Champions League semi-final first leg between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid: Live Blog

champion-league-semi-finalWESTFALENSTADION/LONDON: WELCOME to Live Blog on the Champions League semi-final first leg between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid at the Westfalenstadion in the industrial heartland of Germany.

Real are chasing a tenth European title and will have to cope with what promises to be a bear-pit atmosphere in the ground which saw Dortmund receive 500,000 requests for tickets for a stadium whose capacity is nearly 66,000.

LIVE BLOG:

2105 GMT: Real Madrid has no complaints with the heavy defeat.

“”They were the best team by far,” he tells SKY Sports.

“They won every single battle. They were stronger, mentally tougher, they were more aggressive. They fully deserved the victory,” a humble Mourinho says.

2100 GMT: Dortmund striker Lewandowski will catch all the headlines after a virtuoso display in front of the Dortmund fans, but tries to remain calm after the performance of his career.

“I’m happy to have scored four goals, but obviously the big picture is reaching the final and that’s the only thing that counts,” he says.

“Real played well in the first half but we had things under control in the second half,” he adds.

2059 GMT: Anyone who still doubts that Spanish football hasn’t passed the baton to their German counterparts need only at the aggregate scoreline from the two semi-finals: La Liga 1, Bundesliga 8.

2055 GMT: Ramos is all too aware of the challenge which faces Madrid and cannot hide his disappointment.

“We were lacking in attitude and I point to myself first when I say that,” he says.

“It will be very difficult in the return leg at home but we must remain confident and try to react.

“When the draw for the semi-finals was made a lot of people thought this was going to be easy for us but this is a German team we are talking about; they are a great side,” he says.

2054 GMT: Mourinho will be shell-shocked by that mauling, which is his worst ever defeat in the Champions League.

2053 GMT: Former Liverpool captain Graeme Souness is willing to join the debate on Lewandowski.

He [Lewandowski] is “an old fashioned centre forward, who can play with his back to goal. He will be an asset to any side,” Souness tells SKY Sports.

2150 GMT: In the TV studio, former Dutch forward Ruud Guillut is full of praise for Lewandowski, but refuses to compare him to his former teammate Marco Van Basten.

“I really liked the third goal, the touch and the control is a phenomenal goal. I love that goal,” he gushes to SKY Sports.

2148 GMT: The two semi finals have felt like a changing off the guard, as the Spanish-brand of possession football passes the baton to the controlled aggression of the Bundesliga.

2141 GMT: The Dortmund players walk over to thank their supporters, who show their appreciation for their heroes after a classy display that will have made Bayern sit up and take notice.

The two Bundesliga sides look to have one foot in the final at Wembley, as they showed ruthless efficiency in brushing aside their Spanish opponents.

FULL TIME: Huge roar inside the stadium as the ref blows his whistle.

90 + 3 mins: Real earn a late corner and Varane nearly trims the deficit as his shot whistles wide of the upright

90 + 2 mins: Ramos is booked for a rash foul on Bender.

90 + 1 mins: UEFA has released a few stats and they make for interesting reading…

They show that Real had the lion’s share of possession but Dortmund have had 11 shots on target

90 mins: There will be four minutes of added time.

89 mins: Ronaldo nearly adds a second as he lunges in to reach a loose ball in the penalty area but Weidenfeller charges off his line to smother the shot.

88 mins: Real can offer nothing in attack and Ronaldo has been reduced to chasing after long balls.

85 mins:All the intensity has been taken out of this match in the last few minutes as both teams seem resigned to the scoreline.

83 mins: Goetze gets a standing ovation from the Dortmund fans as he makes way for Piszczek.

82 mins: Klopp makes his first change and Kehl comes on for Blaszczykowski.

81 mins: Dortmund look a goal threat every time they cross the half-way line, and take a well earned break as play is stopped after Blaszczykowski is knocked off his feet by Khedira.

80 mins: Mourinho makes his final throw of the dice and Kaka comes on for the ineffective Alonso.

78 mins: Great effort from Lewandowski as he tries his luck from long-range and draws an acrobatic save from Valdes.

76 mins: Real are showing a bit more urgency but have less than 15 minutes to claw their way back into this match.

74 mins: Real enjoy a long spell of possession but Hummels marshalls the Dortmund rearguard with great aplomb and Madrid find no way through a crowded penalty area.

71 mins: Several English Premier League sides have been linked with Lewandowski, after tonight’s performance Dortmund will be asked to name their own price as he has really caught the eye tonight with a clinical display in front of goal.

70 mins: Lewandowski is shown a yellow card for bringing down Ramos.

68 mins: Mourinho makes two quick substitutions, with Modric and Higuain being replaced by Benzema and Di Maria.

A goal for Real will lessen the pain of defeat and mean they only need to win 2-0 in Madrid.

66 mins: GOAL! Borussia Dortmund 4, Real Madrid 1

Lewandowski steps forward and puts his laces through the ball as he drills it into the middle of the net. Four goals in one match against Real!

66 mins: PENALTY!

Alonso gets on the wrong side of Reus and hauls him down inside the area. The referee waves to the spot.

64 mins:Ozil is hacked down by Schmeizer but is booked after waving an imaginary card at the referee, who earns some polite applause from the referee.

62 mins: Real have really struggled today, and Mourinho knows his players mustn’t concede a fourth goal which would surely put the tie out of their reach.

60 mins: Real have once again been rocked on their heels as Dortmund show that their two previous matches — where they controlled the matches — were no fluke.

57 mins: Modric is given a bit too much space and he lines up a shot which Weidenfeller gratefully stops before cradling the ball.

56 mins: Real are on the end of a beating as severe as the one that Bayern laid on Barcelona on Tuesday.

Mourinho paces up and down the touchline, shaking his head.

55 mins: GOAL! Borussia Dortmund 3, Real Madrid 1.

Fantastic strike from Lewandowski, who showed great touch

53 mins: Khedira is booked for a reckless tackle on Reus which was right in front of the referee.

50 mins: GOAL! Borussia Dortmund 2, Real Madrid 1

Lewandowski adds a second goal, Real thought he was offside and now its their turn to launch a furious appeal.

Reus attempts a shot which bounces into the path of the Polish striker, who swivels clear of Varana to poke the balll past Valdes. TV replays show that he was played on by Varane. The Polish striker might have added a few million to any future transfer.

49 mins: Valdes rises above Lewandowski to clear a corner. The keeper spots Ozil in acres of space but Hummels hoofs the ball clear

47 mins: Ramos raises a leg and upends Reus as they both try to reach a loose ball. The ref comes over but chooses not to book Ramos for his high tackle.

46 mins: Dortmund get the second half under way and know that Reus has been a menace for Real who cannot live with his pace and movement.

1945 GMT: The Dortmund players have a huge cheer as they come out for the second half.

1939 GMT: TV replays are showing the costly mistake by Hummels in the build-up to Real’s goal.

The defender fails to deal with a high ball and mistimes a back pass to his keeper which Higuain intercepts before feeding the ball back for Ronaldo to sweep home from close range.

1938 GMT: The angry home fans are directing their anger at the Dutch referee, AFP’s Ryland James says.

“Atmosphere here has turned hostile towards the ref after Reus’ penalty appeal was turned down, just moments before Ronaldo scored,” he says.

“Referee Bjoern Kuipers has won himself few friends amongst Borussia fans and won’t be getting any Christmas cards with a Dortmund postmark. The Dutchman walked off to a chorus of whistles,” he adds.

1932 GMT: Dortmund paid a heavy price in those 40 seconds between the cast-iron penalty appeal and Real’s equaliser.

The Dortmund fans must be wondering what they need to do to get a decision go their way…

HALF-TIME: All square at half-time, and Dortmund fans must be wondering how they aren’t ahead by a few more goals.

45 mins: The fourth official signals there will a minute of added time.

44 mins Dortmund lost concentration and they were punished by Ronaldo who had a simple tap-in after Higuain robs Hummels and passes the ball back to an unmarked Ronaldo.

43 mins: GOAL! Borussia Dortmund 1, Real Madrid 1

Ronaldo scores a simple tap-in after Higuain capitalises on a terrible mistake by Hummel and he unselfishley

Ronaldo scores an equaliser against the run of play

42 mins: Dortmud think they have won a penalty as Reus is brought down inside the area by Varane. It looked like a nailed on penalty but the ref waves play on and Real launch a quick counter-attack…

40 mins: Alonso has his shooting boots on and takes aim from the edge of the area but his fizzing shot is blocked by Reus.

39 mins: It has been a good spell from Real, as they’ve slowed the game down knowing they cannot compete with Dortmund in a footrace.

35 mins: Higuain tries prise open the Dortmund defence as he side-steps a challenge and tries to release Ronaldo but he overhits his pass and the Dortmund defenders escort the ball out of play.

34 mins: Dormund scream for a penalty as Lewandowski goes down in the box, but the ref disagrees and Real — who are in complete disarray at the back — get the ball away.

32 mins: Dortmund nearly double their lead as the lightning-quick Blaszczykowski zooms past Coentrao and heads into acres of space.

Real’s defence have gone AWOL and Higuain has to dive in fron of his goal-bound shot.

30 mins: Real look really short of ideas and have resorted to peppering the Dortmund area with so long balls its beginning to resemble an artillery range.

The Dortmund keeper charges off his line and punches the ball clear.

28 mins: Howls of disapproval from the home fans as Ronaldo clatters into the Dortmund keeper as he tries to reach a deep free-kick.

27 mins: Subotic has to be alert as he clears a cross just as Ronaldo was waiting to pounce.

26 mins: Gundogan wins a free-kick and tries to emulate Ronaldo but his effort draws sniggers from the crowd as it flies into row Z.

24 mins: First real chance from Madrid, who earn a free-kick 30 yards from Dortmund’s goal. Ronaldo waves his teammates aside and hits a stinging shot which the goalie has to beat away. great effort from Ronaldo.

20 mins: Ronaldo hasn’t been a factor so far in this game and shows his disapproval when another move breaks down.

18 mins: Dortmund are unable to maintain the breakneck pace and the game has started to settle down, giving Real enough to catch their breath.

Alonso takes advantage of the slower tempo to try to free Modric but Hummels spots the danger and boots the ball away.

Real Madrid's goalkeeper Diego Lopez celebrates his team's equaliser against Borussia Dortmund

Real Madrid’s goalkeeper Diego Lopez celebrates his team’s equaliser against Borussia Dortmund

16 mins: Gundogan collapses under the weight of a hefty clash with Khedira, but dusts himself down and is OK to continue..

14 mins: Real think they have won a free-kick as Modric is bundled over on the edge of the area, but the referee waves play on.

13 mins: Mourinho is clearly worried by what he is seeing and storms out of his dugout to bellow some instructions to his shell-shocked players.

11 mins: Real haven’t manage to muster a shot and are struggling to overcome Dortmund’s fabled counter-pressing style.

10 mins: Real are shell-shocked as they have been blitzed and not live with the speed of their opponents.

8 mins: GOAL! Borussia 1, Real Madrid 0

Lewandowski makes no mistake as he stabs the ball into the net from close range after an inviting cross Gotze.

7 mins: First real opening falls to Dortmund, as Khederia is dispossessed by Blaszczykowski, who passes the ball into the path of Reus.

The German international hits a fizzing shot and Valdes has to be at full stretch to palm the ball away. The ball falls toward Lewandoski but he cannot get a shot on target.

4 mins: Dortmund haven’t lost a Champions League for 16 months, and you see why as a posse of players swarm around Khederia and draw a foul from the snarling Madrid midfielder.

2 mins: Ronaldo probes for an early opening but Hummels hooks the ball clear…composed play by the former Bayern defender..

KICK-OFF: A huge roar from the stadium as Real wearing their traditional white strip get the match under way.
1843 GMT: “Champions League anthem starts up as the teams come out, the hairs on the back of the neck are up,” Ryland James reports.

“Can Dortmund make the advantage count and maintain their winning record at home in Europe this season?” he adds.

1842 GMT: The stadium erupts in a giant wave of yellow flags and confetti as the sides walk onto the pitch, tremendous atmosphere!

Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski1835 GMT: Some more info on the starting line-ups as we approach kick-off…

Felipe Santana, who scored the winning goal in Dortmund’s dramatic 3-2 quarter-final win over Malaga, had to make do with a place on the bench as Mats Hummels returns at the heart of the defence.

Defensive midfielder Sven Bender comes in for Sebastian Kehl, who has a foot injury, with goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller taking over the captaincy.

Higuain is Real’s lone striker with Karim Benzema on the bench, while Luka Modric starts in midfield

1833 GMT: My AFP colleague Ryland James is pitchside and says Dortmund have really cranked up the volume inside the stadium.

“Great atmosphere in Dortmund,” he tells me. “Borussia have just gone in after warming up and Goezte was out having a kick around, 24 hours after the news broke of his transfer to arch rivals Bayern Munich next season. Will be interesting to hear the crowd reaction when the teams are read out.”

1832 GMT: What is lost in all the chatter about Real’s ‘Decima’ is that Dortmund are themselves eyeing a second European Cup title, 16 years after beating Juventus to win in 1997.

1831 GMT: Dortmund have urged supporters to show their support for the club after some fans were scathing over the imminent sale of Goetze to Bayern.

“This [the match against Real Madrid] is too big for us to concern ourselves with any other issue,” Klopp said on the eve of the match, as he reminded supporters that the club is more important than any single player.

“If anybody doesn’t manage to realise how much effort has gone into getting us to where we are then maybe they should not bother turning up,” he fumed.

“Leave the negative thoughts at home, come her and give everything you’ve got, and let us beat Real Madrid,” Klopp said as he tried to hide his disappointment.

1830 GMT: The German press have been gloating at the way Bayern manhandled Barcelona on Tuesday, with the influential football weekly ‘Kicker’ saying the Bavarians had “slapped down Barca” and could already book their place in the final at London’s Wembley Stadium on May 25.

Will they be joined by Dortmund, or will Real re-establish Spanish hegemony as they seek a tenth European title?

Dortmund supporters cheer prior to the UEFA Champions League semi final first leg against Real Madrid

Dortmund supporters cheer prior to the UEFA Champions League semi final first leg against Real Madrid

1829 GMT: A little more on Real’s quest for a 10th European Cup triumph, known as the Decima.

“When I came to Madrid, everyone was talking about Decima. Since I didn’t speak Spanish, I didn’t know what they were talking about,” said midfielder Sami Khedira, in his third season at Real.

“It took me a while to understand, but at Madrid, the Decima is everything,” he said.

1827 GMT: French defender Raphael Varane is aware that Real need to contain Dortmund’s counter-attacking instincts as well as the Germans’ counter-pressing game.

“They have not reached the semi finals by chance, we saw in the group phase that they have a quality squad. We will need to be strong and play very well,” he said on the eve of the match.

“It’s true that they are a team who switch into attack very fast, they love attacking.”

1826 GMT: Real crashed out to Bayern Munich on penalties at the semi-final stage last season, and Mourinho will be determined to go one stage further as he chases his third Champions League title.

His two previous triumphs came with Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan in 2010

1825 GMT: Klopp certainly isn’t short of confidence and doesn’t seem fazed or daunted by the semi-final encounter.

The 45-year-old coach insists his team will dictate play and will not alter their high-tempo counter-attacking style.

“Real Madrid will not make us change our style of play,” he told the Spanish sports daily Marca on Monday

“I don’t try to copy anybody, I’m Klopp. I’m at a great club, I have fantastic players and a fantastic coaching team,” he said.

1823 GMT: Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo is the top marksman in this year’s competition.

The Portugal forward has already netted 11 goals in this year’s campaign. He needs three more goals to match Messi’s all-time record of 14 in one season.

1817 GMT: Klopp guided Dortmund to two successive Bundesliga titles but this season has seen his side languish behind the Bavarian side.

He will be determined to reach the final and scupper Bayern’s bid to become the first German side to clinch a historic treble of league, cup and European titles.

1816 GMT: Real Madrid have certainly tightened up their defence since these sides met in the group stages.

Real geared up for this encounter with a 3-1 win over Real Betis on Saturday.

1814 GMT: Dortmund fans are known for their fervent and passionate support for their side…but sometimes that can go too far!

German police had to intervene to restore order when brawls broke out as fans tried to jump the queue as the remaining semi-final tickets went on sale last week.

1812 GMT: The starting line-ups:

Borussia Dortmund (GER)
Roman Weidenfeller (c); Lukasz Piszczek, Neven Subotic, Mats Hummels, Marcel Schmelzer; Sven Bender, Ilkay Gundogan; Jakub Blaszczykowski, Mario Goetze, Marco Reus; Robert Lewandowski.
Coach: Juergen Klopp

Real Madrid (ESP)
Diego Lopez; Sergio Ramos (c), Raphael Varane, Pepe, Fabio Coentrao; Sami Khedira, Xabi Alonso; Mesut Ozil, Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo; Gonzalo Higuain
Manager: Jose Mourinho (POR)

Referee: Bjoern Kuipers (NED)

The Dortmund fanbase suffered a psychological blow on the eve of the game when it was revealed that playmaker Mario Goetze would be joining the newly-crowned Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich after they agreed to trigger his release clause and pay 38 million euros for the jet-heeled midfielder.

Jurgen Klopp’s Dortmund are the only unbeaten side in this year’s competition and took four points off Real in the group stages.

Dortmund beat Jose Mourinho’s side 2-1 at the Westfalenstadion in the group stages in October before slipping to a 2-2 draw at the Bernabau after a last-gasp equaliser from Mesut Ozil in November.

The ‘Die Schwarzgelben’ (the Black-Yellows) are seeking a hat-trick of home victories against Spanish league sides after their dramatic 3-2 quarter-final, second-leg win over Malaga.

Real have suffered three semi-final defeats since last winning the trophy in 2002, but Mourinho is confident ‘Los Blancos’ (the Whites) will reach a record 13th final.

Kick-off is less than an hour away at 1845 GMT (1945 BST) so stay with us for all the action as it unfolds in Dortmund.

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