Continuing on from where I left off in the first leg ... there isn't much to add (on them) ... as the last time they played a game was the one against us on last Tuesday. Their league game this weekend isn't till later this evening so there is no change in the Bundesliga table as far as they are concerned.
You can watch them take on Stuttgart on ESPN (part of BT Sport) at 5:30pm UK time.
We on the other hand would have had half an eye on that Chelsea semi-final (coming straight after this one) under any other circumstances but this game is far too important to be looking ahead just as yet. Yes all eyes will shift to that quickly but not until after this game ... unless of course if we are absolutely cruising and through in this one with a half hour to go, then Pep might make a sub or two with that game ahead in mind.
A quick reminder then of the games around this second-leg for both teams:
Sat 10 - 6:30pm - Stuttgart (A) - Bundesliga
Wed 14 - 9:00pm - City (H) - CL QF
Sun 18 - 3:30pm - Werder (H) - Bundesliga
Sat 10 - 12:30pm - Leeds (H) - PL
Wed 14 - 8:00pm - Dortmund (A) - CL QF
Sun 18 - 4:30pm - Chelsea (N) - FA Cup SF
All times listed above are local to the teams. Germany is in Western European Time zone which is GMT+1
Are We There Yet?
This is half-time in the tie ... having won the first leg 2-1, we have the advantage ... they will be without their famous Yellow Wall cheering them on and we are bound to score at least once there which means they will need to score at least three to get through and with our defence as solid as it has been, that isn't going to be easy ... we've got this ... bring on the semi-finals!
OK, let me try this again ...
This is half-time in the tie ... having won the first leg 2-1, we have given them an away goal and the lead is too narrow ... even a 1-0 win would have been better than this as that'd mean there is no away goal and now them winning 1-0 gets them through on away goals ... shit ... it's unravelling all over again at the Quarter Finals stage for us ... no semi-finals yet again!
Which of the two camps are you in then?
Reality is somewhere in between the two actually ... we aren't there just as yet but we don't need to be shitting bricks either ... let me dissect this ... yes, a narrow single goal lead going in gives us an advantage but only slightly and counter argument to that is they do have that crucial away goal. They are at home this time but it isn't really an advantage anymore without the crowds. We'll need to score at least one (so we too have an away goal) ... but that won't change much for them as the only score-line they can win on away goals is 1-0 for them. Should we score one, they'd need to score two to take it to extra time ... I don't think they'd set out to keep a clean sheet and nick one to get through so their plan from the start would be to score at least two.
Scores and Permutations
Dortmund 0-1 City | 1-3 City win
Dortmund 0-2 City | 1-4 City win
Dortmund 0-3 City | 1-5 City win
Dortmund 1-0 City | 2-2 Dortmund win on Away Goals
Dortmund 2-0 City | 3-2 Dortmund win
Dortmund 3-0 City | 4-2 Dortmund win
Dortmund 0-0 City | 1-2 City win
Dortmund 1-1 City | 2-3 City win
Dortmund 2-2 City | 3-4 City win
Dortmund 3-3 City | 4-5 City win
Dortmund 2-1 City | 3-3 Extra Time / Penalties
Dortmund 1-2 City | 2-4 City win
Dortmund 3-1 City | 4-3 Dortmund win
Dortmund 1-3 City | 2-5 City win
Dortmund 3-2 City | 4-4 City win on Away Goals
Dortmund 2-3 City | 3-5 City win
Basically, any draw (scored or nil-nil) gets us through ... a win of any kind for us gets us through ... a 3-2 win for them (or any higher score where they win with a single goal margin) also gets us through on away goals ... the only way they go through on away goals is if they keep a clean sheet and win 1-0 ... and the only one result, the reverse of first leg where they win 2-1, takes the game to extra time and possible penalties.
Given we play on the following Saturday in the FA Cup Semi Final against Chelsea, we'd probably not want to take this to extra time. However should this game get there, there is kind of a small advantage for us as any goal scored then by us would count as double as an away goal so giving us an extra half hour than what they got - one of those controversial away goal anomalies.
Frankly, we weren't at our best in the first leg ... and in the first half looked like we were suffering a little from stage-freight ... second half got better, but then they scored and that shook us a little again ... but by the end of the game we seemed well on top and eventually managed the (narrow) win. None of this should be news to anyone and Pep mentioned this in subtle words in his post-match interview straight away so I am sure he'll be well on top of it and drilling the message across to whoever needs telling ...
It'll just be easy and less nervous for us watching if we can score at least one goal early on. The longer it goes without us scoring, the nervier it will get ...
Oh, and us getting the rub of the green with the refs in that first leg (with the Jude Bellingham non-goal) was a one-off ... don't expect us getting that lucky again ... if anything, the refs this time might even be under orders to try and even it up for that.
I don't care for the result as long as we get through ... but I'd like to watch this in some calm and not be a nervous wreck so an early goal for us is a must. I don't think either side will run away with it though ... so expect to be quite on a knife's edge till the very end ...
Borussia Dortmund 1 - 1 Manchester City
And with that City to go through on aggregate!