Dortmund - Borussia Dortmund prepared for their UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg against Real Madrid next Tuesday with a morale-boosting 2-1 over VfL Wolfsburg.
Wolves well on top
Jürgen Klopp’s men were deservedly behind at the break after Ivica Olic had put a dominant Wolves side ahead, but they emerged for the second half a different team. After the tireless Robert Lewandowski levelled the scores, Marco Reus’ goal following a goalkeeping error gave Dortmund the points.
There was no question of Klopp prioritising the upcoming tie with Madrid next Tuesday, as just two changes were made to the side that started the first game in the Bernabeu, with Lewandowski recalled and Mitchell Langerak in for the injured Roman Weidenfeller in goal. However, from the first whistle, BVB looked fatigued, both physically and mentally, against Dieter Hecking’s fresh and energetic side.
Kevin Großkreutz, Dortmund’s utility man, began the game at left back, the sixth different position he has occupied in the league this season, but he was found dreadfully wanting ten minutes in for the game’s first opportunity. Former Borussia man Ivan Perisic had acres of space on the right wing to fire in a cross, which Olic somehow managed to turn wide from two yards out. Langerak then had to tip away another dangerous Perisic cross, before Junior Malanda fired over.
Olic strikes, Lewandowski levels
Dortmund were struggling to match the visitors both with and without the ball, and the Wolves continued to enjoy ample space and time to launch their attacks. Kevin De Bruyne was guilty of a bad miscue when he fired wide, but finally the visitors were rewarded for their dominance when Olic tapped in the rebound after Malanda’s header had been saved. Olic then came as close as one can to adding a second, his sliding effort twice striking the crossbar before the ball was cleared.
The first half had been a story of near total domination for Wolfsburg, but the hosts came roaring out of the blocks in the second half. Reus swung in a corner for Lewandowski to acrobatically head in his 17th of the season, and for a ten-minute spell Wolfsburg were pinned back and only over-hit passes prevented Reus and Lewandowski from finding a shooting position one-on-one with Max Grün.
Reus on the spot
With both teams now looking attack, the game became increasingly stretched. The ever-dangerous Perisic fired another dangerous ball across the face of the goal, before a lightning-quick break led by the brilliant Lewandowski ended with Henrikh Mkhitaryan shooting wide. When a third goal did arrive, it was due to a lamentable error from Grün, who, under pressure from one of his own defenders, dropped a simple cross for Reus to tap into an empty net.
There were further chances for both sides to add to the score before full time, with Lukasz Piszczek and Daniel Caligiuri both missing presentable headers. The passionate support of the fans seemed to give the hosts the boost they needed to bring the win over the line, however, and the referee’s whistle was greeted by a euphoric celebration from Klopp ahead of the visit of the Madridistas.
Line-ups and statistics
See Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp's leap of excitement as the second goal went in on Saturday, courtesy of the official Bundesliga YouTube channel: