Thursday, May 30, 2024

Champions League | Routinier Mats Hummels heads clever Dortmund to the Champions League final

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An all-German Champions League final after eleven years. A dream poster for German football. This in view of the approaching European Championships in this football stronghold country. Dortmund laid a good foundation last week to advance to the final for the first time since 2013. Coach Edin Terzić’s disappointing team in the Bundesliga impressed at times. A goal from Niclas Fullkrug was enough for the minimal victory in Signal Iduna Park. The football world was eagerly looking forward to tonight: could it be Those Boruses manage to grab PSG by the throat again?

In any case, there was enough self-confidence among the home team beforehand. “We are going to win,” Luis Enrique said clearly at the press conference. Not a trace of doubt at PSG, who were occasionally quite upside down in the first leg. This of course is based on the supporter base The Gelbe Wall. PSG’s ultras appealed to Parisians to provide the same kind of atmosphere. Create an equal atmosphere in advance, such as in Dortmund. A seemingly hopeless task.

‘Excavating system’

The call on In any case, the fans in the stands were more ready for the match than the players themselves. In an excruciating first half, Dortmund understandably dug in. PSG came closest in the first 45 minutes through Ousmane Dembélé. The Frenchman shot over after good preparatory work by an invisible Mbappé.

The biggest chance was for Dortmund. A characteristic counter from the German number 5 ended with Adeyemi. He came across an excellent goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. In the remainder, two things stood out at PSG: nervousness and powerlessness. With cramps in their legs, the home team was unable to get close to Gregor Kobel’s goal. Dortmund continued to look for an opportunity in the ‘digging system’. Or it had to be done via a standard situation. In any case, the West Germans had little to fear from PSG, and that feeling of powerlessness crept into Enrique’s team.

Hummels towers above everyone

And precisely such a standard situation brought redemption for Dortmund. Routine Mats Hummels towered above everyone after a perfect corner kick from Julian Brandt. The Champions League final could literally be smelled and touched. PSG, on the other hand, once again seemed miles away from the ultimate goal after the oil billions. Winning the Champions League is simply a curse for PSG.

The team of the excellently playing Ian Maatsen was able to continue with the proven recipe: defense. And the sprinting Dortmund stylists could in turn be served from the trenches. Fortune was also not on PSG’s side. Zaire-Emery (out of bounds) and Nuno Mendes (long shot) hit the post. In between there was a nice, very rare opportunity for striker Goncalo Ramos. His attempt almost disappeared.

To the final for the first time since 2013

In the much more interesting second half, PSG had to do everything they could. It added to the intensity and entertainment value. Dortmund did a lot to stop the French storm. For a moment this seemed to award PSG a penalty, but referee Daniele Orsato put the ball just outside the penalty area. The free kick in a promising position yielded nothing.

The diptych seemed to be finally decided by the same Hummels. This time his goal was in a wide offside position. Time ticked and ticked by for PSG. Mbappé met Kobel in the short corner around the 80th minute. The starting signal for a final offensive that was never really convincing and, above all, happy for PSG. First it was Marquinhos who headed narrowly wide. Then there were attempts by Mbappé and Vitinha that hit the crossbar (again). It simply didn’t seem to be allowed for PSG.

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Dortmund coach Edin Terzić after the final whistle against PSG

Photo: Getty Images

Dortmund’s yellow wall also managed to hold up wonderfully in the four minutes of injury time. The club from the Ruhr area is going to the final of the Champions Ball for the first time since 2013. This may affect the compatriots of Bayern or Real Madrid.

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