Dortmund - While goals from and bookended Borussia Dortmund's 2-0 victory over 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Saturday, the intervening period was hardly a festival for neutrals to savour.
Nevertheless, the result not only guaranteed the Yellow-Blacks a minimum third-placed finish this term, it also kept the cogs well-oiled ahead of their UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg at home to Real Madrid CF on Wednesday.
After the final whistle, defender Lukasz Piszczek gave bundesliga.com his thoughts on the victory and looked ahead to the showdown with the reigning Spanish champions.
bundesliga.com: Lukas Piszczek, that victory over Mainz was Dortmund's fifth consecutive win in the Bundesliga. What are your thoughts on the game?
Lukasz Piszczek: We've always tried to focus on each of the competitions we've participated in. Things went well against Mainz and we've won five in a row, but now we're looking forward to Wednesday, which is our next important game.
bundesliga.com: How much of a difference did scoring after just 33 seconds make?
Piszczek: It was very important. We were really focused for the entire first half, but weren't quite as good after the break. Fortunately, towards the end we scored our second and that killed things off.
bundesliga.com: Dortmund have now achieved their aim of qualifying for the Champions League next season and, on Wednesday, you're up against Real Madrid in the semi-finals. How are you feeling ahead of that match?
Piszczek: We're expecting a very tough game. I think Real have improved a lot since we played them in the group stages, but we've got nothing to lose.
bundesliga.com: Dortmund have also got better since then, winning ten of 13 Bundesliga games in the second half of the season...
Piszczek: It'll definitely be an interesting match. We're all really looking forward to it.
bundesliga.com: It's the highlight of the year - what will be the key to winning it?
Piszczek: I hope it won't be the highlight of the year...
bundesliga.com: Ok, the final at Wembley is still a possibility. How are Dortmund approaching the game?
Piszczek: We've had a terrific Champions League campaign so far, which is why we're determined to get a good result against Real.
bundesliga.com: What would a good result be for you?
Piszczek: That's hard to say. We want to win but a goalless draw wouldn't be bad. Against Malaga we saw for ourselves just how difficult it can be at home after a 0-0 draw in the first leg.
bundesliga.com: You're likely to be up against Real's goal machine Cristiano Ronaldo. Is there anything in particular you're doing to prepare for that?
Piszczek: No. When Real have the ball our whole team will defend, it won't just be down to me. We need to defend well as a unit, then it'll be easier for everyone.
bundesliga.com: Is it an advantage that you've already played against him in both group games earlier this season?
Piszczek: No. There's only so much you can do against players like Ronaldo, [Lionel] Messi and a couple of others. They've got so much quality that they're always capable of coming up with something new. We're going to try and give it our all and hopefully pick up a good result.
Interview by Tobias Gonscherowski