The BVB Stadion in Dortmund was draped with the yellow and black Borussia Dortmund flags. The Bundesliga side stunned their fans and opponents alike with a 4-1 victory over Real Madrid. Polish striker Robert Lewandowski struck all four goals in a ‘was it real’ performance.
He became the first player to score four goals in a UEFA Champions League semi-final game.
The unbelievable result had a lot to do with the approach and attitude of Real Madrid’s star-studded side, apart from a couple of technical errors, that might cost them a place in the final.
There was an inescapable feeling that Real’s players thought they only had to present themselves on the park and walk away with victory. The defence played a rather overconfident game and seemed more intent on their attacking instincts then their primary defensive duties. Goalkeeper Diego Lopez did not help matters by his desire to stay on the line when he ought to have rushed out to intercept crosses that dipped incessantly into the six-yard box.
Had Lopez come out to intercept Mario Gotze’s curling cross that dipped over Pepe into the small box right in front of him, Dortmund might not have taken that early lead. He stayed put and Lewandowski rushed in behind Pepe to tap it past him into the goal. Despite falling into arrears, Real’s approach did not change. They were gifted a goal as Mats Hummels’ feeble back pass was picked up by Gonzalo Higuain who squared for Cristiano Ronaldo to score.
Level now, Real did not shore up their defence nor did they employ a defensive midfielder. Having Germans Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira function wide on the right ill-served their cause. Xabi Alonso, too, wasn’t his performing his normal central midfielder’s role and Real were leaving huge gaps for Dortmund to exploit.
Alonso’s foul on the promising 23-year-old German Marco Reus was the final proof of their pathetic show. Whether Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp outsmarted Real’s Jose Mourinho or not is besides the point. The point is, Real paid a big price for their overconfidence and the refusal to believe that Dortmund could also be more than a handful.