Dortmund's unbeaten run in this season's tournament came to an end in an absorbing second leg, as they lost 2-0 in the Spanish capital courtesy of late efforts from Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos, but they will not mind as preparations for the showpiece in Wembley on 25 May can begin in earnest.
Under Madrid’s thumb
The travelling fans were in full voice well before kick-off as head coach Jürgen Klopp named an unchanged side from last week’s 4-1 win, a first for the 45-year-old in this season’s competition. Unsurprisingly though it was the hosts who had the better of the furious opening exchanges as Roman Weidenfeller stuck out a foot to deny Gonzalo Higuain inside five minutes, before Cristiano Ronaldo wasted his first sight of goal.
Both sides were playing at breakneck speed, but aside from the odd panicky pass, Dortmund were acquitting themselves well under a severe amount of pressure. The loss of Mario Götze, who hobbled off with a suspected thigh injury, could have thrown a spanner in the works, yet Dortmund kept their focus and Robert Lewandowski promptly had a clear-cut chance to add to his four-goal tally from the first leg, but fired straight at Diego Lopez on the stretch.
Swings and roundabouts
Real responded immediately as Weidenfeller stood tall to block Ronaldo’s close-range volley with his chest, while Mesut Özil dragged a glorious opportunity wide from Higuain’s improvised back-heeled pass. Approaching the half-hour mark Dortmund were growing in confidence, but failed on numerous occasions to pick out a final pass to unlock Madrid’s high-lying backline, sending both sides in at the break with the deadlock intact.
Nerves had crept in amongst the Santiago Bernabeu faithful during half-time and Dortmund took full advantage by getting out of the blocks quickly after the restart. Lewandowski should have given BVB the lead, but blazed over from inside the box, before clattering a thunderous effort off the bar with the visitors’ best chance of the game.
With the hour mark on the horizon Real head coach Jose Mourinho, whose side were yet to have a shot on goal in the second period, made two attacking substitutions as Kaka and Benzema entered the fray. Dortmund reacted by dropping deeper, but spurned another golden chance to break Madrid hearts when Ilkay Gündogan, six yards out from goal, failed to get the better of Lopez from Marco Reus’ incisive square ball.
BVB were showing great composure in fending off the hosts’ advances, but were left flat-footed as Kaka’s flick went within a whisker of creeping inside the post after Ronaldo had stabbed an effort over. At the other end Reus’ mazy run ended with Lewandowski failing to put the final nail in the coffin, and Dortmund were made to pay when Benzema tapped home from Özil’s pull-back.
Weidenfeller pulled off a superb save to tip Benzema’s next effort over the bar, but was powerless to prevent Ramos smashing into the roof of the net after Dortmund failed to clear their lines from a corner. However, the Yellow-Blacks pulled themselves together to hang on in injury time and booked their place in the UEFA Champions League final in Wembley on 25 May.
Real Madrid: Diego Lopez - Essien, Varane, Ramos, Coentrao (Kaka 57') - Modric, Xabi Alonso (Khedira 67') - Di Maria, Özil, Ronaldo - Higuain (Benzema 57')
Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer - Gündogan, Bender - Blaszczykowski, Götze (Großkreutz 14'), Reus - Lewandowski
Goals: 1-0 Benzema (83'), 2-0 Ramos (88')