Malaga – Borussia Dortmund’s progress to the last four of the UEFA Champions League remains in the balance after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Malaga CF in their quarter-final first leg in Spain.

Despite an excellent performance during which Jürgen Klopp’s side created a host of gilt-edged chances, they were unable to breach the Andalucians' defence, with goalkeeper Willy producing a series of great saves to ensure the tie remained goalless at the halfway stage.

Gündogan impresses


Malaga had gone into the game unbeaten at home in their debut season at Europe’s top table, but Dortmund are the only remaining side yet to lose in the competition and Klopp’s side quickly went about showing why. After Javier Saviola had fired the first chance of the game wide, Dortmund began to find their passing rhythm, with Ilkay Gündogan pulling the strings in midfield and dictating the play with his typically elegant style.

Mario Götze spurned two excellent chances to grab Dortmund an away goal, shooting twice at Malaga keeper Willy, the second time after a brilliant pass from Gündogan. But the opportunities continued to fall for BVB. Marco Reus shot straight at the goalkeeper and then sent a free-kick wide of the post, before Lewandowski’s weak shot was held and Kevin Großkreutz had an effort ruled out for offside.

Weidenfeller alert


The only thing missing from a typically emotional display from the Yellow-Blacks was the final product, and Malaga took heart from the scoreline as the first half progressed. Roman Weidenfeller had to be alert to parry clear a header from Julio Baptista, with Götze nodding Jeremy Toulalan’s follow-up off the line. Nevertheless, it was Willy that was tested last before the half-time whistle blew, parrying Sebastian Kehl’s drive over the bar.

Malaga's Argentinean custodian was back into action almost as soon as the action resumed. Within two minutes of the restart, Götze mis-hit a drive from a bouncing ball, before Lewandowski fluffed his lines completely from inside the box with only the keeper to beat.

Decent platform


Götze was waging something of a personal crusade against the Malaga defence and soon went close again. Collecting another superb pass from Gündogan, he powered into the box but shot wide from a tight angle. At the other end, Weidenfeller parried away a stinging half volley from the talented Isco and then held Toulalan’s drive. Dortmund then replaced Reus with Julian Schieber as Klopp attempted to inject some energy into his side, but the hosts used all their nous to take the pace out of the game and protect their clean sheet.

As has been the case with Klopp’s team all season in Europe, their performance was once again exemplary; the only thing missing was an away goal. The reigning Bundesliga champions have won every game at home in the competition this season, however, making them firm favourites for the second leg at the Signal-Iduna-Park next Tuesday.

Line-ups:

Malaga: Willy - Jesus Gamez, Demichelis, Weligton, Antunes - Toulalan, Iturra - Joaquin, Isco (Duda 87'), Julio Baptista (Santa Cruz 76') - Saviola (Portillo 68')

Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Felipe Santana, Subotic, Schmelzer - Gündogan, Kehl (S. Bender 80') - Reus (Schieber 69'), Götze (Kirch 90+2'), Großkreutz - Lewandowski

Bernie Reeves