Borussia Dortmund booked their place in the Champions League quarter-finals despite losing 2-1 to Zenit St Petersburg at the Westfalenstadion.
Last season’s losing finalists all but sewed up their progress in the first-leg after beating Zenit 4-2 in Russia.
But they made a nervy start to the game at home, not helped by Zenit’s fast-paced approach which culminated in Hulk cutting in from the right wing before unleashing an outswinging effort into the top left on 15 minutes.
Oleg Shatov could have really piled the pressure on Dortmund when he was found in space on the left wing by Danny and fizzed an effort across the face of goal.
The Bundesliga side, looking incredibly nervous, were rescued by one of their seasoned veterans though, when captain Sebastian Kehl headed home a Marcel Schmelzer cross with gusto to drag Dortmund level on 37 minutes.
However, they failed to build on the initiative and fell behind again in the 71st minute to a goal from Zenit substitute Jose Rondon, who stooped low to head a Domenico Criscito cross beyond Roman Weidenfeller.
The Russian side had left it too late to mount a full comeback though, and despite suffering a second successive home defeat Dortmund progressed to the last eight.
15' - INCREDIBLE HULK! From out of nowhere Hulk cuts in from the right wing before firing an outswinging shot into the top left hand corner beyond Weidenfeller's reach. Game on.
21' - SAVE! Grosskreutz forces Malafeev into action with a curling effort which looks to be headed into the top corner. Dortmund win a corner.
35' - CHANCE! Danny finds Shatov on the left who cuts in and fizzes the ball across the face of goal only to see it fly wide of the far post. Massive chance.
37' - DORTMUND LEVEL! Kehl nods home to effectively put Dortmund through.
71' - GAME ON AGAIN! Rondon puts Zenit ahead on the night, but they still score two more goals to progress. The striker beats the offside trap to stoop and head in a left wing cross.
Hulk scored or assisted six of Zenit’s eight Champions League goals this season.
None of Dortmund’s last 12 Champions League games has ended in a draw.
Zenit won only their second game of the Champions League campaign, but were knocked out of the competition.
Dortmund’s five game unbeaten streak against Russian sides came to an abrupt end.
Dortmund have only kept one clean sheet in their last 12 Champions League games.
TALKING POINT: How far can Borussia Dortmund go in the Champions League this season? They are a threat, there is no doubt about that with players like Robert Lewandowski, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang among their number. Many of the top sides, such as Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich will not savour the prospect of being drawn to play them, but with so many injuries to key men, including Marco Reus and Sven Bender, they are unlikely to match last season’s heroic run to the final.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Axel Witsel (Zenit): The Belgium midfielder showed why he will be one to watch at this summer’s World Cup, with a commanding display in the middle of the park. He was the driving force behind everything good that Zenit did on the night, and it is just a shame that most of his team-mates are not on his level.
Dortmund: Weidenfeller 6; Hummels 7, Papas 5, Piszczek 5, Schmelzer 7, Kehl 6, Nuri Sahin 6, Grosskreutz 6, Lewandowski 6, Mkhitaryan 6, Aubameyang 6. Subs: Jojic 5, Durm 5, Hofmann 5.
Zenit: Malafeev 5, Criscito 6, Lombaerts 5, Hubocan 5, Anyukov 6, Shatov 6, Fayzulin 6, Witsel 8, Danny 7, Hulk 7, Kerzhakov 6. Subs: Neto 5, Rondon 6, Smolnikov 5.
THE MATCH IN A TWEET
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- Borussia Dortmund
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