Borussia Dortmund 3 Malaga 2: Lessons as Klopp’s men reach semis
Borussia Dortmund 3 Malaga 2: What lessons did we learn as the German champions scraped into the semi-finals?
Dortmund through to the semis – just
In a highly dramatic but entertaining encounter at the Westfalenstadion, it was Borussia Dortmund who progressed to the semi-finals after a 3-2 aggregate victory over Malaga. Throughout the 94 minutes, there were plenty of chances as both sides looked to book their place in the final four of Europe’s most prestigious club competition. But it was the German champions who battled their way past a plucky Spanish outfit, with Robert Lewandowski, Marco Reus and Felipe Santana scoring the crucial goals. Their jubilant celebrations at the final whistle illustrated just how lucky they were to salvage their Champions League campaign so late on.
Enthralling first half
Overall, the La Liga side looked the far more comprehensive and solid outfit as they headed into the tie with a very definite game plan. In the 25th minute, excellent skill from winger Joaquín allowed him to twist and turn before eventually slotting the ball expertly past Roman Weidenfeller into the back of the net. Even then, it looked as though the home side had ran out of ideas and would find it difficult to find a way back. Unfortunately for Manuel Pellegrini’s side, Dortmund soon came to life, and began to find their rhythm. They soon found themselves back in the tie courtesy of Lewandowski’s goal. A beautifully timed back-heel assist from Reus, allowed the Polish international to slip through the defensive cover before firing home. After that, it was game on, and the sides headed into the break with Dortmund no doubt in a more upbeat mood.
Malaga unlucky to lose so cruelly
Despite substitute Eliseu’s 82nd-minute goal, Los Boquerones simply couldn’t hold on as Dortmund began to pile on the pressure in the last eight minutes. Malaga goalkeeper Willy Caballero did his part to keep out Jurgen Klopp’s side, and his incredible reactionary save late on looked to have kept alive their European dream. However, it was not to be as they simply fell apart in the final few moments. Even though their European journey has come to an end so cruelly, they can be proud of their efforts in what has been an incredible debut season for Manuel Pellegrini’s charges. Of course, considering their highly delicate financial situation, they would have welcomed the cash windfall of reaching the next round, particularly as Malaga are banned for European competition next season despite their sixth-place position in La Liga.