Malaga out to down Dortmund for grieving coach
Malaga defender Martin Demichelis says the Spaniards want to win at Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday to reach the Champions League semi-finals for their grieving coach Manuel Pellegrini.
- Published: 9/04/2013 at 01:49 AM
- Newspaper section: news
Malaga's French midfielder Jeremy Toulalan (R) and Argentine defender Martin Demichelis warm up during a training session at the stadium in Dortmund, western Germany on April 8, 2013, on the eve of the UEFA Champions League football match against Borussia Dortmund.
The 59-year-old flew from Spain to Chile on Saturday straight after the 4-2 Spanish league defeat at Real Sociedad following the sudden death of his father, but is expected to reach Dortmund in time for the quarter-final second leg.
Malaga have made a remarkable Champions League debut by reaching the last eight and having held Dortmund to a goalless draw in last Wednesday's first leg, and now the Spaniards are desperate to reach the semis for Pellegrini.
"It's tragic that this has happened and we're all sad for him," Argentina centre-back Demichelis said at Monday's press conference.
"He didn't tell us about his father passing away before Saturday's game, that shows his greatness.
"Now we have offered him our condolences.
"He will be with us tomorrow and we will try everything to go through for him. We want to give him a gift by going a round further."
Having played for Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga from 2003 until 2011, Demichelis knows what his team will face at Dortmund, with a sell-out crowd of 80,720 expected.
"I know how impressive this stadium is when the fans get behind their team, but that shouldn't make us shy," he said.
"We're treating this game as our final."
Dortmund squandered a string of chances in the first leg, with Germany star Mario Goetze missing two clear chances, and Demichelis said his Malaga side are eager for an early goal at Borussia's Signal Iduna Park.
"The first leg result was surely not a bad one for us. Those who think Dortmund are almost through already are mistaken," said the 32-year-old.
"They are a team full of running, we have to be careful because they are very dangerous when they counter attack.
"Dortmund are more than just individuals, they weren't German champions twice for nothing, they have a clear philosophy."
Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp has said he expects to be able to name a full-strength team with Marco Reus, Roman Weidenfeller, Mats Hummels and Jakub 'Kuba' Blaszczykowski all fit after missing Saturday's 4-2 win over Augsburg.
While Dortmund's attack, especially Poland striker Robert Lewandowski, Reus and Goetze, was left frustrated by their lack of goals in Malaga, Klopp said his side have every reason to stay positive.
"I have said to the boys after training, I heard a lot of negative things after the first-leg result, but everything has been really positive so far, the first leg included," said Klopp.
"I have no idea why people think you can just win in Malaga like that.
"Anyone who needs a guarantee to watch football should close their eyes for tomorrow's game.
"There are two ways of coping with the situation we are in: feeling only pressure or seeing only an opportunity.
"Our big mistake in the first leg was not that we squandered chances, but how we reacted. You could see it irritated us.
"That only strengthens the opponent. We have to do better than that tomorrow and I believe we will."
Left-back Marcel Schmelzer, who will decide whether to continue wearing a protective mask having broken his nose last month, said the hosts are desperate to reach the semi-finals in Europe for the first time in 15 years.
"We'll all give everything we have for the 90 minutes to try and get to the next round," said the Germany defender.
"The semi-finals would be something unique and it is a huge thing for us to be able to play for that tomorrow."
About the author
- Writer: AFP
- Position: News agency