy. History was made as 12 goals had never been scored within one Champions League match before.
Marco Reus returned to the field after 185 days of absence due to injury. That alone is a big positive. Apart from the goals galore, the biggest takeaway for the Black and Yellows, however, is that the likes of Julian Weigl, Mario Gotze and Sokratis Papastathopoulos were awarded a well-earned rest ahead of crucial weeks in the Bundesliga.
While this match was more resemblant of a preseason friendly than a Champions League encounter, Thomas Tuchel will have to think long and hard before committing to a full-fledged rotation as his defence could hardly be called that as they cheaply gave away four goals and it could have been far more.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Tuchel made nine changes to the team that started against Bayern Munich on Saturday. The fourth Champions League win says that he was right to do so.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Roman Weidenfeller, 5 -- As first-choice goalkeeper Roman Burki is ruled out for eight weeks due to a broken hand, it will be of great significance that Weidenfeller consistently shows the form of old days. A comedic clearance via bicycle kick after the ball pinged off the bar showed that the 36-year-old isn't a calm presence just yet. He also could have done better against Michal Kucharczyk in the 57th minute, as Warsaw scored their third.
DF Sebastian Rode, 5 -- Rode switched from Bayern to Dortmund for the promise of more playing time. He probably didn't anticipate that part of that playing time would come as a right-wing-back, and later in the match even as centre-back. It showed why he usually doesn't play such a defensive role.
DF Matthias Ginter, 4 -- The 22-year-old failed to fully close down Aleksandar Prijovic, who had put the ball past Weidenfeller from the edge of the penalty area in the 10th minute. Fourteen minutes later, Ginter once again failed to close down the Legia striker quick enough, as he was nutmegged for a Prijovic brace.
DF Marc Bartra, 5 -- Although to a lesser degree than Ginter, the centre-back didn't cover himself in glory as he lost a header against Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe before Legia's first goal.
DF Felix Passlack, 6 -- The makeshift left-back saw his own side carved open time and time again in the first half. He scored his first Champions League goal in the 81st minute with a header from close range, becoming the youngest goal scorer in Champions League history at 18 years and 177 days, replacing BVB's own legend Lars Ricken.
MF Nuri Sahin, 8 -- Second start of the season, first goal for the defensive midfielder, whose chest ricocheted Radoslaw Cierzniak's clumsily punched set-piece clearance into the net. His overall positive evening ended after 70 minutes with a pass completion rate of 96 percent.
MF Gonzalo Castro, 7 -- The 29-year-old formed the oldest double pivot Borussia Dortmund saw this season next to 28-year-old Sahin. Like his Turkish partner in crime, he instigated a bucket load of Dortmund attacks from midfield.
MF Ousmane Dembele, 9 -- After not making an appearance against Bayern Munich, the 19-year-old enjoyed himself against hapless Legia defenders. Cierzniak couldn't keep his shot out at the hour mark, when Dembele had already assisted on a pair of Shinji Kagawa goals. He set up another for Reus in the 52nd, and was replaced by Andre Schurrle 20 minutes later.
MF Shinji Kagawa, 9 -- "I will give my best," the 27-year-old tweeted out before the match. The Japanese kept his promise with a brace and an assist after 32 minutes.
MF Christian Pulisic, 7 -- It's always a bit awkward to be the only attacking player to not be directly involved into a goal on a night when it seems everyone is free to score. He would have picked up an assist, had Schurrle scored from his pass, but Pulisic won't care as his friend Passlack headed home on the rebound. The U.S. international had a big chance just before the end of stoppage time.
FW Marco Reus, 10 -- It was the perfect match for Reus to make his long-awaited return. In a match that felt more like a training exercise, the 27-year-old reintroduced himself after a long injury layoff with a pair of assists and a stunning brace.
MF Erik Durm, 5 -- Mostly played in left midfield after being brought on for his second appearance of the season. He had lots of space to roam forward, however his defensive contributions better go unmentioned.
FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 6 -- When the Gabonese striker was introduced for Sahin in the 70th, many fancied him to get on the score sheet, but his best effort pinged against the post.
MF Andre Schurrle, NR -- He sent in some crosses from the left side of the field and sort of picked up an assist as his shot was saved for Passlack to head home.
Stefan Buczko covers Borussia Dortmund for ESPN FC. Twitter: @StefanBuczko.