Capital false start, passable final spurt – Borussia Dortmund only managed to keep their chance of reaching the first semi-final in the Champions League in eleven years with great difficulty. Despite an early deficit and an initially worrying performance, coach Edin Terzic’s team averted what was probably a decisive defeat in the 1-2 defeat against Atlético Madrid.

Thanks to an increase in performance in the second half and the goal from substitute Sébastien Haller (81st minute), the fifth-place team in the Bundesliga doesn’t have a chance going into the quarter-final second leg at home six days later.

In front of 70,000 spectators in a heated stadium atmosphere, Rodrigo de Paul (4th minute) and Samuel Lino (32nd) had the Madrilenians playing like unleashed in the first half, who remain unbeaten in knockout home games in the premier class under coach Diego Simeone , wholly deserved a 2-0 lead.

The Dortmund team seemed overwhelmed and couldn’t cope with the hosts’ aggressive pressing at all. The 0:1 after less than four minutes of play was symbolic of this: goalkeeper Gregor Kobel unnecessarily delayed the pass to Maatsen, who played the ball with his outside instep right into the legs of goal scorer de Paul.

Coach Terzic had specially called the physically stronger Felix Nmecha into the starting line-up for Julian Brandt, but in terms of physicality Atlético were a class better. And BVB made too many mistakes. A blatant misunderstanding by the two BVB central defenders Hummels and Nico Schlotterbeck enabled Lino to score the second goal of the evening after preparation by Antoine Griezmann.

Even after the break, the Dortmund team tried to put more pressure on their opponents with substitute Brandt. But without Donyell Malen, who had to pass again due to muscular problems, an important offensive point was missing. Atlético, with former BVB professional Axel Witsel, rarely had serious problems defensively with BVB’s efforts. Kobel even had to prevent the third goal from being conceded against Lino after a free kick (76′). After Haller’s goal there were still chances on both sides.