Robert Lewandowski scored four as Borussia Dortmund walloped Real Madrid in the first leg of their semi-final
OK, that's all from me tonight, so thanks for your time and your emails. If you can get your eyes on some highlights of this match later on, I'd heartily recommend doing exactly that. Otherwise why not peruse this gallery of the evening's football entertainment which has been lovingly compiled by our picture desk's Steven Bloor.
The match might be over, but nobody's going home. Looking dazed and scarcely able to believe what's happened, Borussia Dortmund's players wander down to their famous Yellow Wall to milk the applause of the adoring 25,000. They line out across the pitch and join hands, before taking a well-earned bow, then sit down in the penalty area and just gaze in goofy delight at the passionate scenes of outright delirium unfolding in the terrace before them. The atmosphere seems absolutely incredible - a reminder to Premier League club chairmen everywhere that this is what happens when you make ticket prices affordable to the kind of people who actually get a kick out of making noise at football matches.
Peep! Peeeeeep! Peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep! That's it - the first leg is over! Borussia Dortmund will travel to the Bernabeu with a 4-1 lead and they're well worth it. Real Madrid can count themselves lucky to have an away goal to call their own, as they only scored courtesy of a shocking individual error by Mats Hummels. It was an astonishing team performance crowned by a splendid individual effort by Robert Lewandowski.
90+2 min: From a corner, Varane tries to pull a goal back for Real Madrid. He shoots from about 20 yards and his effort isn't bad - it sails a couple of feet wide of the left upright.
90+1 min: Julian Scheiber, it was. Better late than never.
90 min: Borussia Dortmund substitution: Ilkay Gundogan off ... after a marvellous performance that would have won him my man of the match fizz any other night. He's been excellent, but I'm afraid the warm can of own-brand lager goes to Robert Lewandowski. Apologies - but I'm afraid I didn't see who replaced him.
88 min: On the edge of the Dortmund penalty area, Khedira picks up a pass from Kaka and pings a first-time through-ball along the deck for Ronaldo to chase. Dortmund goalkeeper is quick off his line to block the shot, taking one for the team in the process. He requires medical attention, but is fit to continue.
85 min: Five minutes to go and Borussia Dortmund are looking full of beans. Cristiano Ronaldo picks up the ball on the edge of the final third, but is dispossessed by a crunching challenge from Mats Hummels, who is probably feeling a lot better now than he did at the end of the first half. Indeed, so meaty is his challenge that he appears to burst the ball. The referee orders him to kick it off the pitch and orders play to recommence with a replacement.
84 min: Real Madrid substitution I haven't got around to telling you about yet: Kaka on, Xabi Alonso off.
80 min: Borussia Dortmund substitutions: Kevin Grosskreutz and Sebastien Kehl on, Blaszczykowski and Piszczck off. That's great news for those of us who hate typing long Polish names with 'szcz' in them for a living. Thanks Jurgen Klopp!
78 min: Moments before that most recent Lewandowski effort, Reus had been played in behind the Real Madrid back four with a beautifully weighted through-ball to chase. His control was immaculate and he looked likely to increase Dortmund's lead, only to be flagged for offside. It's a huge let-off for Real Madrid, as replays show that he was not.
77 min: Lewandowski goes close with a drive from 25 yards - Diego Lopez saves acrobatically to concede a corner, which Gotze sends into the mixer after raising his right hand to signal his intent. Real Madrid clear.
76 min: Subotic gives the ball away to Cristiano Ronaldo who slides the ball through the Dortmund penalty area, for Mesut Ozil to chase and cross from the right. His effort is blocked.
70 min: Not that it stopped them moaning at great length, Real Madrid's players could have no complaints about that penalty being awarded. In full view of a referee who has been exceptionally lenient, Alonso quite clearly shoved Reus in the back. There was no hesitation from Mr Kuipers, who blew his whistle and pointed straight to the spot. Lewandowski blasted the ball down the centre, while Lopez dived to his right. Even if the goalkeeper had been foolish enough to stand his ground and stop the ball, he'd probably have been sent screaming Hot Shot Hamish style through the back of the net and into the terrace behind.
68 min: Real Madrid substitutions: Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria on, Luka Modric and Gonzalo Higuain off. Angel Di Maria's wife gave birth to a daughter yesterday, so congratulations to him and her for that. He's bound to remember 23 April 2013 fondly, if not the day after.
GOAL! Borussia Dortmund 4-1 Real Madrid (Lewandowski 66) Lewandowski steps up and smashes the ball down the centre. Real Madrid are getting some hiding here.
PENALTY FOR BORUSSIA DORTMUND!!! Alonso bundles over Reus in the penalty area and the referee points striaght to the spot!
63 min: Ilkay Gundogan goes on a rampaging run down the inside left channel, takes the ball around Varane and tries his luck with a diagonal surface-to-air effort towards the top right-hand corner. In the Real Madrid goal, Diego Lopez is forced to tip the ball wide for a corner, from which nothing comes. This is a marvellous game of football.
60 min: Well, this is a turn-up for the books. Borussia Dortmund looked in grave danger of losing their composure towards the end of the first half, but Jurgen Klopp has obviously calmed his players down and reminded them how good they are. How good is that? Good enough to be leading Real Madrid 3-1 after an hour of a Champions League semi-final first leg.
56 min: More on that goal - the ball had broken to Marcel Schmelzer on the left flank and he smashed a hopeful low diagonal hail-mary drive through the Real Madrid penalty area. The ball came to the feet of Pepe, but before he could hack clear, Lewandowski took possession with one touch of his right and performed a drag-back with his left before turning on a sixpence and sending an unstoppable screamer into the roof of the net from nine or 10 yards out.
GOAL! Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Real Madrid (Lewandowski 54) Wow - Lewandowski smashes the ball into the roof of the net after rolling the ball away from the feet of Pepe to make six inches of space for the shot. That's a sensational hat-trick.
54 min: Sami Khedeira gets booked for, I think, a combination of a foul on Reus and about four minutes worth of dissent.
52 min: I'll tell you what - he emphatically was not offside! The ball was crossed from the right into the Real Madrid penalty area and headed out as far as Reus. From the edge of the penalty area, he played a defence-splitting pass to the feet of Lewandowski, who controlled and turned with one magnificent touch, before slotting the ball past Lopez.
GOAL! Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Real Madrid (49) Real Madrid's players go ballistic, appealing with the referee and linesman for offside when Robert Lewandowski restores Borussia Dortmund's lead. I won't lie - I was looking at my keyboard and have no idea what happened and the local TV station haven't deigned to show a replay yet. What I can tell you that there was complete silence as everyone in the stadium waited to see if the linesman was going to flag and widespread, relieved astonishment when he kept his flag by his side.
48 min: Corner for Borussia Dortmund, which Reus swings into the mixer. Real goalkeeper Diego Lopez plucks the ball from the sky and sends a long punt forward for Mesut Ozil to chase. The German miscontrols when perhaps he didn't need to take a touch at all.
46 min: Pepe gets penalised for a foul on Robert Lewand ... actually, no, I'm doing him an injustice - it's Lewandowski who gets penalised for backing into Pepe and Real Madrid have a free-kick a few yards outside their own penalty area. Further down the field, normality is restored when Sergio Ramos is penalised for a foul on Marco Reus.
The teams are out for the second half. I'm not sure what to add, really. Here's hoping it's as entertaining as the first half. Borussia Dortmund get the ball rolling, with no changes to either side.
So, should Borussia Dortmund have got a penalty for that Varane challenge on Reus? To borrow and mangle a phrase from Little Britain: replay says no. It quite clearly shows that there was no foul - if anything, Reus clipped Varane's legs and went down looking for it.
Half-time: The sides go in with one goal each. It's probably a fair score - Borussia Dortmund got off to the better start, but have let Real Madrid back into the game since opening the scoring. The equaliser came on the back of a terrible individual error, but it's probably just as well for Dortmund's players that half-time has arrived. A few of them looked like losing the plot in the immediate aftermath of Real's equaliser. They feel they should have a penalty.
43 min: So, the goal. Raphael Varane was scrambling back to try to take the ball off Reus, but lost his footing and knocked over the Dortmund midfielder in the penalty area. I wouldn't have given a penalty, but others might. While Dortmund's players were getting all het up with the referee, Mats Hummel tried to play the ball back to his goalkeeper from a good way out with a horrendously under-hit back-pass. Gonzalo Higuain latched on to it, drew the goalkeeper and only remaining defender before rolling the ball across the face of goal, where Ronaldo had a simple tap-in.
GOAL! Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Real Madrid (Ronaldo 41) Moments after Marco Reus has a half-decent looking penalty shout turned down, Cristiano Ronaldo slots into an empty net to level the scores.
38 min: "Sitting in the back of class at work training, I can see at least a third of my colleagues following your MBM," writes Rodolfo Velasquez Lim. "Mind you this is Columbus, Indiana. You're helping me find who in this small town plays some soccer. Much thanks!"
Meanwhile back on the football pitch, Fabio Coentrao dilly-dallies too long on the ball after getting the better of Lukasz Piszczek before trying to cross for Gonzalo over Weidenfeller to Gonzalo Higuain at the far post.
35 min: Gonzalo Higuain gets in behind Mats Hummels and tries to pick out Cristiano Ronaldo with a cross to the far post. He puts too much welly on it and the ball sails high over the Portuguese winger's head and out of play. I'm sure he won't mind - he's never been one for throwing hissy-fits when team-mates fail to put the ball exactly where he wants it.
32 min: Kuba looks a cert to score or at least win a penalty as he bears down on goal from an inside right position with only Gonzalo Higuain, of all people, back to mark him. Instead of diving in and conceding the penalty with a striker's tackle, he stays on his feet and is on hand to block the Polish winger's shot when he eventually pulls the trigger. Good defending from the Argentinian striker.
29 min: This is bizarre. Real Madrid win a third free-kick in the same area in as many minutes. This time Subotic is guilty of a foul on Coentrao. Alonso sends the ball towards the far post again, where Weidenfeller punches clear. It's returned with interest, but he's quick off his line to catch it.
27 min: Another free-kick from a similar position, for a foul on Coentrao by Reus. Alonso does the honours again, but over-hits the ball. As it sails wide, Ronaldo clatters goalkeeper Weidenfeller in mid-air. The goalkeeper appeals for a free-kick, but doesn't get one.
25 min: Another free-kick for Real Madrid on the left flank after a Lukasz Piszczek foul on Ronaldo. Xabi Alonso whips the ball in to the far post, where it's headed clear.
23 min: Sven Bender is penalised for hand ball about 35 yards from the Dortmund goal and Critiano Ronaldo steps up to take the free-kick. He runs the full gamut of his pre-kick preening, commiting assorted acts of ritualistic tomfoolery, before prancing ball-wards like a small dog running through long grass. It's a decent effort, dipping and on target, but doesn't trouble Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller unduly.
22 min: Real Madrid surge forward, with Sami Khedira winning the ball in midfield and playing it forward to Mesut Ozil. He's tackled and dispossessed by Ilkay Gundogan, but the ball breaks kindly to Luka Modric.
20 min: "I think the first 10 minutes Dortmund were absolutely fantastic, they really powered out of the blocks," says Gary Neville. "It's settled down a bit now and I think Real Madrid will be a bit happier with how it's going."
18 min: It'll be interesting to see the possession stats for this half - I'd put Borussia Dortmund about 70-30 ahead so far. Looking at a repaly of the goal, I didn't quite do it justice in my original description: Gotze's cross was sublime and Lewandowski had to unburden himself of Pepe, who was grappling with and hanging out of him, before getting himself into a position where he could steer the ball home at what looked like full stretch.If he hadn't scored he should have got a penalty, but I doubt one would have been forthcoming.
14 min: Borussia Dortmund advance again, but Fabio Contrao wins possession back for Real Madrid with a crunching tackle by the left touchline. The full-back undoes his good work by immediately conceding possession to Marco Reus with a loose pass. There are quite a few meaty challenges flying in here, but referee Bjorn Kuipers seems quite happy to let them go. That's the Dutch for you - it's a shame there aren't more like him. I wonder what his stance on cannibalism is?
12 min: Real Madrid get the ball out of their own half for what seems like the first time in aeons, but any brief respite they might have gained comes to an abrupt end when Gonzalo Higuain is correctly flagged for offside as Mesut Ozil attempted to play a defence-splitting pass for him to chase.
11 min: Jose Mourinho is looking mightily concerned on the touchline and it's not difficult to see why - his side is being outplayed in every department at the moment. They've been rocked back on their heels by that opener and are looking a bit shell-shocked.
GOAL! Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Real Madrid (Lewandowski 8) Germany's leading goalscorer puts his side ahead and it's a lead they deserve. Mario Goze crossed from the left and the Polish striker got the better of Pepe on the edge of the six-yard box and poked the ball home with a perfectly timed lunge.
6 min: Another mighty challenge on Khedeira by Sven Bender, who loses the ball to Marco Reus. He advances through the centre at great speed, goes on an arcing run across the face of the penalty area and shoots for the bottom left-hand corner. Lopez parries into the path of Lewandowski, but the angle's too narrow for him to force the ball home.
4 min: Borussia Dortmund central midfielder Ikay Gundogan is fouled as he tries to dispossess his opposite number Sami Khedeira and wins a free-kick in the centre circle. This has been quite attritional thus far, without either side mustering anything in the way of chances.
2 min: Sven Bender wins the ball with a strong challenge in midfield and plays the ball to Marco Reus, who tries to ferret his way forward through the centre. Gary Neville is providing the co-=commentary on Sky Sports tonight, so expect "my" tactical insights to be even more erudite than usual.
1 min: Real Madrid kick off. They're playing in their usual white strip. The hosts wear their customary yellow shirts with black stripes, black shorts and yellow socks.
The players march out, hand-in-hand with their little mascots and line up either side of the match officials. Meanwhile, Ron Havas has this to say. "I am not in the habit of doing other people’s jobs by providing them free content, but here we go: Prof. Michael Cox suggested Borussia would go after Madrid’s left, based on the group stages and Coentrao’s troubles in Turkey," he says. "Including Kuba instead of Grosskreutz means Reus will line-up on the left. I guess his Klopp-ness has less respect for Ramos than the Portuguese – or he wants Kuba to support his fellow Pole (won’t venture an attempt to spell out Lukasz’s surname) against Ronaldo."
With ne'er a yellow card between them, neither team has any starters walking the disciplinary tightrope. I'm going to go out on a limb and hazard a guess that Pepe and Sergio Ramos will be tap-dancing all over it before too long.
Well, a small snippet of a very, very long one she sent earlier. She's ridiculously excited about the prospect of reading tonight's minute-by-minute report, which would suggest she can't get out more. Which is not to say she doesn't get out, but she's explained that she has an unspecified leg injury which is keeping her out of the pub and she's too mean or principled to get Sky.
"Anyway, here I am in a city near to Dortmund and I have to say that I'm ready to enjoy an internet football game," she writes. "I'm so amazed! But last night the game went so quick - I can't believe that I read for 90 minutes!! Well, maybe just cause it was a high goal game. Let's see if sleep threatens if this one's slow ... though I doubt it. Not in a championship game. I'll stop talking ... yep, I'm a woman!"
"Lewie's moving to Bayern this summer as well, apparently," he writes. "As a Bayern fan this is one crazy trade too far. It stands to reason that this is all because Pep has a wish list, but he's not setting himself up for a warm welcome with the fans. We don't know enough to make any conclusions about Pep's idea for next season, but WTF? As a Bayern fan, I pray that BVB make the finals. Their fans deserve it."
Want to see some footage of Mesut Ozil gadding about in short trousers as a young 17-year-old whippersnapper, while a scary sounding German lady does the voiceover? Of course you do. Spotter's badge: Oscar Morris.
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels,
Schmelzer, Bender, Gundogan, Blaszczykowski, Gotze, Reus,
Subs: Langerak, Kehl, Leitner, Sahin, Grosskreutz, Schieber, Felipe Santana.
Real Madrid: Diego Lopez, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Pepe, Fabio Coentrao, Khedira, Alonso, Ozil, Modric, Ronaldo, Higuain.
Subs: Casillas, Kaka, Benzema, Albiol, Callejon, Di Maria,
Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (Holland)
... and there aren't too many surprises. Despite all the trouble he's caused, by agreeing to be sold to Bayern Munich, Mario Gotze will be sent out to soak up the wrath of the home support tonight, while elsewhere in the Borussia Dortmund side, the Poland international Jakub Blaszczykowski (who will, for the purposes of my sanity, will henceforth be referred to by his nickname "Kuba") slots in to a right wing berth many expected to be filled by Kevin Krosskreutz. In the Real Madrid side, Luka Modric starts instead of Angel Di Maria, while Gonzalo Higuain gets the nod up front ahead of Karim Benzema.
Real Madrid's record in Germany is little short of deplorable, considering their pedigree pretty much everywhere else they've traveled. In 24 visits to Germany, they've endured 17 defeats, been held to six draws and have one just one match, against Bayer Leverkusen in 2004. They've also lost each of their last five away matches in Germany. Bearing that in mind, not to mention the fact that Borussia Dortmund have already beaten them in this season's tournament, it's difficult to see why Real Madrid are favourites to win tonight's match, if only very slight ones. As a betting medium it's a match to stay away from, in my opinion. Not that I have, obviously ...
Don't forget, these two sides have already met twice in the group stages of this year's competition and Borussia Dortmund have the edge. Robert Lewandowski and Marcel Schmelzer scored the goals for the German side when Dortmund saw off Real at the Westfalenstadion in October, while it took a late Mesut Ozil goal to earn Real Madrid a point at the Bernabeu the following month. Click on the links to read the reports.
After last night's slaughter of Barcelona at the hands of Bayern Munich, Spanish football is quickly given the chance to redeem itself in the second of this week's Champions League semi-final first legs to be staged in Germany. Borussia Dortmund's magnificent Westfalenstadion is the venue for a match in which Jurgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund entertain Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid.
With both sides a distant second in their respective domestic leagues, we could be forgiven for expecting Dortmund to dish out a repeat of last night's schooling, but such logic doesn't tend to apply to football and the smart money seems to be on Real Madrid to progress over two legs, with many pundits tipping them to win both legs comfortably.
Having controversially edged their way past Malaga by the skin of their teeth in the quarter-finals, Borussia Dortmund's preparation for this match has been seriously unsettled by the leaking of the news that their star player Mario Goetze is off their biggest rivals Bayern Munich at the end of the season. You can read all about that in this report from Sid Lowe. When you're finished that, you could do a lot worse than read this great piece by Marcus Christenson on how Dortmund have come from the brink of financial armageddon in 2005 to being the football hipster's Champions League semi-final contestant of choice.
Still want more? You might want to see what Sid had to say for himself when facing down our readers' interrogatory projectiles in this afternoon's webchat, then peruse this gallery of Borussia Dortmund's loveable manager the magnificent Mr Klopp. Finally, get thee to a nearby tactics website named to see how our tactics expert Michael Cox thinks tonight's match will unfold.