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Dortmund playing it calm for visit of Zenit

Published: Tuesday 18 March 2014, 19.44CET
Though Borussia Dortmund hold a 4-2 lead over soon-to-be André Villas-Boas's FC Zenit side, Jürgen Klopp is determined his team treat the second leg like a "normal game".
by Steffen Potter
from Dortmund
Published: Tuesday 18 March 2014, 19.44CET

Dortmund playing it calm for visit of Zenit

Though Borussia Dortmund hold a 4-2 lead over soon-to-be André Villas-Boas's FC Zenit side, Jürgen Klopp is determined his team treat the second leg like a "normal game".

Borussia Dortmund host FC Zenit in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie in "nothing more" than a "good position" following a 4-2 victory in Russia three weeks ago.

That is the view of Schwarzgelben coach Jürgen Klopp, who is not entertaining any thoughts that his side, runners-up last season, are all but through to the quarter-finals.

His opposite number, Sergei Semak, will take charge of Zenit for the second and last time before André Villas-Boas is formally presented as Luciano Spalletti's successor on Thursday. Conceding that the Russian team "do not have much chance" of progressing, Semak is first and foremost concerned with the visitors turning in a good performance in pursuit of just their second European win since the start of the group stage.

Dortmund
Jürgen Klopp, coach

Ideally, we will play this like the second half of a normal game. We have been able to accumulate a bit of experience in the Champions League knockout stage.

We put ourselves in a good position for the return leg [with our display in St Petersburg] – nothing more, nothing less. We will not risk a lot, but just going out to defend our lead would be a bit stupid as well, so we will make it a normal game.

We have reached our goals in the Champions League by getting out of the group stage. Everything that happens from now on is a bonus for the club and there would not be a gaping hole in our budget should we go out.

That is different in the Bundesliga. There our goal is clearly to qualify for the Champions League again. We are on our way to doing so. Some observers may think differently, but we are well on track. You have to get the maximum out of any competition you are in and treat them differently.

Weekend result
Saturday: Dortmund 1-2 VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach (Jojić 77; Raffael 31, Kruse 40)

Weidenfeller; Piszczek (Ducksch 67), Papastathopoulos, Hummels, Schmelzer; Kehl (Jojić 63), Şahin; Aubameyang (Schieber 82), Hofmann, Grosskreutz; Lewandowski.

• Second-placed Dortmund suffered their fourth Bundesliga home loss of the season. The visitors played the last 21 minutes with ten men.

Team news
Sven Bender sustained a groin injury on 22 February and could be out for ten weeks. Marco Reus, who has missed the last two games with a muscular problem, is "feeling well" but will not be in the squad. "He could run today, he has no pain, but he could not participate in full team training," said Klopp.

Zenit
Sergei Semak, interim coach
We all love football. Anything is possible in football. Of course, we do not have much chance. Tomorrow we are up against one of the best sides in Europe, even the world. It will be important for us to put in a good performance.

BVB have a very strong side and I don't think I have to explain how they go about their football. They are very strong when it comes to attack. For us, it is a new experience to play here and we will surely learn a lot of new things. It is not easy playing against such a team.

We have not had a lot of time to change things. The most important task for me was to bring the team together, to instil a team spirit. We have many great players but I wanted to improve their team spirit, their sense of togetherness. We have real professionals. I want to improve their team spirit and for them to present themselves in the best possible light.

The situation is not easy for me. The result only interests me if it is good enough for a win and to see us through. It is much more important for us to present ourselves in the best possible light, that the team sticks together and we are not feeling sorry for anything afterwards. Only then will we have a chance to turn this [situation] around.

Weekend result
Saturday: PFC CSKA Moskva 1-0 Zenit (Milanov 32)
Lodygin; Hubočan, Anyukov, Smolnikov, Lombaerts; Witsel, Ryazantsev (Zyryanov 82), Fayzulin (Shatov 46), Danny (Kerzhakov 46); Rondón, Hulk.

• Caretaker coach Semak made his managerial bow but was unable to inspire a victory, meaning second-ranked Zenit have just one point in two games since the Premier-Liga resumed.

Team news
Cristian Ansaldi (muscle) and Andrey Arshavin (hamstring) have stayed in Russia. Third-choice goalkeeper Egor Baburin is ruled out by a knee ligament problem.

Match fact
• Zenit have lost all three ties in which they succumbed at home in the first leg, all in the UEFA Cup: against 1. FC Dynamo Dresden in the 1981/82 first round (1-2 home, 1-4 away), VfB Stuttgart in the 1989/90 second round (0-1 home, 0-5 away) and Bologna FC in the 1999/2000 first round (0-3 home, 2-2 away).

Last updated: 06/10/14 11.36CET

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