Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp could barely contain his disbelief at having witnessed his side progress to the Champions League final with a 4-3 aggregate victory over Real Madrid, but was adamant the progression is deserved.
The German side went into the match with a relatively comfortable 4-1 lead from the first leg, but Madrid rallied in the return encounter, scoring two late goals to set up a highly tense finale.
And Klopp, who conceded his team was not at its best on Tuesday, ultimately believed the performance over both legs has warranted the trip to Wembley in May.
“Unbelievable,” Klopp told reporters. ”I have to admit, we played too little football today. During the second half we played our attacks better. If we converted one of those chances, the match would have been killed.
“The match had everything. Real Madrid can play great football and they showed that today. They had to deliver today and they did. We stood up to them. Those are the rules, we won 4-3 and we are deservedly in the final.“
The German went on to discuss how luck plays a part in any team's run to a final and suggested that he had took inspiration and confidence from the 1997 Dortmund side which went on to lift the trophy that year.
He added: “I talked to manager, Michael Zorc, and that team of 1997 and they were lucky getting to the final, too. You have to have luck to reach the final and we now had it twice.“
Klopp also reserved praise for striker Robert Lewandowski after the match. Madrid coach Jose Mourinho had stated after the first leg the Pole had not come under enough rough treatment from his players in the wake of the four-goal tally for the striker.
But the match at Santiago Bernabeu saw the former Lech Poznan striker singled out for some over-zealous attention from the Blancos' players and the Dortmund boss was proud his player kept a cool head.
“I wished for 'Lewy' [Lewandowski] to get more protection," he continued. "The way he stayed calm after all those scenes, that is almost superhuman. But we are through so why would we complain.”
The 45-year-old then looked forward to the Bundesliga clash against rival Bayern Munich on Saturday, but stressed that no matter the result, he and his team would be in celebration mode.
“We have one day more off than Bayern and we will use that day.” said Klopp. "I myself will have a beer at the hotel but I won't go out. But I can't keep the boys in there, too.
"And if we get hammered by Bayern, that will be the happiest defeat in the history of the Bundesliga.“
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