Borussia Dortmund – The Last 16

Mario GoetzeDortmund faced a tricky Last 16 first leg away to Shakhtar Donetsk made all the more difficult by a league position that saw them go into the Champions` League away leg a massive 17 points behind Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. To add psychological insult to injury the weekend before Dortmund went to the Ukraine they lost to Bayern in the German cup.

The game began at a high tempo although the earliest highlight, if it could be called that, was a mammoth Reus run up to a free-kick whereby the journey was more remarkable than the arrival as the German Footballer of the Year lifted his weak 30 yard effort into the grateful arms of the goalkeeper.

Mats Hummels had the best chance of the opening spell but planted his eight yard header against the bar when it did seem easier to score than miss.

The remarkable feature of a cut and thrust game was the rare run around Donetsk were subject to on their own pitch. However the Ukrainian side stuck at it and although they grew into the game they still lacked the zip of their opponents.

But who needs zip when you can convert the kind of free-kick Darjo Srna did, just past the half hour. From 25 yards the Shakhtar man whipped a superb curler over the wall and into the goal plumb centre.

Buoyed by their lead Donetsk continued to press Dortmund but it was the visitors who struck next with a rather fortuitous equaliser.

Goetze fired in a cross and Lewandowki produced the kind of fresh air shot that embarrasses players in end of season DVDs. The Pole though may claim it was intentional because both Donestsk centre backs were drawn into a `ghost block` and by the time they realised they had been duped the Dortmund striker had lashed home the equaliser.

On the hour Shakhtar surprisingly replaced the impressive Taison with Costa. Seven minutes later the substitute justified his insertion to put the home side 2-1 up though the defending was not from the German handbook of defensive play.

Both Dortmund centre backs hesitated when a long ball was played towards their goal and Costa, after one superb touch smashed home from 12 yards.

No one, with a German passport could have complained had the score remained 2-1 but with five minutes remaining Hummels made up for a less than convincing evening`s work by heading home to make it 2-2.

Dortmund`s open, free style football was easy on the eye as they completed the job at home. Santana powered home a header to put the German side ahead on aggregate and from there on in, a couple of Donetsk chances apart, it was plain sailing.

Gotze scored the second with a tap in and Jacob Blaszczykowki, in less time than it takes to write his name capitalised on a fumble by the Donetsk goalkeeper Pyatov to complete a 5-2 aggregate win and set up a quarter final with Malaga.

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