Three takeaways as Borussia Dortmund stun Atletico Madrid to reach Champions League semifinals

Borussia Dortmund came from behind twice to defeat Atletico Madrid 5-4 on aggregate and secure a place in the UEFA Champions League semifinals on an incredible evening at the Westfalenstadion.
Borussia Dortmund vs Atletico Madrid: UEFA Champions League
Borussia Dortmund vs Atletico Madrid: UEFA Champions League / INA FASSBENDER/GettyImages
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Edin Terzic got his tactics spot on

It’s no secret that Borussia Dortmund began the first leg poorly, with Edin Terzic's passive approach setting his squad up for failure in many ways. Yet, Terzic learned from his mistakes because there is so much he did right in this match. BVB were proactive right from the start on Tuesday evening, and managed to catch Atletico Madrid by surprise in a chaotic contest.

I was nervous that Emre Can and Marcel Sabitzer would be played as a double-pivot again, but that was far from the case. The BVB captain hung back in his preferred role as the holding midfielder, while the Austrian drifted through the attacking midfield, acting as a second striker at times. This is a really interesting role for the Austrian, and it is a tactical experiment that seems to be paying off.

Terzic’s decision to start Julian Brandt instead of Felix Nmecha also played a huge role in this game’s success. Brandt used his experience to great effect and set the tone for his side with his early goal. I’d also like to mention something my fellow writer Eli pointed out to me - and that’s how much better Niklas Füllkrug looked in this match compared to any of his recent showings. Terzic’s decision to rest him over the weekend could have been the catalyst to him reclaiming some semblance of form. Füllkrug’s positioning was better in this match than any of his last three or four at least.

Terzic's substitutions last week kept Borussia Dortmund in the tie. And he brought on Jamie Bynoe-Gittens to great effect on Tuesday. JBG is quick, and his greatest feature in this match was drawing defenders towards him. In the plays leading up to BVB's second-half goals, Bynoe-Gittens drew Atletico players out of position and helped break their organisation, which essentially allowed Borussia Dortmund to reclaim the momentum and control the game to its conclusion.