Klopp: 'I'll never forget this game'

Delighted Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp says the stunning 3-2 victory over Malaga is a result he will never forget.

Last Updated: 10/04/13 at 12:03 Post Comment   

Jurgen Klopp enjoys the victory.

Jurgen Klopp enjoys the victory.

Delighted Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp says the stunning 3-2 victory over Malaga in the Champions League quarter-finals is a result he will never forget.

The German side appeared to be heading for a painful exit from the competition as they trailed their Spanish visitors 2-1 as the game entered stoppage time at the Westfalenstadion.

Marco Reus revived flagging home hopes with a close-range finish in the 91st minute, but greater drama was to follow as Felipe Santana scrambled home from almost on the goal-line in the 93rd minute to send Dortmund through to their fourth appearance in the European Cup semi-finals.

"The great games in football don't live in the memories because they were fantastic but because they were close and dramatic, because they had twists and turns nobody thought could be possible. I'll never forget this game," Klopp said.

"Over the two legs I think we are deserved winners. But we could have been knocked out."

The breathless contest was not without controversy, with the officiating team led by Scotland's Craig Thomson twice failing to spot clear offside infringements in the build up to crucial goals.

Both Eliseu's strike for Malaga that made it 2-1 with eight minutes remaining and Santana's dramatic winner should have been chalked off.

But Klopp appeared to hint that Malaga's controversial second acted as a timely spur for his team, who came into the match amid the disappointment of seeing Bayern Munich wrest the Bundesliga title from their grasp last weekend.

"Their second goal was just offside," he said. "But if that goal hadn't stood, the game would have taken a different course.

"This was our worst Champions League game. You could see that the team wanted to reach the next round, and then you don't play like you can. We lacked creativity, flexibility and composure.

"Malaga played very well tactically, but we still had three or four clear-cut chances.

"In football you also have to win on rainy days, and today it figuratively rained cats and dogs."

At the final whistle, the disbelieving delight of the home contingent contrasted starkly with Malaga's crestfallen players, who clearly were struggling to comprehend how they had been eliminated at the end of a match in which they had for so long held the upper hand.

"We fell into each other's arms after this unbelievable game," Klopp added.

"Football showed both sides of its face, the bitterly disappointed defeated and the overjoyed winners.

"I can understand when the opposition finds it difficult to pin down."

Dortmund defender Neven Subotic admitted the victory was a unique occasion that stretched credulity to its limit.

"I've never experienced anything like that - I've only seen it in Hollywood films," he said on uefa.com.

"It was such a crazy match. We didn't play well in the first half and in the second it wasn't much better, but we still created and wasted several chances. In the end it all worked out, though.

"Hope dies last and that was certainly the case tonight.

"This season has been something of a fairytale for us so far and tonight was the icing on the cake. It was the highlight of the season."


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