Dortmund edge Atletico in thiller to reach semis

Borussia Dortmund reached their first Champions League semi-final in 11 years by producing a superb second-half comeback to beat Atletico Madrid 5-4 on aggregate.

Having lost the first leg 2-1 in Madrid, Dortmund quickly turned things around with Julian Brandt and Chelsea loanee Ian Maatsen both scoring from tight angles in the first half.

But Atletico Madrid made it 2-1 on the night and 3-3 on aggregate when Mario Hermoso’s header deflected in off Dortmund defender Matts Hummels shortly after the restart.

Angel Correa then gave Atletico Madrid a 4-3 aggregate lead when he smashed in a rebounded finish from close range in the 64th minute.

But Dortmund levelled once again in a thrilling second half as Niclas Fullkrug finished off Marcel Sabitzer’s cross with a looping header after 71 minutes.

And less than three minutes later Sabitzer struck Dortmund’s winner with a drilled finish into the bottom corner to round off a sublime quarter-final tie.

Dortmund had not reached the last four of the Champions League since they finished runners-up in 2012-13.

This is just the fourth time the German club have advanced beyond the quarter-finals.

Their achievement is even more remarkable considering they were 2-0 down in the first leg in Madrid and had looked out of the picture at half-time.

But in Germany they were ruthless, starting brightly and and almost taking the lead through Sabitzer, but the midfielder’s shot was blocked on the line by former Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta.

Atletico had a golden early opportunity of their own, but striker Alvaro Morata dinked the ball off target when through on goal.

And in the second period Correa poked an effort wide shortly before he gave his side a 3-2 aggregate lead.

But it was Dortmund who finished the stronger and could have added more but for two fine saves from Atletico keeper Jan Oblak to deny Fullkrug and Sabitzer late on.

Atletico conceded four goals in a Champions League knockout tie for the first time since losing 4-1 to rivals Real Madrid in the 2014 final. Diego Simeone’s side have now gone seven years without reaching the final four of Europe’s premier competition.


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