Borussia Dortmund are in the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 1998 after a dramatic 3-2 come from behind victory over Málaga.
The two sides had tied 0-0 in Spain last week, so with Malaga leading 2-1 in the dying stages it looked like the La Liga side was heading to the semi-finals for the first time in their history. Even when Marco Reus equalized in the 91st-minute it seemed no more than a consolation goal for Dortmund, with Malaga advancing on away goals.
But in the frantic closing seconds, Reus managed to stab the ball across the Malaga goal for Felipe Santana to toe the ball over the line for the crucial third Dortmund goal to put the Germans in the last four.
Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini was furious about Dortmund’s winner claiming that Santana was offside.
“They did not want us in the semi-finals”, an enraged Pellegrini said of the match officials.
“After it went 2-1 for us, there were so many refereeing mistakes. The third goal was a hammer blow for us. There were two dismissals, and there was also their offside in the act of making it 3-2”
I can understand Pellegrini’s frustation as Santana did look offside. But that controversy detracts from the fact that his side collapsed under the Dortmund pressure when it counted the most.
To be 2-1 up with 4 minutes to go and lose 3-2 is simply naive coaching and defending.
As for Dortmund, who are still the only unbeaten team in the competition, they have to be wondering if the dramatic comeback is a sign that it is their name that will be getting engraved of the cup at Wembley next month?