NEWS
Tuesday April 30 2013
Madrid fail in La Decima bid

Goals from Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos were not enough for Real Madrid as they won 2-0 on the night, but lost 4-3 on aggregate to Borussia Dortmund.

Cristiano Ronaldo took his place in the starting XI despite suffering with a thigh injury at the weekend, whilst Luka Modric and Michael Essien were also named in the Blancos side as they looked to overturn a 4-1 deficit from the first leg. Jurgen Klopp’s men meanwhile, were at full-strength for the trip to the Bernabeu.

It was the hosts however, who started the brighter of the two teams. Jose Mourinho’s men were playing with a great intent and intensity – and it wasn’t long before they had the opening opportunity of the match. A good pass from Mesut Ozil found Gonzalo Higuain inside the area, but the Argentine striker could only fire his shot into the body of Roman Weidenfeller.

The Santiago Bernabeu boys were really in their stride, and could have opened the scoring on two more occasions swiftly after that. Ronaldo fired at the goalkeeper from close-range on 10 minutes, and moments later, Ozil struck a shot wide of the post with the goal at his mercy.

Slowly however, the Bundesliga side started to settle into the match and began to try and punish the home team on the break. Marco Reus was given far too much time and almost laid in Lewandowski, but the Polish striker couldn’t beat Diego Lopez with his effort.

In a truly end-to-end denouement to the first half, both teams were playing out a classy midfield battle, but the pair of them held out defensively to go into the break level.

After the interval, it was the visitors who almost got the scoring underway within the first five minutes. Another slipped ball from Reus found Lewandowski, but Madrid’s scourge last week could only hit the underside of the bar this time.

 Things were getting desperate now for Los Blancos and as such, they were leaving an awful lot of room in behind for the away team to exploit. Reus was causing havoc with his pace and movement, and it was the former Borussia Monchengladbach man who teed up Ilkay Gundogan on the hour, but the young Germany international rifled a shot straight at Diego Lopez.

The Liga giants were still creating opportunities, despite their defensive issues. Ronaldo top-poked a shot from the edge of the area just after the hour, and Kaka flicked a cross goalwards – but the ball was just not going in for Mourinho’s men.

With seven minutes remaining though, it finally did. A cross from Ozil found Benzema, and the France international tapped in from close-range to give the Bernabeu faithful some hope.

The hosts were really buzzing now, and with stoppage time just around the corner, they miraculously doubled their lead. Benzema pulled the ball back to Sergio Ramos from the byline, and the Spain international rifled into the roof of the net from eight yards out.

It ultimately wasn’t enough however, as Madrid failed to reach the final on aggregate.

Real Madrid 2-0 Borussia Dortmund

Scorers: Benzema 83 (RM), Sergio Ramos 89 (RM)

Real Madrid: Diego Lopez, Essien, Ramos, Varane, Coentrao (Kaka 57); Xabi Alonso (Khedira 67), Modric; Di María, Özil, Cristiano Ronaldo, Higuaín (Benzema 57)

Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller; Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer; Bender (Santana 90), Gundogan; Gotze (Grosskreutz 14), Reus, Blaszczykowski; Lewandowski (Kehl 87)

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