Dortmund. They will be disappointed at their first goalless home draw in the Champions League, plus they lost both Weligton and Manuel Iturra for the return leg. They will be relieved that they head to Germany all square after Dortmund squandered chance after chance to end this tie in the first leg.
In the first half especially, Dortmund were terrific. Dortmund’s attacking triumvirate of Robert Lewandowski, Gotze and Marco Reus seemed to open up Malaga almost at will. First Gotze ran clear on to a Lewandowski header as the Malaga backline appealed in vain for offside, but his shot lacked power and Caballero dived to make a one-handed save.
Then a cushioned pass from Lewandowski sent Götze through one-on-one with Willy again, and once again the Argentinian goalkeeper got the better of the young Germany.
Reus then brought another save out of the keeper after neat link-up play and a low shot from the edge of the area. The young trio were causing Malaga all sorts of problems, with only the killer finish lacking.
For a scoreless game the football was electric. Slowly Malaga. roared on by the home support, came into the game and Júlio Baptista and Joaquín both produced a couple of magic moments. Then Malaga almost took the lead. when Baptista’s header form Joaquín’s corner was saved by Roman Weidenfeller, but Jérémy Toulalan could not nod home the rebound.
How this game was still scoreless at half-time I don’t know.
The second half followed the same pattern. Lewandowski fluffed another glorious Dortmund chance minutes after the break, when he skewed his shot horribly wide when Gotze’s cut-back found him in plenty of space in front of goal. Gotze then fired wide of the far post after racing on to a measured pass down the right as another opportunity came and went for the Germans.
At the other end, Malaga started to create their own chances and Isco’s fierce shot in the 65th-minute brought a terrific diving parry from Weidenfeller. Then seconds later Toulalan smacked a long-range drive into the arms of the visiting keeper.
So we head back to Germany all square with both teams feeling that they have a great chance to advance to the Champions League semi-finals.
Photo Credit: @ChristianMcr Some outstanding banner artwork by the Malaka Hinchas and Frente Bokeron tonight.