Borussia Dortmund produced an inspiring comeback against Malaga to solidify their place in the semi-final of the Champions League.
The German side are likely to be considered the underdogs as they enter a final four consisting of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
When Dortmund entered the 90th minute of their quarter-final tie against Malaga, they were 2-1 down and heading out of the competition. The young side that had promised so much were seemingly bowing out until Marco Reus’ goal in the 91st minute gave them hope.
Then in a twist of fate, Felipe Santana managed to tap home a winning goal in the third minute of injury time, sending the Westfalenstadion into frenzy.
The most prominent questioned raised by their remarkable comeback is whether Dortmund are good enough to compete with the remaining European giants.
They could come up against Barcelona, who eventually outshone an impressive PSG. Their well-renowned attacking force could prove to be too much for Dortmund’s defence, which were caught out numerous times by Malaga. If they allow the same to happen against Barcelona, they will undoubtedly be punished.
Dortmund could favour a tie against Real Madrid. Playing each other twice in the group stages, the Germans managed to grab a win and a draw against the reigning La Liga Champions. At this stage in the competition Madrid should never be considered an easy option, but confidence could be a governing factor.
The one side Dortmund will know best of all is Bayern Munich. Their record-breaking season saw them win the Bundesliga with six games remaining, leaving their German opponents 20 points behind in second place.
Their comprehensive victory over Juventus serves as a reminder of their dominance, and Dortmund will consider them one the largest threats in the final stages of the tournament.
Despite the threat posed by the other three teams, they will be equally aware of Borussia Dortmund’s potential. With non-comparable financial resources, Dortmund’s squad consist largely of home-grown players, many of which have established themselves in their national teams.
Attacking options in the form of Marco Reus, Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski will need to be at the height of their performance, and utilisation of the wide areas with Jakub Blaszczykowski and Marcel Schemlzer could provide Dortmund with the majority of their chances.
Regardless of the strength of their squad, Dortmund will have to tie together to win the Champions League with success heavily depending on a couple of strong defensive displays. They are the smallest club in terms of reputation, but having impressed the neutrals with their comeback against Malaga, they will continue the competition with a wealth of support.
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