Champions League: After bus attack, Dortmund look to refocus on Monaco | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 12.04.2017
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Champions League: After bus attack, Dortmund look to refocus on Monaco

Less than 24 hours after they were meant to play, Dortmund are to face Monaco in the Champions League quarterfinals. The club's chairman has said that they will be playing for everyone who rejects terror and hatred.

Tuesday night's match was rescheduled after three explosions went off near the Dortmund bus just after it had departed from the team hotel to make its way to the stadium for the stadium. Spanish defender Marc Bartra sustained a serious injury to one of his hands after it was hit by glass as a window on the bus shattered. He underwent an operation to repair the damage overnight. 

Members of the team gathered at the club's training ground on Wednesday morning after having spent the night with their families. Coach Thomas Tuchel and his staff were expected to use discussions with the players to try to help them work through what they have experienced. They also put the team through their paces at a morning training session.

Meanwhile, the club's chairman, Hans-Joachim Watzke used a statement posted on Dortmund's website to rally the fans.

Watzke described the situation as "possibly the most difficult situation we have had to face in the past few decades," but said he was confident that BVB would emerge from this "stronger and more tightly-knit" than before.

Playing for 'everbody'

"Today we won't be playing just for us. We will be playing for everybody," he said. "We intend to show that terror and hatred will never alter how we conduct ourselves. And of course, we will be playing for Marc Bartra, who wants to see his team win!"

Watzke also called on the fans to put all of their energy into supporting the team for the full 90 minutes to support the players, who obviously will be playing under extenuating circumstances.

Potent offenses

It's not clear what effect the attack and the postponement will have on Dortmund's or Monaco's players, but Wednesday's first let will  see two of the most exciting young teams in Europe go head to head. Dortmund overcame a 0-1 deficit by hammering Benfica 4-0 in the last round. Monaco, who are top of Ligue 1, have already scored an incredible 130 goals in all competitions this season, including 88 in the league - more than any team in Europe's top four domestic leagues.

Dortmund are not short of firepower themselves. Only Bayern have scored more goals in the Bundesliga this season while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ousmane Dembelé, Christian Pulisic and co. found the net a record 21 times in this season's Champions League group stage.

Defense decisive

However speaking in comments published in Monday's edition of German football magazine "Kicker," BVB captain Marcel Schmelzer said that ultimately it would be defense that decided this quarterfinal.

"It's a 50-50 battle," Schmelzer said. "Both teams like to attack but we have to make sure we defend better with more intelligence and more ruthlessness. We know Monaco score a lot of goals but big victories and titles are won based on a well-functioning defense. Our defenders have more international experience - we have to use this to our advantage."

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