We are royal. Whatever has been said during the last CL campaign doesn't count anymore. At least since last evenings draw against no one else than Real Madrid CF, Borussia Dortmund has passed its master's certificate. One point stolen from the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Four points out of two matches against the millionaires around doleful Cristiano. Still in the lead of a group, that was called the “group of death” by the media. A wonderful opportunity to reach the round of 16. We are royal. No matter what happens next.
Before the Game
Similar to the Bundesliga home match against VfB Stuttgart, coach Jürgen Klopp sent the same eleven players on the pitch. Even skipper Sebastian Kehl, who got hit by an elbow during the match against the Swabians, was able to play with the aid of an synthetic protective mask. Although he suffered a nasal bone fracture, he took every challenge fearless. Besides long-term casualties Patrick Owomoyela and Jakub Blaszczykowski, all players were available. Sven Bender took place on the bench after his torn muscle fiber. As expected, Borussia Dortmund started in the usual 4-2-3-1 formation.
Portuguese Jose Mourinho had to do without his full-backs Coentrao and Marcelo, as well as German international Sami Khedira and striker Benzema. This is why Sergio Ramos had to play as a full-back, Pepe and youngster Varane built the central defence of the Madrilenians just like a few weeks ago. Unsurprisingly, the traditional club started in the same formation as Borussia Dortmund.
Uncommon to other Champions-League matches, the two teams did not wait long to shift up a gear. A phase of scanning, what might be the weak points of each defensive lines, did not took place anyhow. Just as in the beginning of the match in Dortmund, Real Madrid took control of the game. It were only two minutes played, when a long ball out of the Madrilenians side of the pitch found Gonzalo Higuain. Totally unmarked in front of Weidenfeller, Roman already had to risk a lot when he punched the ball away at the last moment. It would have been almost the same goal as in the home fixture, when Cristiano Ronaldo scored the equalizer after a long ball.
But also Black and Yellow reached its first scoring opportunities, such as in minute 9: Marco Reus found Marcel Schmelzer with a clever pass through the defensive line of the home side. MS29 – we can do this too, Cristiano! - had only Iker Casillas in front of him but could not put the ball into the net. Nevertheless a first screamer, that we would not give up easily today. Only five minutes later Kevin Großkreutz took a shot at the goal too, but also missed.
During this phase of the match, the game became an exchange of blows. You could really feel, which great potential both teams consisted of.
In minute 22 all supporters of Borussia Dortmund had to withstand a moment of shock. Gonzalo Higuain, who was totally unmarked on the right wing, delivered a cross to Ronaldo. Fortunately the sorry figure was too surprised, to send the ball into the net. German international Marco Reus made it slightly better a few minutes later on the other side of the pitch. A long ball out of the defensive line was passed on by Robert Lewandowski via header. The Polish gulled Sergio Ramos and found Marco Reus, who slammed the ball into the net out of 16 meters from the ride side of the box. We were in the lead! It is to add that, although it has been a brilliant move, goalkeeper Iker Casillas did not look great when he tried to save the ball.
But history should repeat itself and the lead outlasted only for a few minutes. After a cross by Mesut Özil, Marcel Schmelzer left Pepe unmarked. The defender took advantage of the confusion and scored a headed goal. 1-1. As already mentioned before, the match remained quite open: In minute 43, Marcel Schmelzer compensated his bad behavior during the 1-1 and stole the ball from the foot of Ronaldo in extreme danger. That probably would have been the 2-1 for Madrid!
Amusingly it was Borussia Dortmund who took the lead after a brilliant move, shortly before the break. Once more it was Robert Lewandowski who delivered the ball to Kevin Großkreutz via header. The midfielder – who probably dug over the whole pitch – passed the ball to Mario Götze. Super Mario took the ball along delightful and lobbed the ball, with the help of Arbeloa, over the fast-approaching Casillas. 2-1! Half-time! What the hell?!
To sum up the first half in two sentences: Real Madrid with a high percentage of ball possession, but Borussia Dortmund with brilliant shifts between attacking and defending. A deserved lead so far.
Of course Mourinho had to change something with the start of the second half. Callejon replaced the unlucky and injured Gonzalo Higuain and Essien came in for Luca Modric. From the beginning of the second half on, it became clear, who is the boss in Madrid. Borussia Dortmund was put under pressure in a way, that I have never seen before.
Shortly after the break, Callejon scored the 2-2 but was called off by the match officials. A tough decision! Generally the substitutions gave a fresh impetus to Real Madrid and it was once again Callejon, who missed the goal closely from central position in minute 49. The continuous changing of positions troubled the defense of Borussia, still Real Madrid was not able to make a profit out of it.
Sixty minutes were played, when Roman Weidenfeller came into the spotlight. First the outstanding goalkeeper saved a shot by Callejon from close range with a brilliant reflex, afterwards he also saved a shot from short distance by Cristiano Ronaldo when only 11 minutes were to play. 89 minutes Borussia Dortmund was able to resist the pressure of Real Madrid, but finally had to accept the equalizer by Mesut Özil. The German international scored via free kick. 2-2. Final whistle.
Borussia Dortmund showed a performance one can only be proud of. Against the millionaires from Madrid, our young squad passed the exam and has a brilliant chance to reach the next round. The result of yesterdays game is absolutely fair. Both teams dominated one half and as a supporter of BVB you only can be deeply contended. Bravo Borussia!
Sebastian Kehl: “Before the match we would've been pleased with one point. On the other side you aren't happy if you get the equalizer in minute 89. But at the end of the we can be satisfied. We played well in the first half. In the second half we had to stop playing football. Madrid pressed hard. This was an defensive battle but we don't assume the right to perform magic in Madrid.”
Ilkay Gündogan: “If you get the equalizer on the stroke of full time, it's very bitter. No matter how the whole game was. We weren't able to take the pressure off our defense during the second half. It was constant pressure. Madrid played with four strikers in the second half. We had difficulties in attacking and conterattacking. The 2-2 is okay."
Mario Götze: We'd like to have taken the three points back to Dortmund. But if you see which pressure Real Madrid built up, we can be pleased. To gain one point away is satisfying. Shortly before the 2-1 I wanted to take the ball along but Arbeloa was courteous and and put the ball into the net. Who knows if I would've find the net..”
Robert Lewandowski: “We knew that we would have to be really aggressive. In the first half we succeeded. This point isn't too much and not too little. Now we want to reach the round of the last sixteen in Amsterdam.”
Real Madrid CF: Casillas - Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Varane, Arbeloa - Modric, Xabi Alonso - di Maria, Özil, Cristiano Ronaldo – Higuain.
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer - Gündogan, Kehl - Reus, Götze, Großkreutz – Lewandowski.
Substitutions: 74. Bender IN Reus OUT, 80. Perisic IN Gündogan OUT - 46. Essien and Callejon IN Modric and Higuain OUT, 77. Kaka IN Arbeloa OUT.
Goals: 0-1 Reus (minute 28), 1-1 Pepe (minute 34), 1-2 Götze/Arbeloa (minute 45), 2-2 Özil (minute 89).
Scoring Opportunities: 9-5.
Referee: Cüneyt Cakir (Turkey).
Bookings: Großkreutz, Hummels.