Jürgen Klopp has labelled his side as “mentality monsters” before but never has it rung so true after Tuesday night’s turnaround at Signal Iduna Park. In the space of 68 stoppage time seconds, Borussia Dortmund went from facing a painful exit to glorious victors.
So they had an offside call go for them but equally they had one that went against them – in this case, two wrongs made a right for anyone of a black and yellow persuasion. That die Schwarzgelben had missed so many presentable opportunities prior to their late flurry meant the feeling at the end for many would have in part been relief.
Yet if part was relief, then the rest was joy.
It’s not even the first time Dortmund have had spring madness at Signal Iduna Park. It was around this time last year that BVB had a crazy 4-4 draw with Stuttgart with six goals in the final 19 minutes. On that occasion, Jürgen Klopp’s side let the initiative slip with a certain Julian Schieber scoring twice for VfB.
But, on Tuesday, Borussia became the first side to win a Champions League game in stoppage time since Manchester United’s historic comeback in the 1999 final. Klopp admitted after the win that it felt like his side had won the trophy. And even if Dortmund haven’t had their best season domestically, their focus on Europe looks to have paid off, just.
The goal scoring hero of the night was Felipe Santana. He may be the third best centre back at the club and unlikely to play again in the competition unless Mats Hummels or Neven Subotic pick up an injury. Still, his role in what is looking like an historic campaign for Dortmund will surely not be forgotten. His positioning for Malaga’s second goal, regardless of it being offside, was poor but the word redemption doesn’t justify what he did just over ten minutes later.
It wasn’t as majestic as Dortmund’s first goal scored by Robert Lewandowski but it was as ably assisted by Marco Reus. “Rolls Reus” showed a delicate touch to set up the first contrasting with the raw desperation he drove the ball back across goal with for the winner; not to forget the equaliser he scored just over a minute earlier. Shinji Kagawa may have moved on last summer but in Reus, Dortmund could have surely not acquired a better replacement.
The next few weeks will be intriguing for die Schwarzgelben – they are all but assured of a place in next year’s Champions League, so there’ll only be one focus for the rest of this season. As the Yellow Wall suggested prior to kick off, Dortmund’s binoculars are set on the trophy. With Hummels still to return to the starting line up, BVB will go into the semi final with confidence – no matter who they should be drawn against on Friday after their timely revival.
Malaga must be mentioned for the role they played. Their fans at the end acted with good grace, even if the club’s president didn’t quite match his supporters gesture on Twitter. Yet having finally broken down the blue and white wall, it was a sight to behold seeing the Borussia Dortmund players leap gleefully into their very own wall after the craziest of comebacks.
Originally written at Gone With The Rhind
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