Real Madrid CF reached the last four of the UEFA Champions League for the fourth season running despite a 2-0 quarter-final second-leg defeat by Borussia Dortmund.
With the injured Cristiano Ronaldo watching helplessly from the bench, Carlo Ancelotti's men looked in serious danger of relinquishing their three-goal first-leg advantage as Marco Reus struck twice in a frantic opening period. However, Madrid – beaten twice in Dortmund last term – withstood the German side's second-half pressure to eliminate the 2012/13 finalists 3-2 on aggregate.
Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp had clearly instructed his charges to enjoy themselves in potentially their last game in the competition this season, and they did just that. Roared on by the famous Yellow Wall, the hosts worked the ball out well from defence but lacked the necessary incisiveness further up the pitch.
Their failure to score early on was very nearly punished on 17 minutes as Łukasz Piszczek was penalised for a hand ball in the box. Roman Weidenfeller dived to his left to block Ángel Di María's spot kick, though, and the thunderous cheer which reverberated around the stadium reinvigorated the Bundesliga team.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan was the first to go close for Borussia when he side-footed just wide following good work from Robert Lewandowski and Reus. It was the latter who broke the deadlock on 24 minutes, pouncing on Pepe's backward header before skipping past Iker Casillas and threading beyond the scrambling Sergio Ramos.
Sensing an opportunity, Dortmund soon created another opening as Mats Hummels powered a header goalwards from Reus's free-kick. Casillas got two firm hands behind it, but he was helpless again five minutes later as Reus capitalised on another loose ball in midfield, rolling left for Lewandowski whose finish came back off the far post before Reus followed up to smash high into the net.
As Madrid attempted to match Dortmund's tempo after the restart, Gareth Bale brought a rare save from Weidenfeller, but from there BVB peppered their visitors' goal with chances. Mkhitaryan spurned a fantastic opportunity to level the tie on aggregate, rounding Casillas only to plant his finish against the post with the goal beckoning.
It was Casillas who proved the Liga side's hero as he showed quick reactions to repel another Mkhitaryan effort and again moments later to deny Kevin Grosskreutz as the Blancos kept their Décima dream alive.
©UEFA.com 1998-2011. All rights reserved.