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Borussia Dortmund can take heart from El Clasico

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At just a few minutes before 8pm local time, Jurgen Klopp nervously positioned himself in front of the television and changed the channel to Sky Sports Deutschland.

A trickle of sweat undoubtedly ran down his rugged neck as a star studded Real Madrid side featuring the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema warmed up in front of a buoyant Santiago Bernabeu crowd.

These trickles of sweat must have gushed down Klopp’s neck with Carlo Ancelotti’s side coming from a goal down to lead Barcelona 2-1 in a spicy El Clasico thanks to a brace from Karim Benzema.

Benzema, who has been hot and cold since his arrival from French giants Lyon in 2009, demonstrated that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to Real Madrid being described as a one man team.

Instead of rolling over in the face of a Barcelona onslaught after Andres Iniesta had superbly given the Catalan giants a seventh minute lead, Ancelotti’s men were able to quickly regroup and like a shoal of flesh eating piranha tore into the heart of Gerardo Martino’s defence.

For a split second the potency of Real Madrid’s attack was too much to bear for a Barcelona team who were aiming to reduce the White’s lead at the top of La Liga to just a single point.

Interweaving passes from Ronaldo and Gareth Bale were able to find their way to Angel Di Maria who used his electrifying pace to outrun the entirety of Barcelona’s defence before laying off exquisite balls for Benzema to neatly tuck away.

However, that was as good as it got for Real Madrid, with their fantastic start to the game drying up faster than the sweat running down Klopp’s neck.

The White’s who went into this game with a hope of extending their unbeaten run to 32 games in all competitions were outplayed for a large majority of the match by the iconic duo of Iniesta and Lionel Messi.

If Barcelona were criticised for making too many defensive errors which allowed an escape route for their fiercest of rivals, then a general inquiry should be made into the way in which “Los Blancos” reverted to their old tricks of inconstancy and allowed Martino’s men to clinch a 4-3 win.

One man’s loss in another man’s again, and in this sense nothing could be truer when it comes to what both Ancelotti and Klopp were thinking in the immediate seconds after the final whistle.

For the former AC Milan and Chelsea boss, anarchy, as he will no doubt come under pressure to make sure that this morale damaging defeat doesn’t act as a chain reaction in terms of their league and European ambitions.

Whilst for Klopp, pure jubilation, as he now knows that any talk about an invincible Real Madrid side is just a bunch of poppycock just a week before his Borussia Dortmund travel to the Spanish capital to face Ronaldo and co in a Champions League quarter-final first-leg fixture.

In reality this defeat shouldn’t come as a surprise to a manager who guided his team to last year’s Champions League final after eliminating Real Madrid 4-3 on aggregate in the semi-finals.

Hardly anyone in world football, let alone in Germany gave his Dortmund team a chance in hell against the record Champions League holders, but we paid witness too was a Borussia side lead by Klopp who lived by the motto, “we are better what we appear to be.”

If this statement is true then the former Mainz manager shouldn't have any problems with leading his side to a second consecutive semi-final berth.

There is no doubt that Klopp was taking numerous notes throughout the match on how to get to the heart of this Real Madrid side, with a fairly average Barcelona side doing just this.

The 46-year-old, who guided BvB to last year’s Champions League final will have found that Real Madrid are no better defensively than they were at this point last season.

During the El Clasico their defensive deficiencies were exposed as Messi and Iniesta prayed upon their formational inflexibility and their consequent difficulties in closing down space between the lines of defence and midfield.

Neither Sergio Ramos nor Pepe are comfortable if they are dragged out from their accustomed centre-back positions, while Xabi Alonso lacks the mobility to fully cover the area in front of the back four.

So in conclusion the attacking might of Robert Lewandowski coupled with the speed and efficiency of Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could damage Real Madrid’s brittle defence.

The Spanish giants don’t have the best of records against German teams in the Champions League of late, bowing out in the past two years to both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in the semi-finals.

Real Madrid are desperate to win their first European title since Zinedine Zidane’s impeccable volley won them the Champions League in 2002, but this pressure might boil over at the wrong point against a very organised team in Borussia Dortmund.

Ancelotti’s side picked up a total of six bookings including a typical red card for a just as typical hot head in Sergio Ramos, and if Dortmund grab an early goal or enjoy a large amount of ball position we could see Real Madrid revert to their old tactics of aggressive play.

And believe me Borussia Dortmund are the wrong team to play against with ten men as their typically German organisational and attacking traits would cause more havoc then a tropical cyclone.

Klopp will also be made aware that Barcelona were able to keep Ronaldo in check for the entirety of the game, with Dani Alves using his attacking instincts and stepping up to squeeze the space whenever the Portuguese midfielder cut inside, and reducing the star to just one significant contribution.

The likes of Mats Hummels and Marcel Schmelzer were able to exclude Ronaldo when the clubs met last year, so there is no reason why they won’t be able to take optimism from this El Clasico encounter.

As Klopp slipped into bed later that evening it is likely that he dreamt of a Real Madrid whitewash. And who knows, stranger things have happened in the world of football.

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Topics:
La Liga
Real Madrid
Borussia Dortmund
Football
Barcelona
Bundesliga

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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