Real Madrid finally broke their Signal Iduna Park hoodoo at the seventh time of asking with a 3-1 over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday evening.
A stunning first-half volley from Gareth Bale opened proceedings, before a brace in the second from Cristiano Ronaldo, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang installing false hope back into the hosts after splitting the Madrid hero’s double.
But the 12-time competition winners were just too much for Peter Bosz’s side, who now slip six points behind both the Spanish side and Tottenham Hotspur in Group H after the duo continued their 100% winning starts.
It was a frantic opening played to a magnitude of noise unrecognisable by any decibel-o-meter, but just as the hosts looked to be taking control Los Blancos had a superb opportunity to silence the Yellow Wall.
Carvajal capitalised on the Dortmund defence’s lack of pace down the right-hand side before cutting inside with only goalkeeper Roman Burki to beat and both Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo queuing up in the middle. However the 25-year-old decided to go alone, but his finish lacked any conviction and the Swiss custodian was able to make a simple save.
Just moments later Ronaldo found himself in almost the exact same situation, with the Portugal international supported again by Bale streaming into the area. The 32-year-old, unlike his teammate minutes before, chose for the unselfish option, however a goal-saving sliding tackle from the backtracking BVB defence denied the Welshman a certain opener.
Following the duo of clear chances Madrid were then almost punished for their poor decision making in front of goal, when Maximilian Philipp was found at the back post from a slightly overcooked Andriy Yarmolenko cross.
However the 23-year-old’s volley was eventually cleared off the line by a duo of Real defenders, one of which being Sergio Ramos, who, on reflection, seemed to brush the ball away from goal with his arm.
However, the Spanish side’s counter-attacking warnings finally came to fruition just after the quarter-hour mark thanks to a simply delightful finish from Bale. It was Carvajal again causing the hosts problems before the Spaniard lofted his beautifully-weighted ball into the path of the advancing Wales international, allowing the 28-year-old to dispatch his first-time attempt into the top right-hand corner of Burki’s net and leaving the shot-stopper with absolutely no chance.
Following the opener the visitors then attempted to slow the tempo of the opening exchanges, which they did with great success. However, five minutes before the break referee Bjorn Kuipers was thrown under the spotlight after Carvajal was caught on the wrong side of the advancing Philipp, who was flying towards the Madrid area in anticipation of Yarmolenko‘s cross.
But the Spaniard clearly yanked the left-sided attacker to the ground just outside the area with the help of a little trip, much to the displeasure of the Yellow Wall, however the referee only saw fit to brandish a yellow card – fortunate to say the least.
The blockbuster opening 45 ended in-the-same-vein that had been present throughout, with both Ronaldo and Ramos spurning great opportunities to double the Champions League holders’ lead, giving everyone in the stadium, and those watching at home, a much-needed chance to breathe.
However, the second started at the same blistering pace as the opening half, with the first of many great opportunities coming in just the opening 45 seconds.
This time is was Dortmund who found themselves with a clear chance to level things up, as both Carvajal and goalkeeper Keylor Navas were caught napping after a dangerous lofted ball into the area from Mario Gotze.
The World Cup-winner’s cross from deep allowed Yarmolenko to ghost into the area, but, instead of taking the chance himself, the Russian attempted to header back across goal to a supporting attacker, however was only able to find Raphael Varane, who cleared with ease.
But just three minutes later, as is often the case, BVB were then punished for their lack of clinicalness, as Ronaldo doubled his side’s lead. The 32-year-old was found in space in front of goal by wide-man Bale from the left-hand side before sliding the simplest of finishes past the helpless Burki, sending the stadium into silence.
However, both the noise, and the hosts’ spirits were rejuvenated less than 10 minutes later as Aubameyang, who had been kept quiet all evening, was able to force his way in front of Ramos with a late run before latching onto Gonzalo Castro’s cross from the left-hand side with a well-taken volley beating the diving Navas.
After getting one back, similarly to the first-half, the tie then slowed down throughout the middle period, but that calm was smashed to pieces by Ronaldo with a thumping strike from an acute angle on the counter attack.
The attacker, who has now scored 411 goals in 400 appearances, latched onto Luka Modric’s ball over the top before deciding against squaring the ball across the face of goal to the free Marco Acensio and unleashing a thunderbolt past Burki to restore Zinedine Zidane’s side’s two-goal cushion.
That was the way it stayed until referee Kuipers brought an end to proceedings, in what will always be remembered as a true Champions League classic.