Pellegrini: Tie is wide open

Manuel Pellegrini was left upbeat for Malaga’s chances of Champions League progression, after drawing with Borussia Dortmund.

The Anchovies successfully shut out the Germans in the first leg quarter-final on Wednesday evening to record a 0-0 result to take over to Dortmund for next week.

“We could have scored from two clear goal opportunities in the first half, even though they also had several chances,” mused Pellegrini, of the Germans’ greater opportunities to break the deadlock.

“If we can score in the second leg, then a draw will secure us a win. 

“Beginning a two-match tie at home always increases tension, and the need to focus on the attack and score. 

“However we didn’t concede any goals tonight, meaning Borussia now have that problem. The result is absolutely wide open.

“It was a great match tonight, with impressive action by both teams. We knew we were up against a tough team, who has scored numerous goals in past Champions League matches, so we had to focus on playing a very balanced game. 

“In next week’s match, Borussia will be concentrating on making sure we don’t get an away goal. 

“It was difficult playing at home in the first leg against such a strong attack, but it was crucial that we didn’t concede any goals, and we maintained an intense game play throughout, not just in defence, but upfront as well.

“In the return leg we’ll hopefully be able to create enough space in order to score and get through to the semi-finals.”

Malaga are the first team to stop Dortmund scoring in the Champions League this season.

“We’ve always scored in all our Champions matches too, apart from the first leg against Porto. 

“Our defence is very tight, although I think it’s of some concern that Weligton and Iturra won’t be playing in the second leg.”

Tags Borussia Dortmund Pellegrini