A lacklustre Real Madrid edged past Borussia Dortmund 3-2 on aggregate after slumping to a 2-0 defeat here on Tuesday night, to advance to the Champions League semi-finals and stay on track for a 10th crown.
Two first-half goals by Marco Reus, both coming from Real mistakes, gave Dortmund a deserved lead as the Spaniards, who had a penalty saved in the 17th minute, were left mesmerised by the Germans’ frantic pace.
Real, with top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo left on the bench due a minor knee injury, saw their 3-0 advantage from the first leg in Madrid almost evaporate in a disastrous first half.
Real, who twice lost to Dortmund in Germany in last season’s competition, including a 4-1 thrashing in the first leg of their semi-final, briefly recovered in the second half before the Germans, last season’s runners-up, again surged forward, missing half a dozen clear scoring chances and also hitting the post.
Real had squandered a golden opportunity to put the tie all but beyond their hosts when they were awarded the penalty for a handball by defender Lukasz Piszczek, but Angel Di Maria saw his shot saved by Roman Weidenfeller.
It proved a costly miss as Reus pounced on a defensive mistake by Pepe to give Borussia the lead on the night on 24 minutes.
Mats Hummels almost added another but his well-timed header was palmed over the bar by Real keeper Iker Casillas.
However, Germany international Reus crashed in his second goal in the 37th minute when he charged forward after another Real mistake, this time from Asier Illarramendi, fed striker Robert Lewandowski who hit the post, and Reus was left unmarked to drill in at the far post.
Real brought on Isco in the second half to control possession and they briefly succeeded.
But Dortmund were lurking on the break and almost levelled the tie on 65 minutes when Armenian Mkhitaryan rounded Casillas and from a tight, but by no means impossible, angle hit the post.
The Germans then poured forward, determined to score a third goal that would force extra-time, but they could not find the net.