BV Borussia Dortmund overcame Lille OSC on away goals in the UEFA Cup fourth round.
BV Borussia Dortmund 0-0 Lille OSC (Agg: 1-1 - Dortmund win on away goals)
Dogged Dortmund did enough to earn a last-eight tie with Czech side FC Slovan Liberec, but coach Matthias Sammer was convinced by his side's display. After watching his side pick up three yellow cards in a frantic finale, he said: "It was not a good game. The longer it went on the more nervous we became. All in all we're happy, but we have to improve enormously." Although they had suffered their first defeat in 16 games last weekend - a demoralising 4-0 reverse at the hands of Bayer 04 Leverkusen - Dortmund began brightly and had three good chances inside the opening 15 minutes.
First Marcio Amoroso's shot was blocked by LOSC goalkeeper Grégory Wimbée and, as Dortmund surged forward in numbers, a chance opened up for Evanilson, but he dragged his shot wide from 12 metres out. Then Wimbée was at full stretch low to his right to keep out Dede's fizzing free-kick, before watching Evanilson's cross-cum-shot sail over his head but bounce to safety off the top of the crossbar.
It took 28 minutes for LOSC to mount an attack - Mile Sterjovski flashing a shot across Jens Lehmann's goal - but four minutes later Dortmund captain Stefan Reuter started a move which led to Ewerthon skipping through the LOSC defence and only being denied by Wimbée's brave goalkeeping at the striker's feet.
Dortmund's best chance came three minutes before half-time. Christian Wörns, who recovered from a bout of flu to play, delivered a cross towards the far post where Marcio Amoroso chested the ball down and pushed it past the covering LOSC defender. But as Wimbée raced off his line to close him down, Amoroso lifted his shot over the crossbar.
Plan of attack
LOSC had been under pressure for much of the first half, but seemed a different side after the interval. Coach Vahid Halilhodzic said: "Strategically we always intended to let Dortmund dominate the first half - and we set out to create plenty of opportunities after half-time." Knowing they needed at least a goal to keep their hopes alive, the visitors duly attacked relentlessly but took a further 25 minutes to create any clear-cut opportunities. The turning point was the 71st-minute substitution of Bruno Cheyrou for Salaheddine Bassir, the striker whose stunning volley found the net for LOSC in the first leg.
Reina to the rescue
Bassir almost repeated the feat with his very first touch, sending Sterjovski's corner goalwards with a flicked header but watching Dortmund replacement Giuseppe Reina divert the ball wide of the post. From the ensuing corner, Reina came to the rescue for Dortmund again, this time clearing Pascal Cygan's powerful drive off the goalline.
'Need for practice'
Reina could have scored himself seven minutes from time. He tried to tuck a close-range effort inside Wimbée's far post but the goalkeeper denied him with a smart stop. He said afterwards: "With that missed chance my shape was lacking, I need more match practice." A minute later LOSC forced one last effort. Johnny Ecker's 35-metre free-kick ricocheted off the Dortmund wall straight to the feet of substitute Djezon Boutoille, who had time and space to pick his spot in the Dortmund goal from the left-hand side of the area, but arrowed his shot agonisingly wide of the far post.
'We really had to fight'
Reuter was counting his blessings after the final whistle. "The 0-0 draw was painful - LOSC were always going to throw everything at us in the second half," he said. "We really had to fight for it. As for the quarter-finals, we know where Liberec is thanks to Tomáš [Rosicky] and Jan [Köller] and we want to go through."