Marcel Sabitzer stars as Borussia Dortmund complete incredible turnaround to book Champions League semifinals spot

Marcel Sabitzer
Marcel Sabitzer / INA FASSBENDER/GettyImages

Borussia Dortmund are through to the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League after defeating Atletico Madrid 5-4 on aggregate in a thoroughly captivating tie.

A turnaround for the ages on a magical Champions League night at the Westfalenstadion has Borussia Dortmund in the semifinals of Europe's premier club competition for the first time since 2013. And much like 11 years ago, they defeated a team from Spain in an absolute thriller to book their place in the last four.

Borussia Dortmund v Atletico Madrid: Quarter-final Second Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
Borussia Dortmund v Atletico Madrid: Quarter-final Second Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 / Leon Kuegeler/GettyImages

Often criticised for buckling under pressure in crunch matches, Borussia Dortmund came up trump in the big moments against Atletico Madrid. Led by an inspired Marcel Sabitzer, the Black and Yellows won 4-2 on the night to overturn their 2-1 deficit from the first leg.

Sabitzer scored the winning goal for Borussia Dortmund, after Julian Brandt and Ian Maatsen had turned the tie on its head in the first-half. But Atletico Madrid responded brilliantly after the break and were back in front thanks to Mats Hummels' own goal and Ángel Correa's strike.

But the Austrian international had the final say, as he set up Niclas Füllkrug for the equaliser on aggregate and then found the bottom corner of the net three minutes later to send the Westfalenstadion into raptures and complete a stunning fightback.

Julian Brandt
Julian Brandt / INA FASSBENDER/GettyImages

After impressing off the bench in the first leg, Julian Brandt was rewarded with a spot in the starting XI. Jadon Sancho also overcame his illness to play from the start, joining the under pressure Karim Adeyemi and Niclas Füllkrug in attack.

Borussia Dortmund showed a lot more proactiveness early on than they did in the first leg. Sabitzer had a golden opportunity to open the scoring after three minutes, but he took too long and his shot from close range was well blocked. Alvaro Morata then went through on goal moments later, but failed to keep his chipped shot on target.

The chances dried up slightly after the initial frenzy, although Borussia Dortmund did most of the attacking with Atletico dropping much deeper than they did in the first leg. And the pressure finally paid off, as BVB scored twice in a five-minute spell to turn the game on its head.

Ian Maatsen
Ian Maatsen / Rene Nijhuis/MB Media/GettyImages

Julian Brandt opened the scoring on the night from a tight angle after getting on the end of Mats Hummels' excellent lobbed pass. Ian Maatsen then put Borussia Dortmund ahead on aggregate after some excellent link-up play in the build-up involving Sancho and Sabitzer.

Borussia Dortmund appeared to be in an excellent position going into the half-time break. But Atletico Madrid were gifted a route back into the tie as Hummels put the ball into his own net while trying to block a header.

The pendulum swung in Atletico's favour, and they took full advantage to turn the tie back around. Ángel Correa restored the Spanish side's lead after more haphazard defending from Borussia Dortmund. But the game wasn't over yet by any means.

Marcel Sabitzer
Marcel Sabitzer / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Marcel Sabitzer has been one of Borussia Dortmund's most consistent performers since the turn of the year. And having assisted Maatsen's goal earlier in the evening, he delivered an outstanding cross to set up Niclas Füllkrug, who headed home his first BVB goal since mid-February.

Just three minutes later, Sabitzer scored the winning goal with an excellent finish into the bottom corner after Atletico Madrid failed to clear their lines from Emre Can's lobbed pass.

The goal sealed a memorable comeback for Borussia Dortmund, and helped them book their Champions League semifinals ticket. A last four tie against Paris Saint-Germain now lies in store for Edin Terzic's side, who will fancy their chances of upsetting the odds, just like they have done time and again in the Champions League this season.