Dortmund hold off Real Madrid rally to reach Champions League Final

CristianoRonaldo-BorussiaDortmund1 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

After 170 minutes of quality soccer, Borussia Dortmund nearly gave it all away in the final ten minutes of the tie.

Two goals, and many skipped heartbeats later, the German side had gained entry to the UEFA Champions League final with a 4-3 aggregate victory over Real Madrid.

Playing in front of a rocking Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Borussia kept their cool for most of the match, despite losing midfielder Mario Götze to injury in the 14th minute. Last game’s hero Robert Lewandowski was held scoreless, but he nearly scored in the 50th minute, his shot cannoning off the cross bar. Roman Weidenfeller had a huge day in net for the visitors, but there wasn’t much he could do in the final ten minutes of regulation as Real ramped up the pressure.

Real forward Karim Benzema finally got the hosts on the board in the 83rd minute when he finished from close range off a cross on the right wing from German international Mesut Ozil.

Just minutes later, Weidenfeller made a strong save on a Sergio Ramos header in the box, but the Spanish international wouldn’t be denied in the 88th minute, finishing with his left foot into the roof of the net from just outside of the six-yard box. With that goal, Real Madrid needed just one more to ensure a place in the final.

Preparing themselves for a frenetic final few minutes, Borussia manager Jurgen Klopp brought in defender Felipe Santana off the bench protection in front of goal, a tactic that paid dividends as the Dortmund faithful heard the final whistle while still up on aggregate, though losing 2-0 on the night.

What did you make of Tuesday’s Champions League match? Did you think Real would come back? Impressed by Borussia’s achievement?

Share your thoughts below.

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23 Responses to Dortmund hold off Real Madrid rally to reach Champions League Final

  1. ChiTown says:

    Hope everyone can chill with those “it’s a german world now” posts that were everywhere. Madrid should have won 6 or 7 to 0 with even average finishing for them. They had so many chances it’s insane.

    • fl says:

      comments like that scares me. I prefer a Japanese world to a German 1

      then again Swedish

    • vik says:

      Dortmund had a fair number of chances too. Grosskreutz was also a poor replacement for Gotze; I think with Gotze healthy, Dortmund will be fine.

      • DC says:

        Really? Grosskreutz is a more defensive minded player, once he was subbed in, BVB started to really settle in actually. Goetze does offer more creativity in attack but Real were hammering in those first 15 minutes. I think Grosskreutz actually helped to transition the team. But he was a bit invisible for the game.

    • Monty says:

      Dortmund had plenty of chances to put the tie to bed as well.

      • biff says:

        This is true, Monty. I would say in the first half Madrid totally dominated during the first 20 minutes and basically equal the last 25 minutes, maybe Madrid a bit better. But in the first 35 mintues of the second half Dortmund was dominate and should have converted at least two of the four good opportunities they had. Yes, Madrid dominate again at the end bur Dortmund plays with a heart not many teams have and did enough for the trip to Wembley, which they deserve, having in CL competition this year beating Madrid twice, drawing once and then yesterday’s loss.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      yes, the horrible finishing from real madrid only proves la liga’s superiority. after all, that’s how you determine a team’s worth: by how many shots they missed.

    • dude says:

      Dortmund make do with far, far less than Real Madrid. The final pass wasn’t there because Goetze went out injured in the opening minutes; otherwise, those Dortmund chances start getting finished off. They still held of a Madrid side that resorted to going to their bench- Kaka and the starter in the French league.

      They still lost, and it looks like we’ll have an all German final.

      Real Madrid’s spending isn’t representative of La Liga, they are a mega club. They still lost to a German side which is part of an increasingly healthy and thriving Bundesliga. They won through management, commitment, and brilliant play from young and inexpensively acquired players. If Dortmund can eclipse a team that spends like Madrid, Germany is going places.

    • Mike says:

      All people are going to remember is that two German teams, assuming Bayern finishes off Barca, reached the CL finals. It all goes hand and hand with the way Germany has overhauled soccer there.

  2. bryan says:

    madrid did all the work they needed to do to create the chances to send them through and CRUSH Dortmund tonight…instead they forgot to finish their chances until the last 10 minutes. unreal.

  3. fl says:

    Madrid is gonna clean ranks this summer. Goodbye Benzema

    • bryan says:

      no. Benz isn’t going anywhere and to suggest that shows you haven’t been paying attention. Higuain is being linked, but even that I’d be surprised to see.

      • biff says:

        but we don’t know yet, bryan. i would say it is possible Benzema goes after his bad season this year, unless Madrid magnagement thinks that can be tied to Mourinho

        • biff says:

          And, actually, I would not be surprised if the Madrid brain trust is considering making a move for Lewandoski. I personally think Lewandoski is better than Benzema and Higuan and would be a great fit with Ronaldo. Plus, after the game Lewandoski had enough class to hug Sergio Ramos, who elbowed him in the head at least five times during the game and should have been issued two yellow cards (=red).

        • bryan says:

          yes, we DON’T know. but what we DO know is that Benzema is a Madrid player who is well liked and still managed 18 and 18 in 45 appearances. meanwhile, Higuain has been rumored to leave for awhile now. in 40 apps, he has 16 goals and 8 assists. he just hasn’t recaptured his form from 2008-2009 and 2009-2010.

          there are rumors that Higuain + cash for Suarez. and of course Juve are looking.

          my point is, whether or not Madrid want Lewandowski, Benzema is likely to stay while Higuain looks like the more likely to leave.

        • bryan says:

          yes, we DON’T know. but what we DO know is that Benzema is a Madrid player who is well liked and still managed 18 and 18 in 45 appearances. meanwhile, Higuain has been rumored to leave for awhile now. in 40 apps, he has 16 goals and 8 as.sis.ts. he just hasn’t recaptured his form from 2008-2009 and 2009-2010.

          there are rumors that Higuain + cash for Suarez. and of course Juve are looking.

          my point is, whether or not Madrid want Lewandowski, Benzema is likely to stay while Higuain looks like the more likely to leave.

  4. cam says:

    Ives–what do you think of one of our very own American coaches leading Borussia Dortmund Reserves??
    link to en.wikipedia.org

  5. dude says:

    This is my favorite kind of Champions league fixture: high scoring, a record broken, a late, frenzied comeback- and Real Madrid losing at the end.

    Let’s be clear, Dortmund earned this win. This wasn’t Madrid forgetting to be brilliant till the last ten minutes. This was a great performance by an admirable club, one which runs economic precision in the player market, a highly effective system of pressing and counter attacking, and one which has continued to perform as players have been sold. That might change now that Goetze and the-man-of-the-four-goals are going to their rivals, but it was fun to watch. They took care of business at home, and frustrated Real Madrid to the final whistle.

    Because teams like Madrid don’t deserve to get to the final because they are Real Madrid. The better team won. The same team that led a group that contained Man City and RM, two clubs who will never field a team greater than the sum of its parts. Teams like Dortmund are what make the game what it is.

    Good night.

  6. biff says:

    That was a great game. The electricity in the stadium during the first half could have lit up a major city for a year. Mourinho looked like a broken man. Jurgen Klopp is now The Special One and now doubt in my mind at the current time a far better coach.. Will be interesting to see whether Jose can recover his magic at Chelsea, or whether his best days are forever behind him.