The Perfect Ten Part 8: Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid (UCL Semi Final 2012-13)

The Perfect Ten Part 8: Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid (UCL Semi Final 2012-13)

Over the years, Dortmund have enjoyed many tussles with the Los Blancos, and while in recent seasons Ronaldo and Co. have come out on top most of the times, this match turned out to be one of the best UCL games and one of the most one-sided games in the German club’s favour.

Jurgen Klopp’s men were handed the worst possible news just a day before the match, as it was confirmed that their young star Mario Gotze would be joining bitter rivals Bayern Munich at the end of the season. But instead of letting this become a distraction, they sensed that it could be their last trophy together and thrashed the Spanish club at the Signal Iduna Park to follow in Bayern’s footsteps who had just destroyed Barcelona the very previous day.

This was a special day for Robert Lewandowski, who single-handedly dismantled a star-studded Madrid side then coached by a certain chap named Jose Mourinho. The events in the match that night were not predicted even by the most daring of betters, as the German club, a lot weaker on paper, ran riot at the Westfalenstadion.

The hosts took the lead in the 8th minute, as they kicked off an entertaining contest in prime fashion. Marco Reus picked up the ball near the half line and embarked on a brilliant run, beating several Madrid players on the way, before squaring the ball up to Diego Lopez, who managed to parry the ball away, only for an irritated Lewandowski to end up on the wrong side of the rebound. However, he made instant amends as he finished a swift move the very next minute and received Gotze’s pass to muscle past his opponents to dive in to make the scores 1-0.

As the half progressed, Madrid became composed on the ball and enjoyed a lot more possession, but clear-cut chances were hard to come by. Ronaldo went closest with a long range free kick which Weidenfeller could only manage to turn around for a corner. The visitors looked like going into the break a goal down, but two events just before half time altered that fate. Raphael Varane clumsily brought down Reus in the penalty area, but the appeals fell on deaf ears as the referee refused to budge. Madrid took advantage of that and ran free of the resulting counter-attack. Hummels looked to have cut short their counter, but his attempted back pass was seized upon by Higuain, who could’ve gone through on goal, but instead chose to square it perfectly for Ronaldo who put the ball into an empty net to go into the break level.

Dortmund began the second half exactly like they began the first, as they regained their lead due to a confusion in the Madrid defence. They called for offside, and Varane’s inattention let Lewa through on goal, who made no mistake as he smashed the ball past Lopez. They scored their third shortly afterwards, as Schmelzer’s shot took a deflection and fell perfectly for Lewandowski yet again, and he completed a sumptuous hat-trick with a marvellous turn and shot into the roof of the net. The visitors had only two goals against them as the first leg appeared to be nearly over, but then Xabi Alonso idiotically shoved Reus down and gifted Dortmund a penalty. Who else was to step up but Lewandowski, who scored his FOURTH of the night to put any Madrid fightback to bed.

The match was really special for the German club, as they had got one over old European rivals, and that too in emphatic fashion against a Mourinho side who rarely conceded goals. But their direct play rewarded them with a comfortable cushion going into the second leg, and even though they lost 2-0 in Madrid, they managed to progress to the Final on aggregate.

The lesser we talk of the final, the better. After a superb European season, Borussia Dortmund unfortunately lost to Bayern in the UCL final that season. However, in every passionate Dortmund fan’s memory that emphatic victory over Madrid in the Semi-Final has sealed a special place.