Sunday, June 24, 2018

Klopp thrilled to reach final

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 Apr 2013


Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp was delighted to see his side reach the Champions League final with a 4-3 aggregate win over Real Madrid.

The Bundesliga outfit went into the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu with a 4-1 lead, but two late goals from Jose Mourinho’s men set up a tense finale.

Klopp conceded his team were not at their best on Tuesday but believes they deserve to be in May’s final at Wembley, where they will face either Bayern Munich or Barcelona.

“Unbelievable,” Klopp told reporters.

“I have to admit, we played too little football today. During the second half we played our attacks better. If we converted one of those chances, the match would have been killed.

“The match had everything. Real Madrid can play great football and they showed that today. They had to deliver today and they did.

“We stood up to them. Those are the rules, we won 4-3 and we are deservedly in the final.”

Goals from Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos gave Real – who missed several chances early on –hope with minutes remaining, but Dortmund held on.

Klopp said luck played a part for every side who reached the final and suggested he took inspiration and confidence from the 1997 Dortmund team which won the trophy.

“I talked to manager, Michael Zorc, and that team of 1997 and they were lucky getting to the final, too,” he said.

“You have to have luck to reach the final and we now had it twice.”

Klopp reserved special praise for striker Robert Lewandowski, who scored four times in the first leg, and said he handled himself well after coming in for some over-zealous attention from Real players.

“I wished for ‘Lewy’ (Lewandowski) to get more protection,” he said.

“The way he stayed calm after all those scenes – that is almost superhuman, but we are through, why would we complain?”

Klopp looked ahead to his side’s clash against rivals Bayern Munich on Saturday and said his team still deserved to celebrate reaching the Champions League final.

“We have one day more off than Bayern and we will use that day,” he said.”I myself will have a beer at the hotel but I won’t go out, but I can’t keep the boys in there, too.

“And if we get hammered by Bayern – that will be the happiest defeat in the history of the Bundesliga.”


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