Champions League, Football

Dortmund vs Atletico: German side complete comeback over Atleti to set up semifinal with PSG

Borussia Dortmund advanced to a tantalising Champions League semi-final matchup with Paris Saint-Germain after defeating Atletico Madrid 4-2 on the night and 5-4 overall.

At a packed Westfalenstadion, trailing 2-1 after the first leg, the hosts had to grab the lead. And they did, thanks to a well-taken goal by Julian Brandt in the 34th minute.

Five minutes later, Ian Maatsen, on loan from Chelsea, doubled Dortmund’s advantage with a beautiful flowing move. However, Diego Simeone’s three half-time substitutions had an instant impact as Atletico hit back in the second half.

The visitors gained momentum after Mats Hummels’ own goal four minutes into the half, and they went ahead on aggregate until substitute Angel Correa levelled the score that evening.

But those two goals only roused the home team, and they were level on aggregate again through a stunning glancing header from Niclas Fullkrug (71), and then they advanced thanks to an equally stunning effort from Marcel Sabitzer (74).

How Dortmund advanced to the Champions League semi-finals vs PSG


Due to an ankle injury, Dortmund’s top scorer from the first leg, Sebastian Haller, was sidelined. Julian Brandt, an accomplished Germany international, started, and made the game-winning move in the first half.

The playmaker received a lofted pass from Hummels in the box and beat Jan Oblak at his near post. The Atleti No. 1 should have done better, but there wasn’t much the ‘keeper could have done about the hosts’ second goal shortly after.

Karim Adeyemi, Sabitzer, and Jadon Sancho were all involved. Maatsen was sent into the box by Sabitzer’s deft pass, and the Dutchman scored a low drive into the far corner to put Dortmund up on aggregate at halftime.

After his team’s lacklustre first-half performance, Simeone made three changes at halftime. These seemed to have an impact as the visitors scored twice in the first twenty minutes of the second half, appearing to gain control of the match.

Hummels first mistakenly extended his leg to deflect Mario Hermoso’s far-post header past Gregor Kobel. Then, after entering the game with a lot of energy, Correa gave his team the lead on the scoreboard with a forceful finish that followed a goalmouth scramble.

After being set up by Sabitzer’s inviting cross, Dortmund rallied to tie the score in the last 20 minutes thanks to two outstanding goals from Fullkrug’s head. The Austrian then scored a spectacular winner from the edge of the area to send the Westfalenstadion into a frenzy and set up a semifinal matchup with PSG, who they had previously faced in the group stage.

Dortmund will meet Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday, April 21.

Also visiting Alaves on Sunday is Atletico Madrid, now ranked fourth in La Liga.

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