|Real Madrid was one goal short of the final|
Getting to the final of the Champions League would have meant turning the tie around in the Bernabeu from the 4-1 loss in Germany. Real Madrid did not go easy on Borussia Dortmund and made their intentions clear from the start. Supported by a Bernabeu crowd that was evocative of the stadium’s big occasions, the Whites pushed themselves to the limit and went for possession of the ball as the way to get back into the tie. Inside the first ten minutes they had already racked up four corners and had another three shots on goal. In one of them, in the 4th minute, Higuain came close to putting his team ahead. Weidenfeller came out on top against the Argentine in the one-on-one.
It was not the only one-on-one that Real Madrid had in the first quarter of an hour. There were two more. Cristiano Ronaldo had the first with a volley after controlling a long pass from Di Maria with his chest. The second, and clearer chance, fell to Ozil. The German’s shot went just inches wide of the visitors’ goal. The Whites deserved the goal, but being short on luck and a great performance by Weidenfeller prevented them. The first half did not produce any goals, but left the feeling that Real Madrid wanted to and were capable of completing the comeback. The crowd in the Bernabeu, watching their team’s titanic effort, also believed it was possible.
The opening play of the second half, as in the first half, resulted in a corner and showed that Real Madrid were not going to give up so soon. Their history and badge are testament to that. Borussia Dortmund tried to exploit the gaps being left by the Whites and, in one of their quick counterattacks, Lewandowski crashed the ball against the crossbar in the 50th minute. Six minutes later there was a double change for the home side. Benzema and Coentrao replaced Kaka and Higuain. A three-man defense and even more artillery up front. Diego Lopez’s remarkable save against Gundogan when he was already beaten in the 62nd minute preceded a barrage of chances for the home team. Di Maria twice, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Khedira, who replaced Xabi Alonso in the 67th minute, came close to finding the back of the net.
With seven minutes until the end of the match came the first. A great assist from Ozil and a perfectly placed shot from Benzema made the score 1-0. Borussia Dortmund were only set on clearing balls out of the back and the Whites attacked with more frequency. Ramos, from a header, got the second. As with Benzema, it came from a great individual effort. There were two minutes left. Ramos scored and raptures filled the Bernabeu. They only needed one goal to go through. The excitement was overflowing and the five minutes that Howard Webb added, which was little compared to the time being wasted by the visitors, brought even more intensity to the finish. The fans left the Santiago Bernabeu proud of their team, who left everything out on the field and kept going until the end.
Stadium: Santiago Bernabeu
Goals: 1-0 min. 83 Benzema; 2-0 min. 88 Ramos.