Real Madrid v Dortmund: The Return Leg
Will Dortmund qualify for the Champions League Final? Can Real Madrid overturn the deficit? After going down 1-4 in the opening leg, Real Madrid have a tough task ahead of them if they want to fulfill their Champions League ambitions in 2013. Today on the blog Andrew takes a look at the return leg.
Borussia Dortmund travel to Spain to face Real Madrid this Tuesday night in the return leg of their Champions League semi-final. The German club find themselves on the verge of qualifying for the Final to be played at Wembley later next month, having won 4-1 in the opening leg, placing Real Madrid firmly on the back foot.
Let's begin with the match odds. Despite their disappointing loss at Westfalenstadion a week ago, Real Madrid enter the match as favourites. Average odds have the home club as a 59% chance of winning the match, with Dortmund 19% while a fulltime draw at 21%. William Hill are currently offering best odds of 1.57 for Real Madrid to claim the 2nd leg, while the draw is widely available at odds of 4.75 and Dortmund likewise available at odds of 5.50.
While Real may be odds-on to win this Tuesday night, Dortmund are even shorter favourites to do enough to move through to the Final. Entering the semi-final last week, Real Madrid were considered 66% chances of advancing. However following their 1-4 defeat at Dortmund, the Spanish club are now regarded by average odds a 19% chance of overcoming the deficit. Bet365 are currently offering Real Madrid at odds of 4.75 to flip the result while William Hill are offering odds of 1.20 for the German club to reach the final.
Can Dortmund score an all valuable away goal? The bookmakers have both clubs scoring at a better than even-money proposition, with an average odds expectation of both teams to score at 66%. However, if you think only one club will get on the scoreboard, William Hill are offering odds of 2.75. Meanwhile, a 3-0 victory will be enough to get Real Madrid through to the final. If you like their chances to do just that, William Hill are offering the best odds of 15.00.
Let's then take a look at some of the key stats from the opening leg. The charts above display the cheif stats from the opening leg. Real Madrid held 56% of possession while Dortmund were able to earn both the greater share of shots and shots on target. The German club out-shot the visitors 14-9 (61%) with 7 of their 14 shots hitting the target.
In the meeting between the clubs at Westfalenstadion during the group stage in which Dortmund won 2-1, they surrendered a total of 14 shots to Real Madrid allowing just 2 on target, while scoring twice from 13 shots themselves. In the return group stage fixture, a 2-2 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid launched 22 shots at the visitors with just 5 hitting the target while an efficient Dortmund hit the target 3 times and scored twice from just 10 shots. A similar share of shots is on the cards this week with Dortmund hoping to make the most of the chances that come to them with Real Madrid desperate to impact the scoreboard.
So how often have teams been able to overturn such a deficit heading into the return leg of European competition? The table below shows the results for both Champions League and Europa League quarter-final and semi-final matches since 1992/1993 where the home club were victorious 4-1 in the opening leg.
|1998 Champions League||Monaco v Juventus||3-2|
|2000 Champions League||Barcelona v Valencia||2-1|
|2003 UEFA Cup||Lazio v Porto||0-0|
|2004 Champions League||Deportivo La Coruna v AC Milan||4-0|
|2006 UEFA Cup||Zenit v Sevilla||1-1|
|2011 Europa League||PSV v Benfica||2-2|
Of course, the first thing to mention is the small sample size. In the last 20 seasons of European club competition, the opening leg of a quarter-final or semi-final has been won by the home club 4-1 a total of six times. As has been widely reported in the lead up to the Real Madrid-Dortmund return leg, the only club to have successfully overturned such a deficit was Deportivo La Coruna in 2004 against AC Milan, who managed to win their home 2nd leg fixture 4-0.
Let's broaden the sample size by taking into account the results of return legs that followed from an opening leg scoreline of both 3-1 and 5-1. There have been 15 European club contests at the quarter-final and semi-final stage that have seen the home club win the opening leg 3-1 since 1992/93. Of those 15 matches, the 2nd leg saw the home club overturn the deficit and qualify for the next round on three occasions. Further, of those 15 return legs, the home club won 10 times, with 3 matches drawn while the away club coming off the 3-1 home win won the 2nd leg just twice.
During the same time span, a home club has won the opening leg 5-1 six times. The home club in the 2nd leg failed to win on each occasion, with the away club winning five times and the match ending drawn at fulltime just once. Further, of the 27 opening legs with a scoreline of either 3-1, 4-1 and 5-1, both clubs scored in the return leg on 18 occasions.
Oh and one final piece of trivia (that may pinch the nerves of a few Dortmund fans), the German club has blown a seemingly unbeatable opening leg lead before. Back in the 1987/1988 UEFA Cup third round, Dortmund won the opening leg 3-0 before losing the return leg 0-5 in extra time to Club Brugge.
The return leg promises to be a fascinating encounter. The task is clearly presented to Real Madrid, with the away goal scored in the opening leg surely providing their fans and those who bet them to advance to the final prior to the opening leg some hope. Jose Mourinho is well aware of the challenge in front of his club saying "We have to play minute by minute and goal by goal until the last breath of the match. We may ultimately lose the game, but we will have no chance if we play like we did in Dortmund" before going on to declare this return leg as the biggest game for Real Madrid in 10 years.
Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp is well aware of the potential for Real to flip the result, approaching the match with a cautious optimism. "The team needs to be disciplined and compact while also looking to be daring" he said, "Anything can happen in football. We must concentrate on what happens out on the pitch tomorrow. I fully believe my team will play correctly and will be hard to beat."
While a 3-0 result for the home club is not unrealistic, Dortmund will look to make the most of the opportunities that will certainly come as Real press forward with at least three goals required in order to advance. The German club has the talent and the resolve required to get the job done and while Real Madrid are worthy favourites at home, Dortmund will steel themselves, well and truly prepared for the offensive bombardment that is due to come their way and should be on their way to Wembley. A fulltime scoreline of 2-2 would not surprise.
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