WEDNESDAY 2ND APRIL 2014 – LAST 8 FIRST LEG
REAL MADRID 3-0 BORUSSIA DORTMUND
Goals from Bale, Isco, and Cristiano Ronaldo ensured Real Madrid put one step in the Champions League semi-final, as they swept aside Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund side on Wednesday evening.
After banishing all memories of back-to-back defeats with a 5-0 win on the weekend, Madrid set about the same task here, going ahead after just three minutes when Bale reacted quickest in the area, and prodding past Weidenfeller.
The hosts were intent on putting the game to bed early on, the usual suspects of Benzema, Bale, and Ronaldo all going close in a frantic opening period.
Dortmund were going to have to rely on their main man from the weekend, Marco Reus, for the creativity and spark in midfield, but he was in the book after 18 minutes for a poorly timed challenge.
Klopp’s team eventually took a foothold in the game, but as they pressed, gaps opened and the second goal ensued. Isco pounced on a rebound on the edge of the box, and although his shot was weak, it was perfectly placed, leaving the BVB ‘keeper grasping at air.
Großkreutz and Aubemeyang went close as the Germans went in search of a reply before half-time, but Casillas was equal to any rare threat that came his way. Bale then struck a tremendous free-kick, Roman Weidenfeller doing fantastically to keep his side in the tie, tipping over.
Half Time: Real Madrid 2 Borussia Dortmund 0
It was certainly not the opening period Klopp had in mind, but he had to be commended on the way his team attacked Ancelotti’s Madrid side, giving hope that his side had the ability to carve out a vital away goal.
The second half started much like the first though, and was nearly a carbon copy when Bale drove into the box, his shot this time failing to beat the German stopper.
Saturday’s hat-trick hero Reus then set up Aubemeyang, who dragged a shot wide, before the chance of the match appeared for the Borussians.
A counter-attack ripped apart the fragile Real defence, but some nervous play allowed defenders to get back and cover, Mkhitaryan then firing wide. They were punished for that too. Just minutes later, Modric fed the Ballon D’or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, who sidestepped and placed home with much aplomb.
The game was never going to be up at 3-0 though, due to the fragility of a Madrid back four which shipped four goals to Barcelona just a fortnight ago. The clean sheet was still important to Ancelotti though, and Pepe too, throwing himself at a Mhkitaryan effort when the goal was gaping.
It was the visitors attacking threat that injected excitement into the final quarter, as the goal turned into an end to end encounter, although neither side got that fourth goal of the game to swing the balance of the tie.
Full Time: Real Madrid 3 Borussia Dortmund 0
Despite the loss, it was a commendable effort from the visitors, who will welcome Lewandowski back for the return leg. They will need him on his best form if they are to have a chance of progressing, but a three-goal deficit is a massive ask for the Germans regardless.
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