Borussia Dortmund v Malaga: Five talking points

Felipe Santana of Borussia Dortmund celebrates victory and a place in the semi-finals with his tea mamtes during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg match between Borussia Dortmund and Malaga at Signal Iduna Park on April 9, 2013 in Dortmund, Germany.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Felipe Santana of Borussia Dortmund celebrates victory and a place in the semifinals with his teammates during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg match against Malaga at Signal Iduna Park on April 9, 2013 in Dortmund, Germany. (Getty Images)

‘Football, bloody hell!’ Sir Alex’s words could not be more apt to describe what transpired on Tuesday night. While Galatasaray scared Madrid out of their wits, the showcase event unfolded at the Signal Iduna Park. Joaquin finished in a Messi-esque way, but Dortmund’s equalizer from Robert Lewandowski was world class. Then after a tight second half, the Malaga fans were delirious as Eliseu scored with less than ten minutes to go. They had two away goals, surely Dortmund couldn’t score two. Well, they did. This has to be one of the most amazing matches ever played.

Here are five talking points.

1. Keepers:

Roman Wiendenfeller kept the home team in the tie, saving brilliantly on two separate occasions. It was his organisation skills that kept them in the game at chaotic moments. Willy, well over the two legs was the most impressive player, with Reus’s finish destined for the net he popped out a foot and saved it. Again after Mario Gotze had been put through, he shot at goal and almost celebrated but the keeper’s leg saved Malaga. Their performance was a delight to watch.

2. Young guns shine:

Isco lost his hair, but none of his skill seemed absent. He was a constant headache for Sven Bender and Ilkay Gundogan. He defended when required and started off the goal-scoring move before supplying the final pass for Joaquin to score. On the other team, Marco Reus was magnificent all night. His no-look assist for Lewandowski was as good a piece of football we will ever see. Lewandowski himself was more imposing on the night. Gotze too played extremely well and deserved a goal but for the brilliant Willy between the sticks.

3. Offside controversy:

Malaga’s second goal, scored Eliseu was marginally offside. As was Dortmund’s decisive third. Three players were offside as Santana tapped the ball in for the win. The quality of the linesmen was below par to say the least.

4. Tactical battles:

The double pivot of Ignacio Camacho and Jeremy Toulalan employed by Manuel Pellegrini stifled Dortmund’s creativity for much of the match. Another brilliant tactical decision was to go in with a 4-4-1-1 formation as opposed to the 4-2-3-1; Malaga dominated the midfield as a result. Jurgen Klopp’s decision to send on Mats Hummels as a playmaker was brilliant, his strength and finesse played a huge part in both the goals.

5. Heads held high:

Malaga though eliminated have reasons to be proud. Their performance was heartening over 180 minutes. They may have been the underdogs in this one, but they fought till the very end. But over the two legs the Germans just shaded and deserved to win. Nevertheless this is a tie no Malaga fan or football fan could forget.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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