Real Madrid Squeaks Through To SemifinalsBy: Toni Matthews-El - April 8, 2014
Real Madrid fans the world over were treated to one of the most tense matches they’ve likely ever endured.
After safely dominating Borussia Dortmund at home, many anticipated that the Whites would cruise into the semi-finals. The German home team had been practically written off before the match even began.
Perhaps they took it to heart, because the aggressive spirit BVB showed the startled visitors and resulted in a near upset.
Real Madrid had the chance to snatch an away goal following a hand ball by Lukasz Piszczek. Scoring the penalty would have more than guaranteed their trip to the next round. Unfortunately, Angel Di Maria was not up to the task. His effort was comfortably saved by Dortmund’s goalkeeper.
The penalty miss would come back to haunt Real Madrid as the visitors found themselves trailing 2-0 by the 37th minute. This meant that the game was at 3-2 when both legs were counted. Dortmund was one goal away from pulling themselves back into contention for a trip to the next round.
There were near misses and hair-raising moments in the second half, but when the dust settled the scoreline remained 2-0.
Somehow, Real Madrid was able to hold on for the rest of the match and walk out the winners.
Dortmund, despite a brilliant effort, would be missing out on the next stage of the Champions League after all. Given the lack of heart shown by Real Madrid, some may feel that BVB’s fighting spirit should have been rewarded.
As for the La Liga team, it was clear that they were missing their talisman, Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo had been benched as a precaution due to a slight injury.
It’s uncertain whether or not the poor performance is blamed on nerves or exhaustion. Having been fortunate enough to make it through the semifinals of the tournament, Real Madrid will have to bring their A game. There’s a good chance they may be facing a major rival as FC Barcelona or Atlético Madrid will be joining them in the next round.
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