After a very convincing win over Ukrainian table-toppers Shakhtar Donetsk in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16, is it any wonder why Borussia Dortmund are one of the favourites to lift the trophy?

Not only have the Bundesliga side qualified top of their group in the group stages of the competition, they've done it within a group containing Manchester City, Real Madrid and Dutch powerhouse Ajax. But alas, the biggest match of the year has stolen the spotlight, which resulted in Manchester United bowing out to Real Madrid after a game full of controversy at Old Trafford. 

Now that that's out of the way, teams and fans can see what is happening on the other side, Borussia Dortmund are coming.

Following a grinding 2-2 draw in the Ukraine in the first leg, Dortmund clinically delivered three goals at the Westfalenstadion and kept a clean sheet to dispose of the threat of Shakhtar Donetsk, winning the tie 5-2 on aggregate. So what is it that makes a team like Dortmund so good in the European competition? 

Jurgen Klopp 

The enigmatic, animated coach who lives and breathes football seems to inspire greatness on big occasions, and what bigger occasion is there? The atmosphere at the Westfalenstadion, combined with Klopp's spirit and influence on his players seem to lift Dortmund to greatness on great occasions. Every player knows what is expected of them when Klopp is in charge.

Underdogs

During the group stages, all the pressure was on Manchester City and Real Madrid to finish top two, which possibly contributed to City's shocking performance. Nonetheless, Dortmund were happy to run through their drills and focus on the game rather than the hype, which seemed to work wonders. Not only did they finish top of the group, but won every one of their home games, no mean feat when your opposition are the likes of City, Madrid and Ajax.

Dortmund are a force to contend with this year, and every team be warned.

 

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European News
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UEFA Champions League