Borussia Dortmund – Marco Reus & Robert Lewandowski in a Goalless Masterclass

Dortmund Beat Madrid

Looking at most of the match, and not the early ten minutes or the closing as well, Borussia Dortmund forced their will and their style on the match at the Santiago Bernabeu, even without Mario Gotze, leaving early due to an injury. Robert Lewandowski did everything right except for the final shot, and the same goes for Marco Reus, winning every one on one battle he had with failing and falling defenders.

Some might think, by the scoreline, that Dortmund were saved by sheer luck, but it was quite the opposite. Real Madrid scored two goals that didn’t come from football, or even from pressure. All of Mourinho’s changes didn’t do anything – Dortmund pressed and were the more dangerous team from the 15th minute to the 80th. They were the team to execute the better pressing plan, with Ilkay Gundogan dominating the middle of the pitch once they understood how to handle both Mesut Ozil and Luka Modric. In that aspect, the entrance of Kevin Grosskreutz served them well, being much more adept than Gotze in running and chasing down players.

That gave Reus and Lewandowski too much freedom in the attacking half of the pitch, as Reus elegantly brushed aside defenders in any situation he had when running down against someone. Lewandowski had no problem finding himself free of Sergio Ramos or Raphael Varane, only to be thwarted by Diego Lopez or the crossbar with a shot that shook the stadium and needed only centimeters to find itself in the net.

Jurgen Klopp

Lukas Piszczek has been the secret hero for Dortmund through their four matches against Real Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo has scored, although not on the fourth and final time, but looked absolutely helpless, be it on the wing against the Polish duo (along with Kuba) or in the middle when trying to find his way through Subotic and Hummels. If it wasn’t for that huge mistake by Mats Hummels in the first leg, Dortmund would have been a lot more relaxed in the second leg, not having to hope that away goal doesn’t come into effect.

Dortmund did lose their wits in the closing minutes. Any team would under that kind of pressure from Real Madrid and the stadium threatening to explode with noise. But if Jurgen Klopp and his players had a thought out plan on how to handle such a situation in the closing minutes, they didn’t show it.

It looked like no one was sure if to try and play like always, clear balls without thinking or try and waste time on running towards corners and retaining possession. Real Madrid ran out of gas after their second goal, while Hummels, Santana and Subotic had no problem with the final desperate crosses from Real Madrid. Dortmund survived to reach the final of the Champions League for the second time in team history, hoping not only to come out as winner for the second time, but not to let their success tear this team apart.

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