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Why Borussia Dortmund are the dark horses for this seasons Champions League
Friday’s Champions League draw conjured up mouth-watering ties such as David Beckham’s Paris Saint Germain facing the daunting task of Lionel Messi’s Barcelona. But one tie seemingly slipped under the radar as German giants Borussia Dortmund drew the surprise package of the campaign this season in Malaga. But what are their chances of glory this season?
Labelling Dortmund’s run in to the last eight as tough would be an understatement after being drawn into the ‘group of death’ alongside both Spanish, Dutch and English champions in Real Madrid, Ajax and Manchester City.
However, Die Borussen started brightly picking up a 1-0 victory over Ajax at the Westfalenstadion which was followed by a respectable 1-1 draw against Manchester City at the Etihad.
Jurgen Klopp’s side proved to be no push overs as they defeated Real Madrid 2-1 at home with Cristiano Ronaldo cancelling out Robert Lewandowski’s opener before Marcel Schmelzer moved Dortmund top of Group D.
A 2-2 draw in the reverse fixture against Madrid along with the 4-1 drumming of Ajax and a 1-0 against City saw Dortmund top the group and dumped Ajax and City out.
ROUND OF 16
Dortmund were drew against another dark horse of the competition in Shakhtar Donetsk who had impressed in the groups finishing second behind Juventus and leaving holders Chelsea in the Europa League.
Darijo Srna’s stunning free kick opened the scoring and left the away side in tatters before Lewandowski struck back before half-time. Donetsk substitute Douglas Costa, who has been courted by clubs around Europe, seemed to have secured the first leg for the Ukrainian side before Mats Hummels crashed in a header three minutes from time leaving the tie wide open.
In Germany, Dortmund were sublime and picked their opponents off with ease. Felipe Santana bagged the opener with a bullet header before the impressive Mario Gotze sweeped home a neat finish. Jakub Blaszczykowski rounded off the game leaving Dortmund fearless upon entering the quarter-final draw.
THE KEY MEN
Robert Lewandowski – Striker – 5 goals
Robert Lewandowski has been central to the club’s progression from the group stages and the last 16. The Polish striker is a rumoured target for Sir Alex Ferguson and has impressed greatly in the Europe this season with eight goals including a strike against Real Madrid. The former Lech Poznan man has also netted 24 goals in the Bundesliga this season.
Marco Reus – Striker – 3 goals
Since making his return to Dortmund from Borussia Monchengladbach, Marco Reus has prevailed as one of the signings of the season. Reus has also impressed in the Champions League this season after securing a 1-1 with Manchester City. This was followed by a goal against Ajax and a spectacular volley against Real Madrid in the 2-2 draw.
Mario Gotze – Midfielder – 2 goals
Mario Gotze has been the creative spark of Dortmund’s attack this season in both the Bundesliga and Europe’s most famous competition. Gotze netted against Ajax and a goal against Shakhtar as well as providing four assists in the competitions so far.
THE DARK HORSE
If Dortmund can play the fluid attacking football that has left football fans drooling in the past, they should have no problem overcoming Malaga who themselves have played some entertaining football. If they were to progress, they would be almost guaranteed to face one of the big guns on their way to the final. However, Klopp’s side have already proved that they can rough it with the big boys so don’t be surprised to see them go all the way to Wembley.
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