Borussia Dortmund will be battling Manchester City for a place in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday evening (kick-off at 21:00 CET). Despite producing a good performance, BVB lost the first leg in England 2-1 last week. That means the Black & Yellows need to score at least one goal if they are to secure a place among the best four teams in the competition.
Marco Reus slotted home in the 84th minute of the first leg to cancel out City's narrow lead. But with seconds remaining on the clock, BVB conceded a second goal and slipped to a 2-1 defeat. "We're disappointed about the late goal we conceded," said Borussia boss Edin Terzic a week later. "Now we need to win the game to go through to the next round. City will improve their game compared to last week and we will need to do the same."
In particular, the coach is calling upon his charges "to find the right balance between courage and patience". The Premier League leaders will not adapt the way they play tomorrow and will dominate possession too. "We need to be fully alert again and be aggressive at the right moment so that we win the ball back and pose a threat. We will need to show composure in our play to ensure we see our attacks through. If you don't pay attention or lose possession carelessly, the punishment is immediate." His team produced a good display in Manchester but still lost the match. "A good performance will not automatically ensure we go through. We need to be ready to improve upon our performance in Manchester."
There is a real belief qualification is possible – "but that alone will not suffice," said Terzic, adding. "We want to show that we can compete against the best teams in Europe and perhaps that we can eliminate the best one right now. It'll be a brutally difficult task; we'll need to work hard tomorrow and be brave."
Former Borussia Dortmund man Ilkay Gündogan, who will return to SIGNAL IDUNA PARK on Wednesday in a Manchester City shirt, was full of praise for his former club. "On a good day, they can beat any club in Europe. They have a lot of quality in the squad, players who are quick and technically very strong." Gündogan might have moved to England back in 2016, but five or so years later he still tries to watch as many BVB matches as possible.
One of his successors in Borussia's midfield is Thomas Delaney, who believes his team showed character in the away leg. "I think it's all still to play for." Ansgar Knauff, who made his first start in the first leg, also believes that there is a good chance of progression "if we play the way we did last week". Manuel Akanji added: "We produced a good performance, and we want to do so again tomorrow. We'll give everything we have to reach the semi-final."
Jadon Sancho will not be able to help with those efforts. The winger has returned to individual training following his injury, but the return leg comes too soon for him. There are still question marks surrounding other injured players. Terzic will assess the situation after the training sessions on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning. Mats Hummels and Marco Reus both had to come off in the Bundesliga match against Stuttgart. "It'd obviously be a huge loss if he couldn't play tomorrow," said Akanji of Reus. "He's our captain and he knows what's needed to make it through to the next round."
"We want to compensate as a team" for any possible absences. "We've often had to improvise before and each time we try to field a strong side," explained Terzic. "Tomorrow will be about producing an unbelievable performance to make an unbelievable story happen."