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HindustanTimes Wed,23 Jul 2014

Football

Malaga's preparations hit by death, lightning
Reuters
Dortmund, April 08, 2013
First Published: 23:55 IST(8/4/2013)
Last Updated: 23:56 IST(8/4/2013)

Malaga were hit by lightning and the death of coach Manuel Pellegrini's father as they prepared for Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg at Borussia Dortmund.

The Spaniards, who drew 0-0 in the first leg against Dortmund, slumped to a 4-2 loss at Sociedad in La Liga on Saturday, with Pelle-grini returning to Chile immedia-tely after the game for the funeral. Malaga said the coach intended to travel to Germany on Tuesd-ay, a day later than his players.

The Spaniards also had to endure a nerve-wracking flight up to the Basque Country on Friday, when their aircraft was caught in a thunderstorm.

Unable to land in San Sebastian and diverted to nearby Bilbao, the plane touched down after being struck three times by lightning and the team had to finish their journey by coach.

"It was generally a weekend to forget and let's hope we can give the coach some joy on Tuesday," captain Weligton told reporters.

Centre back Weligton and midfielder Manuel Iturra are suspended for Tuesday's game.

The Germans, European champions in 1997 and undefeated in the competition this season, enjoyed a perfect dress rehearsal, easing past Augsburg 4-2 with coach Juergen Klopp fielding a second-string team to rest seven starters.

Klopp, aware that Pellegrini led another team - Villarreal - to the last four in their debut season in 2005/6, will have to wait and see whether central defender Mats Hummels and midfielder Jakub Blaszczykowski will be fit in time. "Between two not unimportant  games it was important to play to win (vs Augsburg). The team passed the character test with flying colours," said Klopp.


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