There was a curious sidebar to the meeting of Borussia Dortmund and Malaga in the Champions` League quarter final which clearly illustrated major differences between the two clubs. The German club, fiscally secure and organised, against a La Liga outfit facing a Uefa ban if they did not pay off their outstanding debts.
As far as the football goes Dortmund were at their elegant best in the first leg, until they got to the business end of the pitch. Gotze and Lewandowski squandered chance after chance and despite the quality of Dortmund`s football it was evident from early on that the night would finish scoreless.
Three minutes into the second half came the moment that summed up the night for Dortmund, and their normally deadly striker Lewandwoski. He was in pole position when Reus`s deflected cross reached him on the penalty spot. The international striker `fluffed his lines` is the most polite anyone can be about a dreadful miss.
Come the second leg there surely could not be the same level of profligacy as was displayed in Spain and thankfully there was not. Instead two teams went at it hammer and tongs and produced one of the most memorable of European nights.
Malaga got the best of starts with an early goal from Joaquin who smashed the ball past Weidenfeller for a valuable away goal. The finish was superb but the shimmy that took him inside onto his more favourable left foot which sent half the Dortmund defence the wrong way, was worthy of Phil Bennett at his very best. But Lewnadowski made amends for his first leg profligacy with an equaliser that sent the sides in level at half time, the Pole stabbed home superbly despite the close attention of three defenders to register his 6th goal of the competition.
The score line remained the same until eight minutes from the end of normal time when substitute Eliseu scored the goal that looked like taking Malaga, in their debut season participating in the Champions` League, through to the semi final. Just 12 minutes after coming on the substitute diverted Baptista`s goal bound shot home to put Malaga within touching distance of a place in the last four.
Manuel Pellegrinin who had only just returned from Chile after the death of his father, was to suffer even more heartache as the game went into stoppage time.
Dortmund were not the only unbeaten side left in the competition for nothing and drew on their huge resource of heart when Reus pounced to draw the score level at 2-2. Not enough because of away goals and throwing caution to the winds Dortmund threw everything at Malaga and that approach paid off with 93 minutes showing on the clock.
A goalmouth scramble produced a cross shot from Reus and Santana popped up, three inches from the goal line, to stab the ball home thus making amends for playing Eliseu onside for the second Malaga goal. The result thereby maintained the possibility of an all-German final.
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