Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Dortmund Prove Real Deal

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In the end Real Madrid ran out of ideas, Jose Mourinho could not find a system to penetrate Borussia Dortmund and the visitors controlled the return leg in Madrid until ten minutes from time. In effect the tie was done and dusted in Dortmund a week ago with a 4-1 deficit just too much for Madrid to reverse against a German team that are well worth their place in the final. And playing a system over four matches this season that ran the Spanish team ragged – even playing away from home – with so many chances they could have been leading 0- 5 after the first half in Madrid on Tuesday night. How Robert Lewandowski did not score on two occasions still baffles. With two other magnificent point blank saves from goalkeeper Diego Lopez almost laid the foundation for a mythical comeback when Real scored the two late goals,

On a night with a rarefied atmosphere the home team set off their game plan from the kick-off and squeezed the Borussia from all sides. Indeed were unlucky not to get at least one goal for their efforts. But as the game progressed Juergen Klopp’s ebullient group of players took charge more and more, stretching Madrid on a couple occasions. They highlighted where Mourinho has failed with the Madrid project, as his team still lack coherence so typical of previous teams. 

All so evident with Inter Milan in their triple winning season in 2010, and at Chelsea in 2005. The defensive systems that characterise his natural instinct about the game as at Madrid there was no Zanetti, Lucio, Samuel and Brazilian Maicon. It showed at Champions league level when the back four has varied between Pepe and Sergio Ramos. Having lost his reliable warhorse Carvalho to ravages of age, Mourinho has been find his loyal replacement.

The added dressing room disquiet with keeper Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos has not helped wither. But such is the Mourinho way.

On the night it was Varanne who looked the most promising for the future. Although Jon Oki Mikel was more than workman like down the right flank. But by the end of the game was flat out on his feet having chased and harried all night long. His distribution at times suspect but delivering a better job than Ramos in the first leg when he was right full.

Overall Madrid lived off their luck with many chances going a begging for Dortmund with Madrid finding it hard to reach the target with only a few shots on goal as the game wore on. By half time Borussia knew it was only 45 minutes before they reached their rightful place at Wembley on May 25th. 

For Madrid it looks like a future with Mourinho who displayed his usual lack of tact in the post-match press conference, which has made him a target of certain sectors of the Spanish sports press for three years. On the positive side the Special One has stabilised the fortunes of Madrid with a La Liga title, one Copa Del Rey, and a second final in the next few week. Not forgetting three consecutive semi-finals in the Champions Leagues which the club had not achieved in ten years.

Not totally special. Not a bad run for Real Madrid. All at a cost of over 200 million Euro.

If Jose leaves though he does so without making history and winning his third Champions League title with a third club.

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