Sport Champions League

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Dortmund fight back to give Madrid huge fright

Borussia Dortmund 2 Real Madrid 0 (Real Madrid win 3-2 on agg)

Gareth Bale of Real Madrid exchanges words with goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller of Borussia Dortmund during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid
Gareth Bale of Real Madrid exchanges words with goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller of Borussia Dortmund during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid
Erik Durm of Borussia Dortmund is tackled by Casemiro of Real Madrid during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid
Oliver Kirch of Borussia Dortmund goes past Isco of Real Madrid during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid at Signal Iduna Park on April 8, 2014 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Borussia Dortmund's Manuel Friedrich (L) goes for a header with Real Madrid's Karim Benzema
Angel Di Maria of Real Madrid takes his penalty which was saved by Roman Weidenfeller of Borussia Dortmund
Real Madrid's Karim Benzema tries to score against Borussia Dortmund's goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller

Real Madrid survived a huge scare to progress through to the Champions League semi-finals as Borussia Dortmund fell just short of a stunning second-leg fightback.

Dortmund had it all to do after losing the first leg 3-0 in Spain but last season's runners-up looked on course to stage a remarkable comeback when, after seeing Madrid winger Angel Di Maria miss an early penalty, they scored twice through Marco Reus during a first-half onslaught.

The German side continued to throw everything at Madrid in the second half, hitting the woodwork and going close on a number of other occasions, but they could not find the third goal they needed.

Any early optimism in the home camp should have been extinguished in the 16th minute when Madrid won a penalty after Fabio Coentrao's cross struck the arm of Lukasz Piszczek.

Di Maria stepped up for the penalty but he slipped as he shot and saw his effort saved by Roman Weidenfeller diving to his left.

The miss galvanised the home side and they laid siege to the Madrid goal for the rest of the half.

The unmarked Henrikh Mkhitaryan should have scored in the 19th minute when he side-footed wide following good work by Robert Lewandowski, but within five minutes they were ahead thanks to a combination of Reus and a terrible error from Pepe.

POWERFUL

The Portugal centre-back's attempted back header was pounced on by Reus and he nipped it past Iker Casillas before sliding it into the net.

Casillas did well to tip over Mats Hummels' powerful header at the far post in the 32nd minute but Dortmund would not be denied and they made it 2-0 in the 37th minute.

Another mistake from the visitors saw Asier Illarramendi carelessly give the ball away to Reus, who raced to the edge of the Madrid area before slipping in Lewandowski. Casillas tipped the Poland international's shot onto the post but Reus followed up to slam the loose ball into the net.

The break seemed to take the steam out of Dortmund and Madrid looked the more likely scorers at the start of the second half with Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema both threatening. However, in the 64th minute the visitors survived a huge let off when Mkhitaryan missed an unbelievable chance.

The Armenian did the hard work as he raced onto Reus' through-ball and rounded Casillas but, with the goal at his mercy, he hit the post.

In the next six minutes Casillas was called on to make to crucial saves to deny Mkhitaryan and Kevin Grosskreutz. Jurgen Klopp's men would not come any closer than that, to leave Madrid breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Irish Independent

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