Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid: Jurgen Klopp needs 'miracle' from Robert Lewandowski to halt Real Madrid progress

The Spanish side won the first leg 3-0

Borussia Dortmund are pinning their slim hopes of a dramatic comeback against Real Madrid tonight on Robert Lewandowski’s ability to repeat his performance against the Spanish in the Champions League semi-finals last year.

The Polish striker scored four times in Dortmund’s 4-1 first-leg win and the victory meant that, despite Real Madrid’s 2-0 victory at the Bernabeu, it was Jürgen Klopp and not Jose Mourinho who reached the Wembley final.

“It is clear that the presence of Lewandowski makes them more dangerous,” admitted Carlo Ancelotti, but the Madrid coach was bullish enough to declare: “Dortmund have 90 minutes to score four goals but we have 90 minutes to score once.”

Another 4-1 victory would not be enough to see the Germans through this time. They must stop Madrid from scoring – something they have done in each of their last 22 away games in Europe – and score four themselves.

“We are in the right state both mentally and physically to finish the season very well,” added Ancelotti, who confirmed Gareth Bale was fit to start but said he would decide over Cristiano Ronaldo today, having seen the competition’s leading scoring leave last night’s training session after just 15 minutes.

Klopp spoke to reporters while calmly sipping from a cup of coffee ahead of Dortmund’s biggest game of the season. “Miracles never happen when you talk about them beforehand,” he said of tonight’s monumental task. If Lewandowski can lead his team to an incredible comeback it will further justify Dortmund’s decision to keep him last summer into his final year of contract.

The 25-year-old Pole has scored six goals in the Champions League this season so far. Bale, who has played 250 minutes less football in the competition, has scored five; the tournament’s leading scorer, Ronaldo, is on 14, needing one more to become the first player ever to score 15 in one season in the Champions League.

After his four goals last season in the first leg, Real Madrid made it clear to Lewandowski that they wanted to sign him. How much of that was gamesmanship ahead of the second leg will never be known; the interest had come too late regardless, the player already having agreed to join Bayern Munich.

Dortmund could have sold him for €20m (£16.6m) at the end of the season but preferred to keep him on the understanding that he would push them further in the Champions League and thereby swell the coffers with extra prize-money. They have already made €40m from this year’s competition. Reaching the semi-finals would further boost that income.

Real right-back Dani Carvajal was at Bayer Leverkusen on loan last season and knows how difficult Klopp’s team can be at home. “The stadium and the crowd can really push them on,” he said. “We expect the first half-hour to be especially tough. They will come for us but we will not sit back; we will go for them.”

Bale echoed that sentiment. Despite Real’s three-goal advantage, he said: “We played well in the first leg and we got a deserved victory. But we will look to go out and win the game as if it is any other match.”

Bale’s camp have described the suggestion that he will have corrective back surgery in the summer “complete rubbish”. With the Welshman’s form and fitness the best they have been since his move last summer, stories have surfaced in Spain that he will make the most of a World Cup-free summer by going under the knife, but the player’s representatives confirmed that there is no back problem and that the stories were false.

Madrid’s “BBC” forward line of Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo have been responsible for 22 of the last 31 goals scored by the team and in Ronaldo’s absence at the weekend Bale got his 18th goal of the season.

Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Flat out: Michael Flatley will return to the stage in his show Lord Of The Dance
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
News
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
i100
News
peoplePamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals
Arts and Entertainment
tvExecutive says content is not 'without any purpose'
News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape