Dortmund grab upper hand
Borussia Dortmund captain Sebastian Kehl has lamented his side's defensive woes after Wednesday's 2-2 Champions League draw with Shakhtar Donetsk, but believes the German champions are in pole position to progress to the quarter finals.
Robert Lewandowski cancelled out Darijo Srna's opener for Shakhtar and Mats Hummels headed the second equaliser of the match in the 87th minute to give Dortmund strong hope ahead of the return leg in Germany next month.
Although Dortmund improved significantly on Saturday's 4-1 defeat to Hamburg, Kehl believes two away goals should have been sufficient to win the match.
"We can live with the 2-2, even though there was more in this match for us. But the 2-2 leaves us with all chances open for the second leg," Kehl told Sky. "We had a grip on the match in the first half. The goal was unlucky and Donetsk is a strong team. But we were way more compact than in the last matches.
"We analysed the match (to Hamburg). We made many mistakes back then and today we were able to defend better."
Hummels, whose defensive error allowed Douglas Costa to give Shakhtar a 2-1 lead in the second half, expressed his relief at salvaging a draw for his side and insists Dortmund were the better side over the 90 minutes.
"I think Schmelle (Marcel Schmelzer) and me were guilty for that goal [at 2-1]. So it was very important we got the draw at the end," he said.
"It was a good match from both teams, tactically, too. But that is no surprise with all these quality players on the field. Maybe we would have been a little more deservedly the winners."
Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp was far more optimistic than his players, refusing to blame Hummels for the mix up ahead of Costa's goal.
"We usually do not get these kind of goals. [Douglas] Costa was very good in that situation: Mats was not uninvolved, let's just call it that," Klopp said. "Yet we got that late goal in the 87th minute. That is just wonderful and the team can get back to the hotel in a very good mood."
Meanwhile, Shakhtar boss Mircea Lucescu has labelled his side's defensive performance as "childlike", insisting it was unacceptable to surrender the lead twice at home.
"It's a pity that we didn't reach our goal which was to win. Our opponents are a very organised and well-prepared, physical team," Lucescu said. "They played aggressively and tried to attack whenever possible, creating a lot of problems for us. We couldn't keep the lead on two occasions, made some errors, and this is inexcusable.
"It's a 2-2 draw, but we still have some time to work and prepare. We made childlike mistakes today, and now we have to work hard. We talked a lot about set pieces, while preparing for Dortmund, but they still used one of their big strengths to score."