Stoger: Dortmund ‘a bit lucky’ in Europa League

Borussia Dortmund manager Peter Stoger admitted that they needed a bit of good fortune to progress past Atalanta in the Europa League.

Marcel Smeltzer struck late on for Dortmund to cancel out Rafael Toloi’s earlier opener and earn a 1-1 draw in Thursday’s second leg, and a 4-2 win on aggregate thanks to their earlier win in Germany.

“Well, effectively, we were a bit lucky,” Stoger said. “It was only to be expected that it would be difficult, but we certainly made it easier for them in the first half.

“We were not aggressive or physical enough, and we did not apply what we had spoken about doing beforehand. That was not the kind of professional game that you have to play on such occasions.

“We were better in the second half, and the substitutions worked well above anything else. I am really pleased for Schmelzer that he got the goal at the end, as he is our captain and had been out injured.

“Marco Reus showed what good he does for our game when coming off the bench. We had talked to him in recent weeks and wanted to be careful to avoid a relapse.

“We have the right attitude, and the boys have demonstrated that a number of times. Of course, I’m pleased that we are through to the next round, but we have also got a lot to talk about after this match.”