The recently dethroned Bundesliga champions picked up three crucial points at Signal Iduna Park and, just as crucially, came through the game unscathed
Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp hailed a “perfect day” for his side after they came away from their Bundesliga clash with Mainz with the three points they required to ensure their place in next season’s Champions League, and without any fresh injuries ahead of Wednesday’s meeting with Real Madrid.
The recently dethroned Bundesliga champions were not at their brilliant best at Signal Iduna Park, but an early effort from Marco Reus and a late goal from Robert Lewandowski secured the hosts with the most straightforward of victories.
“We have rarely found the game as easy as we have today,” Klopp was quoted as saying by his club’s official website.
“Our first attack brought us the lead and for the next 20 or 25 minutes, we were really great. Then, we lost our way a bit, and Mainz were somewhat stronger. We were lucky that they did not equalise.
“But we have exprienced games like this before so we adjusted a bit during the break and then played an intense second half to win the game.
“Also, nobody got injured, so it’s been a perfect day for us.”
Defender Marcel Schmelzer was just as enthused by the win, primarily because it ensured Dortmund will be back in the Champions League next season, irrespective of the outcome of their semi-final showdown with Madrid.
“Yes, that is very important,” he told RuhrNachrichten.de. “We have always stressed that this was our primary goal for the season.
“Also, now we don’t have to read questions about how we’re supposed to beat Madrid when we cannot even focus properly on the league.
“It was always very important to us that we focused fully on the game immediately in front of us, and we managed that today.”
Dortmund defeated Madrid when the two sides met at Signal Iduna Park in this season’s group stages, before drawing at the Santiago Bernabeu.