Within twenty four hours the balance of power has completely shifted. The two Spanish giants, and arguably two finest sides of world football, have been forced to submission by the German giants. Just a day after Bayern Munich’s crushing victory over Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund produced a masterpiece of their own. They handed the Liga champions Real Madrid, a humiliating 4-1 defeat in the first leg of UEFA Champions’ league semi finals.
There was plenty of tension in the air before the start as the news of Mario Gotze’s transfer leaked out to the press. It was one thing losing a prized possession, but to lose it to your bitter rivals is a whole new low for a team. Compound that to the fact that Dortmund were playing their most important match for some years now against a formidable opponent in Real Madrid, and you will get a true picture of their plight.
The match started with swift pace as Dortmund hurried Madrid as soon as the ball was kicked off. Reus went close and was denied by a brilliant save from Diego Lopez in the 7th minute. But the German outfit wasn’t made to wait long for a breakthrough. They got what they deserved in the 8 th minute when a super Gotze ball found Polish striker Lewandowski, who shook the attention of Pepe to guide the ball into the net. Madrid tried to respond immediately with Cristiano Ronaldo, but the Portuguese faced instant pressure from the German giants. As time progressed, Madrid started to settle down in the game, but the German’s continued to threaten on the break.
The moment of controversy came in the 42nd minute. Reus felt that, he was fouled inside the box and the whole stadium screamed for a penalty. To their dismay, the referee waved ‘play on’ and agonizingly for the home fans, Madrid went on to equalize in the next 40 seconds through Cristiano Ronaldo. Dortmund lost their composure and thus conceded an away goal.
Dortmund came out as a team on a mission in the second half. Their high intensity of pressing was back along with their disciplined defense. Finally they were rewarded in the 50 th minute when Lewandowski took advantage of a defensive lapse to make it 2-1. Five minutes later Dortmund opened up Madrid again. Lewandowski bagged his hat-trick with a superb turn and clinical finish in the box. Madrid was shell shocked. Kaka and Di Maria were sent in by Jose Mourinho to salvage some pride back from the tie. Instead it was Dortmund again who scored. This time Alonso was the culprit in tripping Reus inside the box. Lewandowski emphatically dispatched the penalty and made it 4-1 for Dortmund, in turn capping off a brilliant individual return.
Just like Bayern the other night, Dortmund also seems to have booked a place in Wembly for the finals. For Real Madrid, the away goal offers a faint glimmer of hope. Will it come back to haunt Dortmund? Only time will tell. Till then, Dortmund fans can bathe in the euphoria of the emphatic victory.