Dortmund seal 'incredible' Champions League final return as Mbappe denied dream PSG exit

German side head to Wembley after 2-0 aggregate win and will face either Bayern Munich or Real Madrid

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Borussia Dortmund manager Edin Terzic hailed his team's “incredible route” to the Uefa Champions League final after Tuesday's victory over Paris Saint-Germain denied Kylian Mbappe the opportunity to play his last game for the French giants at Wembley.

Holding a 1-0 lead after the first leg in Germany, Dortmund beat PSG against the run of play at Parc des Princes thanks to Mats Hummels' header five minutes into the second half.

Dortmund, who sit fifth in the Bundesliga, were not expected to go so far and will be underdogs in the June 1 showpiece regardless of whether they face old rivals Bayern Munich or Real Madrid, who meet on Wednesday.

It will be their first final since 2013 when, remarkably, the match was also played at Wembley, and Jurgen Klopp's Dortmund lost to Bayern.

Hummels played in that final and, 11 years later, he was the hero as Dortmund built on the advantage given to them by Niclas Fullkrug's goal in the first leg.

Drawn in a group with PSG, 2023 semi-finalists AC Milan and English side Newcastle United, Dortmund were tipped by most not to even make it out of the group.

Despite being dominated in a 2-0 loss at the Parc des Princes by PSG in their first group stage match in September, Dortmund recovered to top the group.

Wins over PSV Eindhoven and Atletico Madrid then followed in the knockout stages to set up a rematch with PSG in the semi-finals.

“The belief in the final was already there early on,” Terzic said. “We spoke about it for the first time before the first leg in Eindhoven. The faces looked a bit baffled when I said that the route to London is short. It will still take a little while before it sinks in for us, but the joy is already extremely great.

“We've grown with every match. At some point, we beat Milan, who were in the semi-final last year. And when you eliminate a semi-finalist, then it can work for us too.

“We wanted to be the team that people don't necessarily have on their radar. The route has been incredible. We knew that games like today are frequently opened up or decided by set pieces. Mats took it outstandingly well.”

Alongside centre-back partner Nico Schlotterbeck, the 34-year-old Hummels stood tall, helping Dortmund keep PSG's array of attacking talent, including their standout forward Mbappe, at bay across both ties.

He added a goal of his own in the second leg and was named player of the match in both games.

The 2014 World Cup winner, who left Dortmund for Bayern in 2016 wanting to win the Champions League before returning in 2019, is now one match away from one of the few trophies he is yet to claim across a glittering career.

“Since the second game in the group stage, we've believed that we can compete in the Champions League,” Hummels said. “We've now proven that so often. There is no reason whatsoever for us not to believe that we can win the final too.”

Mbappe's PSG Champions League dream over

While Dortmund turn their focus to the final, it was a case of another opportunity missed for PSG, and for their star man Mbappe, the chance to end his stint in the French capital with European glory.

The 2018 World Cup winner will leave PSG after seven years when his contract expires at the end of this season, with Real Madrid his likely next destination.

He had hoped to sign off by leading the club to the Champions League title for the first time in their history, but despite dominating the second leg, PSG couldn't find the goals to send them to Wembley.

Mbappe was one of four PSG players to hit the woodwork in the second half, and manager Luis Enrique complained his side, who had 31 attempts on goal, had been “unlucky”.

“I don't really like to talk about bad luck,” Mbappe said. “When you are good, you don't hit the post, you score. I tried to help the best I could. When I say we needed to be more clinical, I am the one who has to be scoring. But this is life, we need to pick ourselves up.”

It will be hard for PSG to do that, given how close they were to reaching the final for the second time, four years on from their defeat against Bayern Munich in Lisbon.

That will forever remain as close as Mbappe came to lifting the European Cup with his hometown team, for whom he is their all-time top scorer with 255 goals.

A total of 42 of those have come in Europe's elite club competition, but he could not add to that tally across the two legs against Dortmund.

Updated: May 08, 2024, 6:21 AM