Champions League: Monaco with first leg lead despite battling Borussia display | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 12.04.2017
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Champions League: Monaco with first leg lead despite battling Borussia display

Dortmund fell behind in their tie against Monaco after losing the first leg, which took place less than 24 hours after their bus was attacked. Goals from Ousmane Dembele and Shinji Kagawa kept Dortmund in the hunt.

Dortmund 2-3 Monaco
(Dembele 57', Kagawa 84' - Mbappe 19', 79', Bender 35' o.g.)


Borussia Dortmund suffered a defeat at home to Monaco in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal less than 24 hours after their bus was attacked on the way to the stadium.

A Sven Bender own-goal added to an offside Kylian Mbappé strike to give Monaco a 2-0 half-time lead before Dortmund fought back in the second half through Ousmane Dembele. A late mistake from Lukasz Piszczek allowed Mbappe to restore Monaco's cushion but Shinji Kagawa's late effort gave Dortmund hope for the second leg.

Questions regarding the game going ahead

Coach Thomas Tuchel was critical of UEFA's decision to reschedule the match so soon after the traumatizing events of the previous evening, when Dortmund's team bus was targeted with explosive devices when leaving the team hotel, shattering windows and injuring defender Marc Bartra.

"We wish we'd had more time to deal with what happened but someone in Switzerland decided we have to play," he told German broadcaster Sky Sports pre-match. " We've been left feeling a bit helpless by the decision. But professionals find solutions to problems. We are strong enough."

The solutions in question involved four changes from Dortmund's 1-4 defeat to Bayern Munich at the weekend. Felix Passlack and Christian Pulisic made way for the more experienced Piszczek and Kagawa while Julian Weigl returned in place of the injured Gonzalo Castro. Sven Bender got the nod in defense in place of Bartra.

Monaco gifted the advantage

It was clear that Dortmund's early possession wasn't going to bother Monaco who were typically happy to rely on their pace on the counter-attack. The first warning sign came when Sokratis brought down Mbappé in the box and referee Daniele Orsato from Italy correctly pointed to the spot. Luckily for Dortmund, Fabinho dragged his penalty wide.

Three minutes later, Monaco winger Bernado Silva was allowed to run from his own half to edge of the Dortmund box under no pressure from anyone in a yellow shirt before laying the ball off to Lemar who crossed for Mbappe to bundle the ball home. Video replays confirmed that the young Frenchman was marginally offside but unlike in the international friendly between France and Spain in Paris two weeks ago, the match officials didn't have that luxury. Not that the Monaco fans who had stayed an extra night were complaining - their team had a vital away goal.

After the warm welcome shown by many Dortmund fans the previous evening when offering travelling Monaco fans places to stay, the visitors probably weren't expecting such generosity to be extended to the pitch. But that's precisely what they got when Bender inexplicably headed Andrea Raggi's cross past his own goalkeeper ten minutes before the break.

With Radamel Falcao lurking behind him and Roman Bürki rooted to his line, the defender had to act. He complained of contact from Falcao although it was hard to distinguish any meaningful touch and Dortmund went into the break with a mountain to climb.

Dortmund came alive

But climb it they would, lead by half-time substitutes Pulisic and Nuri Sahin as Tuchel opted to fight fire with fire. The young American immediately set about revitalizing Dortmund, running rings around Raggi on the right hand side. When Aubameyang exquisitely flicked Guerrerio's cross into the path of Kagawa, the Japanese squared for Dembele to tap home and give Dortmund the goal their second half start deserved.

The Südtribüne came alive. Clad entirely in black and yellow ponchos as part of an impressive pre-match choreography, Dortmund's hardcore support roared their team on with a gutteral "Borussia! Borussia!" And the yellow-and-back-clad team on the pitch responded, running at the French league-leaders with an energy and purpose that reminded fans just how exciting this young side can be.

But it was one of the oldest Dortmund players who made the second fatal mistake. Piszczek under-hit his pass and Mbappé pounced, winning the ball and placing his shot beyond Bürki.

With just ten minutes remaining, it looked like a cruel end for Dortmund but, as they proved in the wake of the terrifying events of the previous evening, this club has moral in abundance. Sahin found Kagawa in the box who danced past two defenders to reduce the deficit again and give Dortmund hope for the second leg next week.

Champions League quarterfinals live: Borussia Dortmund vs. AS Monaco

 

 

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