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Apr 3, 2013

Pellegrini: UCL tie 'absolutely open'

Malaga coach manager Manuel Pellegrini believes the Champions League quarter-final against Dortmund is "absolutely open" after the two sides played out a 0-0 in the first-leg in Spain.

• Blog: Caballero heroics give Malaga hope

• Blog: Dortmund must smooth things out in return leg

Both teams failed to trouble the score-sheet and the tie now heads to Dortmund with everything to play for.

But despite failing to find the back of the net in front of their home crowd, a happy Pellegrini said he was content with his team's performance, able to keep the 'excellent' Dortmund at bay.

And the 59-year-old was quietly confident Malaga could sneak into the semi-finals with a shock result in Germany.

"It was a very good game from both teams, who each tried to get into the opposition box," Pellegrini told uefa.com. "The crowd were happy. Dortmund are an excellent side.

"If we look at their campaign in this UEFA Champions League season, they scored four goals at Ajax, also scored in Madrid and again away to Manchester City.

"It was an open game and the tie is absolutely open. Let's start well in Dortmund."

However, Malaga will be without both Weligton and Manuel Iturra for the return trip, and Pellegrini must devise a plan to keep Dortmund's young brigade without the duo.

"(Weligton and Manuel Iturra) are important players; luckily (Martín) Demichelis didn't get a yellow card as well, so we will see how we replace those two," he said.

"Dortmund's team are all good young players with great technique and dynamism."

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