Press Review: Real Madrid v. Borussia Dortmund - Plenty To Say About A Thrilling Match In A Finely Poised Group

Dennis Grombkowski

There's plenty to say about a thrilling encounter at the Bernabeu from the press, the players and the managers after the match between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.

The Managers

Jürgen Klopp: Had we not conceded we’d have deserved to win. It’s no small thing to be on the verge of a win against Real Madrid. We were lacking clarity in the second half and it was obvious Real would probably have a break-through. We earned our single point, but might have deserved to win. In the meantime we can be proud. For Roman to have stopped the ball [off Özil’s free kick] he’d have had to have knocked his head in [against the goal-post]. It was unfortunate, and he’s not to blame.

Jose Mourinho: I am not happy, but nothing really happened. We scored three goals. If we come in second in the group that’s a problem for the team that draws us in the next round. Imagine drawing Real Madrid? I’ve won the Champions League twice and both times I was second in the group.

The Players

Sebastian Kehl: We would of course have preferred the three points. We were disappointed directly after the game...In the second half we were under pressure and had a couple of lucky breaks. I’d like to thank our fans, who created a great atmosphere.

Roman Weidenfeller: [The goal] was a stroke of genius from Mesut Özil.

Lukasz Piszczek: It’s a bit of a shame [the draw]. But if you’d said before the two games that we’d take four points against Real Madrid I’d have taken it.

Mario Götze: That goal just before the end was stupid, of course. The 2:1 was my goal and not an own-goal.

Jose Callejón: We deserved the win in the second half...I know it [the goal] wasn’t offside because I could see the left back in line with me.

Pepe: The match was difficult because they are a great team who also like to have the ball. It was an open match and a great spectacle. I don’t think that the result demonstrates how well we did; the second half was all about Real Madrid...Dortmund are also a great team. Everything is still wide open in this group and we have to keep working hard. We have to have confidence in our team.

Alvaro Arbeloa: In Real Madrid the most important thing is winning. If anyone knows what it means to be an academy player, it´s me. It´s precisely because I'm an academy player that I'm more demanding with the team, I want more from them that just showing up for training. Playing for Real Madrid is challenging for everyone and when you´re an academy player you have to give it your all.

Sergio Ramos: It´s a shame to finish on a draw after having been so close on many occasions to ending the game with another goal. Despite the result, the team played progressively better as the match went on. In the second half we employed a more daring approach but it´s unfortunate that we didn't score the goal we deserved. The Santiago Bernabéu stadium and Real Madrid fans will be happy and proud of the what we've achieved.

The Headlines and Press Commentary

Germany

The German press takes a particular and affectionate interest in German National Team player Mesut Özil this morning – who in addition to stealing the draw, has stolen the headlines. The Spanish Liga is not shown in Germany, even by satellite television, so it was one of the few times German viewers have been able to watch him play at Madrid. Also, there is the faint irony of a Gelsenkirchener stealing Dortmund’s thunder, a nuance any Bundesliga fan would be alive to.

Headlines in KICKER: Özil stiehlt der Borussia den Sieg (Özil steals Borussia’s win) and DER SPIEGEL: Özil zerstört den Dortmunder Traum (Özil ruins Dortmund’s dream).

The latter publication continues (again, my translation) -

Robert Lewandowsi looked reverently into the upper stands of the Bernabeu upon entering the stadium. He was holding the hand of a small child; but he looked, in that moment, a little as though he were fulfilling a childhood dream – to be allowed to be play in this infamous arena against Real Madrid.

As shown by this excerpt, a young and relatively inexperienced Dortmund team’s good showing in a difficult venue is the dominant theme in the press this morning.

Spain

The Spanish press offers little variation.

Mesut Özil comes to the rescue in the 89th minute is MARCA’s headline this morning above a photograph of the player himself leaping into the air. The paper continues with praise for Dortmund –

Prior to the match, Borussia had made little noise and showed respect for its opponent, but what happened on the pitch was another thing altogether.

England

Coverage in England focuses, understandably, on the group in general and on Manchester City’s near-certain elimination from the group in particular. From the tone of the press coverage it seems the English press takes it for granted that Dortmund and Madrid are the teams that will make it into the next round, even though, as it stands, any team (Dortmund included, in a scenario in which both Manchester City and the current group leaders end on 8 points) can still be eliminated from the group and any of the four teams can theoretically make it through. For those of you not aware of the result in the other game in the group: Manchester City were two goals down against Ajax Amsterdam within 17 minutes before scoring twice and salvaging the draw. They are bottom of the group on 2 points. Ajax Amsterdam have 4. Real Madrid, of course, has 7. Dortmund has 8.

For a rundown of what Manchester City is lacking in Europe, THE GUARDIAN’s Jamie Jackson has a rundown of five talking points after the game between two teams Madrid must still play to be assured of a spot in the next round. The link to that article is here.

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