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HindustanTimes Mon,14 Jul 2014

Football

Real Madrid look to show Dortmund their better side
Agencies
Dortmund, April 24, 2013
First Published: 00:31 IST(24/4/2013)
Last Updated: 02:44 IST(24/4/2013)

Argentina forward Angel Di Maria has insisted Real Madrid have learnt from their group stage defeat at Borussia Dortmund and will not make the same mistake twice in Wednesday's Champions League semi-final, first-leg.

Real will have to cope also with what promises to be a passionate atmosphere in the ground which saw Dortmund receive 500,000 requests for tickets for a ground whose capacity is nearly 66,000.  

Such was the demand for tickets that police had to intervene to restore order when brawls broke out as fans tried to queue barge as the remaining semi-final tickets went on sale on Tuesday. They were sold out within an hour.

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Di Maria says that Real have progressed as a side since their defeat in the group stage.

"We weren't at our best in the two group matches, but that's changed now. Our defence is more compact and we've got more confidence," said the 25-year-old. "Dortmund are very similar to us, they're very good on the counter attack. We've experienced that already."

Jurgen Klopp's Dortmund took four points off Real in the group stages, beating Jose Mourinho's side 2-1 at home last October before drawing 2-2 in Madrid, as the Germans finished top of Group D.

On the hunt
Borussia are looking for a hat-trick of home victories against Spanish league sides after their dramatic 3-2 quarter-final, second-leg win over Malaga.

Poland striker Robert Lewandowski is reported to be fit, despite bruising his leg in Saturday's 2-0 win over Mainz 05. But both defensive midfielders Sven Bender, inflamed pelvis, and captain Sebastian Kehl, foot ligament, face a race against time.


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