Captain Iker Casillas said Real Madrid were given a UEFA Champions League wake-up call as they lost 2-0 to last season’s beaten finalists Borussia Dortmund in their quarter-final second leg match but still went through to the last four 3-2 on aggregate on Tuesday.
Germany winger Marco Reus scored both Borussia’s goals to spark hopes of the hosts reaching the semi-finals. However, Real held on but patently missed their star performer Cristiano Ronaldo, who was on the bench because he had not recovered fully from the knock to the knee he took in the first leg.
“Maybe it’s good for us to receive a wake-up call like that from time to time,” said Casillas. “We committed errors at the back that cost us and we cannot commit in the semi-finals.
“It’s better that it came tonight and not in the upcoming games we have. After half-time we had to be mentally strong. When the scoreboard says 2-0 after half an hour, you know it will be difficult, especially after missing a penalty, but sometimes you have to grind it out.”
Real squandered the chance of an early lead after Angel Di Maria had his penalty saved by Dortmund captain Roman Weidenfeller.
“We’re happy to be in the semi-final, that was our main goal, but the style of our win certainly left something to be desired,” said Real coach Carlo Ancelotti.
“Things could have gone differently if we had converted our early penalty. That was the turning point, it made the opposition more bold and my players felt some fear.
“We then made some mistakes in defence and we practically gave away two goals. Perhaps we used our heads better in the second-half and defended better, so we managed it at the end.”