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April 16, 2014
• Signal-Iduna-Park, Dortmund
Referee: M. Gräfe
• Attendance: 80200
H. Mkhitaryan 13'
R. Lewandowski 43'
That's all that we have time for from the DFB Pokal semi-final, as Dortmund navigated their way past a plucky Wolfsburg outfit. Lewandowski's 100th goal in the colours of the home side was enough to ensure that this season isn't one of misery for Die Schwarzgelben, I've been Simon Harrison and I hope to see you all again next time.
Wolfsburg had their fair share of chances to get back into the game, with Belgian midfielder Malanda able to eclipse Dortmund's two goal advantage on his own. On another night, the score could have been much, much different, but it's Klopp's men who progress - with the post-whistle celebrations showing what it means to him.
FULL TIME! DORTMUND ARE IN THE DFB POKAL FINAL! A fairly comfortable win, with a two goal lead which his team held throughout the second half, sees the hosts through to face either Bayern or Kaiserslautern. Goals from Mkhitaryan and Lewandowski were just enough for Die Schwarzgelben.
90' + 6'
Yellow Card Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
90' + 4'
Aubameyang streaks down the right hand side, getting to the byeline despite being fouled by Schafer, but his eventual cross fails to find the awaiting figure of Schieber. Poor from the Gabon international.
90' + 3'
90' + 2'
CALIGIURI! The substitute should be doing much better there! Trasch breaks down the right hand side, before cutting the ball back to Perisic, who whips in an excellent back post delivery! Caligiuri is present to meet it, but the side netting is the only part of the goal to become acquainted with his attempt!
90' + 1'
Important clearance from Hummels! Caligiuri breaks into the Dortmund box, before lifting the ball over the uncertain Weidenfeller, but the Germany international defender is on hand to ensure that Olic didn't profit from the scraps.
Five minutes of added time, due to the lengthy treatment of Malanda and Sokratis not too long ago. Despite the threat of a late Wolfsburg comeback, the Yellow Wall continue to sing optimistically.
Caligiuri throws himself to the turf in front of Piszczek, trying to persuade the referee to award Wolfsburg with a penalty. Needless to say, and true to form, the match official isn't interested in the slightest. Not something we like to see in football.
Sloppy passes lead to a few unsavoury exchanges of possession, with neither side able to string more than three passes together. After an intense 85 minutes, this game is in danger of doing the unthinkable and slowing down a little.
Five minutes left on the clock, with Dortmund's fans continuing to believe their side are already in the final. Lewandowski receives a standing ovation, being replacing by Aubameyang, as Klopp continues to try and stretch this exploited Wolfsburg defence until the last minute.
Bernard Malanda Adje
After a second look, it's a painful one for both players! Malanda treads on the ankle of Sokratis, with the full-bodied force of the challenge of the Belgian injuring himself in the process! Caligiuri is quickly thrown into the fray in place of the injured Malanda.
WHAT A CHANCE FOR WOLFSBURG! A brilliant save from Weidenfeller denies a close-range header from Malanda, before the Belgian midfielder tries to blast the rebound towards goal too! Sokratis gets a leg in the way and the ball appeared to strike the foot of the post too! Both players are down, as Malanda appeared to unintentionally kick the challenging foot of Sokratis!
Yet another chance for Malanda! The run from the midfielder into the space in between Dortmund's defensive line and Weidenfeller is excellent, but he can't get a touch on Perisic's cross! Brilliant energy from the young player to get into these positions, though.
A few substitutes are warming up for either side, with Langerak the most noticeable of them. Weidenfeller previously picked up an injury complaint versus Real Madrid in the Champions League, something which Dortmund fans will hope hasn't flared up again tonight.
LEWANDOWSKI! The Dortmund goalscorer can only stab a tame effort wide of the far post while unbalanced! An unselfish header from Jojic provided the 25-year-old with yet more ammunition, but his body position didn't aid his cause whatsoever. Grun breathes a sigh of relief.
MALANDA! HOW HAS HE MISSED! The Belgian midfielder is found unmarked at the back post, with Durm seemingly gone walkabout! He has plenty of time to watch the cross onto his boot, but can only cushion the ball wildly over the bar with his instep! Only 15 minutes left on the clock for Wolfsburg to muster up some kind of miracle.
PERISIC! The Croatian is found in a pocket of space on the edge of the penalty area, but fires a low drive straight at Weidenfeller! Moments earlier, Klopp made his first change of the evening, replacing the excellent Mkhitaryan with Kirch.
Malanda and Olic go down within quick succession for the away side, with the referee not buying the theatrics of the Wolfsburg players. Sokratis' expression sums up the sentiments of the Dortmund defence, as the Greek defender clearly thinks that his man is starting to go to ground far too easily.
Lewandowski goes down in the centre of the park, falling awkwardly after an aerial duel. He's led off the field slowly, seemingly precautionary and should be okay to continue. He took a slight knock from Luiz Gustavo, but returns to the field quickly.
OLIC! Another header for the Croatian striker, another missed opportunity for Wolfsburg. The experienced forward's contract runs out in the summer, with the former Bayern man possibly being replaced by another man who can be a little more clinical in tight games such as this.
Dortmund's fans remain in jubilant spirit, having something of a sing-along in the Yellow Wall. Lewandowski leaves the field for a spot of treatment, looking to have picked up a slight knock on his ankle, but is raring to get back on the field as soon as possible. He wants another goal!
Yellow Card Sebastian Kehl
MKHITARYAN! The former Shakhtar man takes aim from the edge of the penalty box, but his shot is blocked, striking the chest of Knoche. The Armenia international claims for a penalty, but it's a good decision from the referee. The resulting corner is whipped in, with Lewandowski meeting the delivery, but Grun is more than equal to the header.
Wolfsburg fans will be pleased to see their Portuguese international back involved with the first-team, as the winger can produce that little bit of magic to hurt teams. In an end-to-end game like tonight, giving a player like Vieirinha the ball might just result in your side being dragged back into the contest.
Less than half an hour to play and Dortmund look comfortable. Arnold and Olic have had half chances, but otherwise Weidenfeller has been untested. Hecking looks to his bench, with Vieirinha readying himself on the sidelines.
GROSSKREUTZ! Good move from Dortmund! Piszczek finds himself in plenty of space on the right, as Schafer once again fails to get tight to his man. The Polish full-back's cross is headed back across goal by his compatriot Lewandowski, before Grosskreutz nods the square ball way over Grun's crossbar from eight yards.
SOKRATIS! The Greek defender goes close, leaping excellently to meet yet another Reus free-kick delivery! Grun is able to pat down the header, before collecting the ball at the second attempt. A less nervy evening for the Wolfsburg keeper today.
OLIC! The Croatia international manages to get his head on a cross from deep on the right flank, but can only divert the delivery wide of the far post! He gives a thumbs up to his teammate for the idea, but yet again Wolfsburg can't convert.
Good work from Mkhitaryan again! This is the Armenia international that we're used to seeing! He bursts down the right hand side yet again, skipping inside Schafer, but his attempted through ball to Lewandowski is slightly too heavy. Klopp applauds his player's endeavour.
OFFSIDE! It's been ruled out for Dortmund! Lewandowski rises well to head home his 101st goal for the hosts, but he was stood in an offside position when he made slight contact with Reus' inswinging free-kick delivery.
Some sustained pressure for the visitors comes to nothing, as Dortmund appear able to deal with Wolfsburg's set piece deliveries, even with the colossal frame of Naldo being involved in the mix.
ARNOLD! The young attacking midfielder takes advantage of miscommunication between Sokratis and Weidenfeller, as the goalkeeper tries to punch a looping cross off the head of his own defender. Arnold tries his luck on the half-volley, but his strike is deflected narrowly behind for a corner, with Weidenfeller stranded in no man's land.
POST! Lewandowski strikes the upright! Mkhitaryan slips the Poland international through on goal yet again, but Lewandowski takes the ball to the byeline. Instead of crossing, as Grun perhaps suspected, the lone striker instead tries his luck from a ridiculous angle, cracking his attempt off the near post!
LEWANDOWSKI! Mkhitaryan breaks down the right hand side, before squaring a great cross for the Dortmund striker, but Grun is quick off his line to smother the loose ball! The home side have started the second half with the same intention to counter quickly.
We're back underway in the second half! Dortmund have a two goal cushion, but Wolfsburg know that they've got some goals in their forward four. The hosts have had the better of the chances and game, exposing the visitors on the break, but Hecking is unlikely to play any more conservatively now the Wolves are behind.
Be sure to rejoin us in ten minutes time, as Hecking's Wolfsburg attempt to come up with some answers for Dortmund's intense and vibrant counter-attacking game. Chances have fallen fairly equally, with Dortmund's less than convincing defensive record this campaign suggesting that there still should be goals in this game!
The trio of Lewandowski, Reus and Mkhitaryan have been running rampant on the break for the home side, but chances have been forthcoming at both ends of the field. Malanda and De Bruyne have been the players to spurn golden opportunities, with the latter somehow still not managing to convert in the green and white of his new club.
HALF TIME! Dortmund head to the dressing room with a two goal lead, the second of which came at an excellent time for the hosts, two minutes before the whistle. Mkhitaryan and Lewandowski were the men to find the net, though Wolfsburg can feel aggrieved that they're not at least on the scoreboard. This game isn't over yet!
MALANDA! Another half chance for the defensive midfielder! This time, he picks up possession just inside the Dortmund penalty area, before opening up his body. His curling effort is deflected over the bar by a ruck of yellow shirts, as Wolfsburg are once again frustrated.
Assist Marco Reus
Goal Robert Lewandowski
GOOOOOOAL! LEWANDOWSKI MAKES IT TWO JUST BEFORE THE BREAK! Excellent strength from the Polish striker to hold off his marker, before blasting the ball into the top left hand corner composedly! Reus is the architect yet again, with Lewandowski making no mistake!
MALANDA! DE BRUYNE! The two January acquisitions go close within seconds of each other! Firstly, an early cross is diverted onto the foot of the back post by Malanda, before the rebound is screwed narrowly wide by the former Chelsea man! Unlucky for the away side!
Less than five minutes before the break and Klopp can be impressed with what his side have shown. Though they're missing personnel, that old intensity and spirit appears to be flourishing as we head into the business end of the campaign, boding well for Die Schwarzgelben should they progress into the DFB Pokal final tonight.
GROSSKREUTZ! Excellent approach play from Dortmund, as Reus cuts a Kehl pass back into the path of the utility man, whose first touch can only drag a tame effort harmlessly wide. He beats the turf in frustration.
HUMMELS! The central defender stays in the area, after a Naldo headed clearance, gambling on another cross being swung into the opposition penalty box. He's right to presume, as a back post cross spirals into his path, but his diving header is blocked well!
Positive work down the left from Durm! Trasch is taken out of the game by a lovely sidestep and change of pace, but Naldo stands firmly in the young defender's path. Durm wins a corner, but the same Wolfsburg man is again on hand to deny Dortmund.
The home fans find their voices once again, perhaps hoping to see their side double their lead before the break. Hecking knows how delicate a one-goal lead is in this stadium, having suffered defeat after an early opener less than two weeks ago. Malanda whips a cross towards the back post, but Olic is unable to reach the poorly-weighted pass.
NALDO! Again the tall defender acts as a threat inside the Dortmund box, with De Bruyne's in-swinging free-kick floating into the path of the Brazilian. He can't get goalscoring contact on the delivery, however, as the ball flashes across the face of goal and behind for a goal-kick.
Around 15 minutes left until the half-time break, with Dortmund continuing to look the most likely of the two sides to end the evening with victory. Lewandowski, Reus and Mkhitaryan have been excellent so far, with their pace and trickery combining to leave Naldo with plenty of spaces to cover.
Great defending from Naldo! Lewandowski exchanges a brilliant one-two with Mkhitaryan, with the Polish international wriggling away from his marker and asking for his teammate to float the ball into the space in behind the Brazilian. Mkhitaryan obliges, but the Wolfsburg man tracks him all of the way, not buying a smart Cruyff turn, before putting the ball into touch.
After their brilliant performance in the 3-0 thrashing of Bayern last week, Dortmund are again showing the attacking football which they were renowned for last season. The inclusion of Jojic in central midfield adds extra intensity, which has been missing due to Gundogan's long-term injury.
PERISIC! The former Dortmund man rises brilliantly at the back post to challenge with Piszczek, firing a header narrowly wide of the upright. Piszczek goes down rather heavily, after being shunted in his back by his former teammate, but will be okay to continue.
In an attempt to wrangle some control of the game, Wolfsburg attempt to keep possession for a short spell. Given the intensity of Dortmund and their willingness to win back the ball and break unmercifully, this match isn't one for the footballing purists as of yet.
Despite a load of chances, somehow only one goal has been registered on the scoreboard. Dortmund are looking the more offensively potent side, with Wolfsburg unlucky to have their biggest chance fall to a young Belgian who hasn't scored since joining them from Chelsea in January. De Bruyne's drought goes on.
DE BRUYNE! What a chance for the visitors! Wolfsburg move the ball from left to right excellently, with Perisic releasing the Belgian midfielder in a pocket of space on the right flank. He takes a good first touch, but sees his eventual strike blocked and deflected behind for yet another corner by a combination of Durm and Weidenfeller.
Rodriguez's absence is really being felt already. The Swiss international is normally an assuring presence, but with Schafer at full-back, Reus is having a field day. Plenty of joy down the flanks for Klopp's side.
Goalmouth scramble in Weidenfeller's box! Yet another Wolfsburg corner is floated in, but nobody in a white shirt can stab the ball home, despite the hosts' inability to clear their lines! Malanda readies the trigger from six yards out, but like Naldo minutes earlier, has the ball stolen from his laces.
REUS! You'd have put your house on him scoring there, he's in great form! The former Gladbach man is put through one-on-one with Grun, but overruns his second touch! The visiting goalkeeper is able to race off his line and smother the ball, leaving Reus with his head in his hands. From that situation, Dortmund should have doubled their lead!
Quarter of an hour has passed, with the home supporters in great spirits. Whenever Die Schwarzgelben break, they look incredibly dangerous, with Wolfsburg's central defenders becoming exposed very quickly. There's a lot of work and ground to cover for Luiz Gustvao and Malanda tonight.
Half chance for Naldo! Two corners in quick succession for the away side, result in the second falling to the feet of the rather prolific central defender. He gets the ball robbed from his boot, causing the Brazilian to put on a show of his frustration. Brilliant, energetic game thus far!
Assist Marco Reus
Goal Henrikh Mkhitaryan
GOOOOOOOOAL! MKHITARYAN SCORES TO PUT DORTMUND AHEAD! The Armenia international fires home from outside the box, looking to take his confidence from the Bayern game into this fixture! He cuts inside, before firing a strike past Knoche and Luiz Gustavo, which nestles inside the near post!
JOJIC! Dortmund race forward at real pace, with the Serbian midfielder driving down the right, before looking to cut into the Wolfsburg penalty area. Knoche tries to make a challenge, with Jojic looking to possibly slip over in the remnants of confetti left by the Dortmund supporters' pre-match choreography. Klopp's side are looking focused.
Good covering from Sokratis! The Greek defender drops in behind his full-back to rob Perisic of the ball, as the Croatia international looks to cause his former employers problems once again.
After an end-to-end start, Dortmund are starting to get a firmer foothold in the game. Reus attempts an audacious backheel from the penalty spot, but Grun isn't to be fooled by the Germany international's unorthodox effort. Dortmund are moving forward smoothly thus far.
Yellow Card Luiz Gustavo
Important intervention from Piszczek, as the Poland international flicks away an Olic cross from the head of Arnold. Dortmund are looking to play their normal intense, vertical style of football, with Mkhitaryan looking to have his tail up as a result of his performance versus Bayern.
A very loud and raucous Signal Iduna Park crowd is present tonight, with the home faithful urging their side on towards cup glory. Wolfsburg have pressed forward with more regularity in the opening minutes, but sloppy passes from the likes of Arnold have stopped Hecking's side in their tracks.
A bright start to the game, with both outfits trying to break upfield at pace. Wolfsburg have the ball in the net, as a result of Ivan Perisic challenging with Weidenfeller, but the referee quickly blows his whistle to signal that the Croatian winger did so illegally. The ex-Dortmund man apologises to his former teammate.
We are underway in the first half! Although it goes without saying in this arena, the atmosphere is fantastic, as Dortmund fans await the opportunity to see their team lift some silverware for the season should they triumph tonight. In a nice touch from the home support, they sing a chorus of "You'll Never Walk Alone" before kick-off - in support of Liverpool on the day of the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.
Some nice news for Dortmund fans prior to kick-off, as the club have announced a new contract for midfielder Ilkay Gundogan. The Germany international has put to paper on an extended deal, tying him to Klopp's side until 2016. Another ray of positivity in an otherwise negative campaign!
With 15 minutes left to wait, be sure to stick around for all of the DFB Pokal action, as Dortmund look to set up a potential date with Bayern Munich, should Pep Guardiola's side manage to navigate their way past Kaiserslautern. Wolfsburg have been in exceptional form this side of Christmas, however, leaving the hosts with plenty to do if they're to silence Hecking's men.
While Dortmund continue to struggle without plenty of key players, Wolfsburg are slowly welcoming two regulars back into the fold. Midfielder Slobodan Medojevic is among the substitutes, alongside Portuguese winger Vieirinha, who has only enjoyed sporadic minutes following his comeback. Both could play a major role tonight, should Hecking call upon his reserves to make an impact.
Wolfsburg substitutes: Ochs, Klose, Medojevic, Caligiuri, Vieirinha, Polak, Drewes.
Wolfsburg starting line-up: Grun; Trasch, Naldo, Knoche, Schafer; Malanda, Gustavo; De Bruyne, Arnold, Perisic; Olic.
Dortmund substitutes: Langerak, Friedrich, Hofmann, Aubameyang, Sahin, Kirch, Schieber.
Dortmund starting line-up: Weidenfeller; Piszczek, Sokratis, Hummels, Durm; Kehl, Jojic; Reus, Mkhitaryan, Grosskreutz; Lewandowski.
TEAM NEWS: Plenty of familiar faces from the last time Wolfsburg visited this stadium, with left-back Marcel Schafer being the only change in place of the absent Ricardo Rodriguez. Grun is in between the sticks, hoping for a better outing this time around, with goalscorer Ivica Olic the lone striker. Ex-Dortmund winger Ivan Perisic once again features from the outset and Hecking chooses to keep faith in the goalless Kevin de Bruyne.
TEAM NEWS: Plenty of injuries remain for the home side, with the likes of Bender, Subotic, Schmelzer and Gundogan still sidelined. Robert Lewandowski returns to the starting line-up after being rested against future club Bayern, with Milos Jokic retaining his place in defensive midfield ahead of Nuri Sahin. Erik Durm will look to continue recent good form at left-back, with Kevin Grosskreutz pushed into attacking midfield, preferred to Jonas Hofmann or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
I'm Simon Harrison and I will be keeping you fully updated with all of the action, as this evening's visitors attempt to rectify their defeat at the hands of the same opposition so painfully recently. Should Klopp's men progress towards cup glory, their season can only be viewed as a success, especially due to the plague of injuries they've suffered. For Wolfsburg, this competition may be something of a distraction from their race for fourth place, but silverware is on every manager's wishlist.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Borussia Dortmund's DFB Pokal semi-final clash against Wolfsburg at Signal Iduna Park.. Tonight's two opponents have met as recently as two weeks ago, when Jurgen Klopp's side overturned an Ivica Olic opener to register a 2-1 comeback win. After dispelling rumours linking him to the potentially vacant Barcelona hotseat, Die Schwarzgelben's coach will want to get back to business and progress to the cup final tonight.
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