Dortmund lean on home comforts ahead of Atletico clash


Head Coach Edin Terzic of Borussia Dortmund comforts Sebastien Haller of Borussia Dortmund during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Mönchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund at Borussia Park Stadium on April 13, 2024 in Moenchengladbach, Germany.

Borussia Dortmund host Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie on Tuesday looking for inspiration from their Westfalenstadion fortress to overturn a 2-1 deficit.

Winners in 1997 and finalists in 2013, Dortmund are somehow still in with a shot at returning to the semi-finals despite a terrible start in Madrid, with Edin Terzic's overawed side trailing by two goals after 30 minutes.

Dortmund composed themselves and were arguably the better side for the remaining 60 minutes but, despite a crucial Sebastien Haller goal, will rue two slapstick defensive mistakes which gave Atletico the upper hand.

As it often is, Dortmund's trump card is their 80,000-strong Westfalenstadion -- Germany's biggest stadium and one of the largest in European football.

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The club have not lost there since November 2021, having faced the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Newcastle in that time.

- Dortmund strong in Europe -

Despite a poor domestic season which sees the Champions League regulars currently out of the top four and fighting to qualify next season, Dortmund have been impressive in Europe.

Tipped for relegation to the Europa League or worse, Dortmund emerged first in a tough group containing PSG, Milan and Newcastle.

Central to their Champions League form has been the Westfalenstadion cauldron, which is particularly intimidating on European nights.

Since losing to a Haller-inspired Ajax in November 2021 -- the striker moved to Dortmund in the summer of 2022 -- Dortmund have gone nine games unbeaten at home.

Dortmund have scored 15 goals in that time while conceding just two, demonstrating their home strength on the European stage.

While often unpredictable, Dortmund have been defensively solid under Terzic this season -- that is, until they gifted two goals to put Atletico in pole position at the Wanda Metropolitano last Wednesday.

Centre-back Nico Schlotterbeck was particularly poor against Atletico while Mats Hummels, in fine form in Europe so far this season, also failed to impress.

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