At first glance and without any in-depth research it’s tempting to give Dortmund a free pass to the semi-finals however I’m sure Jurgen Klopp will have many a sleepless night waiting for this tie to come around.
Malaga have shown tremendous character not only in the Champions League but in their domestic form. This is a club that has been struggling under the weight of financial uncertainty and yet still fins the will to produce performances of verve and power.
The Spanish playmaker Isco is a wonderful talent who is not afraid to shoot from anywhere while Joaquin and Javier Saviola have been reborn under the careful management of Manuel Pellergrini who in my opinion is one of the world’s best man managers and tacticians. They’ll have to make the home leg count.
Winners in 1997, Dortmund have saved their best for the Champions League especially now that their Bundesliga crown has gone. In Robert Lewandoski they have one of Europe’s top strikers and with rumors persisting that the POle could be on his way this summer, he’ll want to leave the Westfallen on a high. Mario Gotze is also high on the wanted list of Europe’s elite and his guile, imagination and silky skills can open up any back line.
Klopp will be aware that maintaining the team shape throughout both legs will be the key to success.
The game in 100 words (or less): Real Salt Lake stays alive in the hunt for a playoff berth in the Western Conference with a crucial 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids. After falling behind early, RSL scored twice before halftime and held onto the lead for the rest of the match, moving within three points of the final playoff spot in the West. Real Salt Lake has three matches remaining, including a massive clash against the Portland Timbers, which will pretty much decide their season. For Colorado, it’s another year without playoff soccer.
16′ — Doyle heads Colorado into the lead — The former Premier League man gave the home side an early lead, thanks to a powerful header from quite a bit out. Sean St. Ledger played in a cross, where Doyle snapped a header into the top corner past Nick Rimando.
33′ — Joao Plata bends in the free kick — Trailing 1-0, Joao Plata drew RSL level with a brilliant free kick. Plata’s shot dipped over the wall and under the crossbar, as Clint Irwin stood helpless in goal for Colorado.
43′ — Mulholland fires home a volley to put RSL ahead — Luke Mulholland scored his first goal of the season, and it was a beauty. A corner kick popped out to the midfielder at the top of the box, as he rifled a shot off the bounce and into the side netting.
Following the big 3-0 win at the Emirates, Wenger praised his team’s spirit, saying there were outstanding performances throughout the side.
You go from Petr Cech up to Theo Walcott, and we had only outstanding performances. Sometimes we have that magic side in our game.
[Against Olympiacos] maybe we lacked a little bit of urgency and discipline, and that’s why we lost the game. But let’s not forget, last Saturday we won 5-2 at Leicester. Today we beat Man United 3-0.
[The players] have shown that we have an outstanding spirit in the squad. To respond the way we did after what happened to us, you need to have an exceptional spirit.
The Gunners’ performance today immediately silenced all the critics, as Wenger’s side put out on a display that many have been waiting for all season. The combination play of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott was brilliant, as Santi Cazorla continued to impress in the center of the midfield.
Wenger’s teams have not always been known to show strong heart and resiliency, but that’s exactly what they showed today against a Manchester United side that was in great form. Now sitting second on the table, Arsenal continues to climb up the Premier League.