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Champions League: Dortmund denied in Malaga stalemate

The result means it will be all to play for at the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund in next Tuesday’s second leg.

Dortmund's Marcel Schmelzer wears a protective mask as he enters the pitch.
Dortmund's Marcel Schmelzer wears a protective mask as he enters the pitch.
Image: Daniel Tejedor/AP/Press Association Images

BUNDESLIGA SIDE Borussia Dortmund were left to rue a host of missed chances as their Champions League quarter-final first leg against Malaga at La Rosaleda ended in a 0-0 draw on Wednesday night.

The result means it will be all to play for at the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund in next Tuesday’s second leg, although the Bundesliga side may live to regret not grabbing an away goal.

Borussia do however remain the only unbeaten team in the Champions League this season, while Malaga continued their good home form with a controlled performance, especially in the second period. Their record of never losing a European tie at home is now extended to a 14th game.

The Spaniards had almost a full squad to choose from and preferred Javier Saviola up front to Roque Santa Cruz while the Germans were missing their influential centre-half Mats Hummels. Dortmund left-back Marcel Schmelzer, who broke his nose against Stuttgart at the weekend, surprisingly started the game with a mask protecting his injury.

Both sides were understandably cautious in the opening stages but Saviola came close to opening the scoring for the home side on seven minutes after good play on the right from Jesus Gamez found the Argentinian in space in the box.

However, the little Argentine pulled his shot just wide.

Shortly after, the German side had their first chance of a number in the first period when a long ball out of defence was headed into the path of Mario Goetze by Robert Lewandowski, but Willy Caballero was quick to get down to save well for the hosts.

Caballero was the hero again five minutes later when he made a better save at close range from the same player after slick passing from the Germans had opened up the home defence.

Borussia’s neat quick passing game was beginning to dominate proceedings and Caballero had to be sharp again on 25 minutes to deny a Marco Reus drive from outside the area.

Next it was Kevin Grosskreutz who shot wide for the visitors after another quick move caused more problems in the Spanish defence.

On the half-hour mark, Malaga centre half Weligton received a yellow card when all he could do was pull down Lewandowski to stop another attack, with the card meaning the influential Brazilian defender will miss the second leg in Germany.

Malaga midfielder Manuel Iturra will also miss the second leg after picking up a card later in the game.

Borussia’s Polish forward Lewandowski was looking lively and causing Malaga problems at every opportunity.

At the other end Malaga showed signs before half-time of causing their own problems and Roman Weidenfeller needed quick reflexes to palm away a Weligton header. The Spanish side began to exert more control over the centre of the pitch after the interval which slowed down their opponents and made goal chances less frequent.

Indeed it was not until the 65th minute, when Goetze broke down the right before shooting wide of the far post for Borussia, that either side had a serious attempt on goal. A minute later, Weidenfeller had to block a rasping drive from Isco at the other end to make the save of the game, leaving all to be decided in the return.

© AFP, 2013

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