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AUBAMEYANG’S HAT-TRICK SENDS DORTMUND TO UCL QUARTER-FINALS

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a hat-trick as Borussia Dortmund thrashed Benfica to ease into the Champions League quarter-finals.

The hosts trailed 1-0 on aggregate from the first leg but Aubameyang levelled the last-16 tie after just four minutes with a header at the back post.

Winger Franco Cervi twice came close to scoring a vital away goal for Benfica before the interval.

But Dortmund took control after Christian Pulisic scored on 59 minutes.

The 18-year-old winger brilliantly chipped onrushing goalkeeper Ederson after being slid in by Lukasz Piszczek.

Aubameyang, who missed a penalty in the first leg in Lisbon, then swept in Marcel Schmelzer’s low cross two minutes later before an unmarked Marc Bartra hit the post from a corner.

The Gabon striker completed his treble with five minutes remaining as he turned in Erik Durm’s sublime pass.

Dortmund have now lost only one of their last 12 European home matches under coach Thomas Tuchel as they reached the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2014.

‘We didn’t want the first leg to annoy us’

Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel: “That was the perfect time for ‘Auba’ to get his hat-trick.

“It was a sensational performance. I love goals like his first one because they need such good timing and Auba is always there with his nose for goal.

“We had a great start, then we lost our way after 25 minutes, but the second half was a top performance.

“We didn’t want to let the first-leg defeat annoy us, now we are in the last eight and we want to go further.”

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