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Apr 30, 2013

Klopp: Dortmund make things exciting

Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp admitted his relief after the German side almost let their hopes of reaching the Champions League final slip with a 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid in the semi-final second leg on Tuesday.

Dortmund took a convincing 4-1 advantage to the Bernabeu and they never looked in doubt of progressing until Karim Benzema scored in the 82nd minute.

When Sergio Ramos scored just six minutes later, Real needed one more goal to seal an unlikely comeback, although Dortmund were able to hold on for a 4-3 aggregate win.

Klopp insists his charges will have to be more resilient in the final after Real spurned a number of chances to take control of the tie.

"It was a bit dramatic in the end, despite the fact we had a lot of counterattacks that led to opportunities to take the lead," Klopp said. "We knew that Madrid would take an aggressive approach and we managed to calm things down after 20–25 minutes, but we definitely have ourselves to blame for allowing Madrid back into the game as we missed a couple of sitters.

"Dortmund apparently are an all-inclusive club, so we always make things exciting, one way or another. The 90 minutes felt quite long today, we played well at times but unfortunately not for the entire game. Obviously Madrid are capable of playing quality football of their own. They had a lot to make up for after the first leg, but in the end we deserved to go through on aggregate. We deserve to be in the final."

Dortmund were fortunate not to concede early on in the match after Real exposed a number of cracks in the visitors' defence. But Klopp is reluctant to rely on luck in the penultimate match, despite hoping the loss will not detract from his side's performances in Europe this season.

"We knew that a team like us required a certain amount of luck to reach the final," he said. "That was the case against Málaga and also today. It wouldn't have been necessary if we had used one of our chances though. It's an extraordinary achievement nonetheless.

"We play Bayern at the weekend, but we also have a day's more rest than them, so I won't deny the team that chance to go out and celebrate. Nuri [Şahin] apparently knows his way around Madrid, or so I've heard. I'll stay in the hotel and have a few beers there. The players deserve to have a little time off after a game like this.

"Perhaps it won't be ideal in terms of the Bayern game at the weekend, as they might give us a bit of a thumping, but that would be the most pleasant defeat against Bayern that we could ever experience. I'll definitely not deny the players' celebrations - what kind of muppet would I be if I did?"

Defender Mats Hummels conceded his side made things difficult by conceding late goals but has turned his attention to next month's final at Wembley.

"The game changed when they scored late on," he told uefa.com. We knew the crowd would get behind them when they scored.

"But making the final is something we dreamed of. It is unbelievable. We are really looking forward to Wembley."

Dortmund winger Kevin Grosskreutz has said Jurgen Klopp's side had not contemplated the thought of reaching the final until their place was assured.

"They put a lot of pressure on us and scored two late goals, but we are a great club and deserved to go through," Grosskreutz said. "I haven't spent a thought about Wembley. Let's celebrate now and think about the final tomorrow."

Goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller congratulated his team for withstanding the enormous pressure built by a desperate Madrid.

"Real created enormous pressure in the beginning and at the end," Weidenfeller said. "They put all their eggs in one basket , but we stood up to it.

"Compliments to the whole team, we fought well and we deserved to progress."

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