Real Madrid goes for the 'impossible' against Borussia Dortmund
Needing at least three goals to reach the final for the 13th time, Real Madrid is ready to go after the "impossible.''
The nine-time European Cup winners are out to overturn last week's 4-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund in the second leg of the Champions League semifinals on Tuesday. A tall task, but one that Madrid has done in the past.
"This is our last chance to put things right,'' Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira said. "In the first leg, we didn't convince as a team and we produced a weak performance. Now we have to achieve the impossible.''
Nearly 40 years ago, Madrid recovered from the same deficit against English club Derby, winning 5-1 in extra time in the second leg and advancing to the European Cup quarterfinals. In the 1985 UEFA Cup, the Spanish team won 3-0 in the second leg after a 2-0 loss to Inter Milan at the San Siro.
Besides Khedira, Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has also said a comeback is possible. But he will likely need Cristiano Ronaldo, who has recently returned to full training following a thigh injury, to play a key role.
The Portugal forward scored his 50th goal in the competition in the first leg, giving Madrid a valuable away goal that would put the team into the final with a 3-0 victory.
Dortmund, however, is unbeaten in Europe this year and should be rested for the second leg. Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp made 10 changes to the side for Saturday's 2-1 win at Fortuna Duesseldorf in the Bundesliga.
"The lads did brilliantly,'' Klopp said. "Pride is the right word, because it can't be taken for granted.''
Robert Lewandowski, who scored all four goals against Madrid in the first leg, came on as a substitute, and the Poland striker's Bundesliga scoring streak ended at a club record 12 straight games.
For Tuesday's match, Dortmund has injury concerns over defender Lukasz Piszczek, who was left out against Duesseldorf with a groin strain, and Ilkay Guendogan, who had neck problems.
Mario Goetze was left out with muscular problems but should be fit to play in Madrid.
Ronaldo also sat out last weekend's games, missing the 2-1 derby win at Atletico Madrid on Saturday. But with 51 goals in 50 games for Madrid this season, including 12 in the Champions League, Ronaldo will likely be the focus of Dortmund's defense.
Besides Ronaldo, Mourinho will be able to count on Alvaro Arbeloa in defense after his return from suspension, and Angel Di Maria is available after the birth of his daughter.
But whoever is on the field, Madrid needs goals.
"It was clear in the beginning, when the draw was made, that we'd have to go there and fight to get through,'' Klopp said. "We've improved our starting position. Of course, Madrid believe they can get through. It won't be a stroll in the park.''