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Sunday, Nov 17, 2019

Did another bus incident unsettle Borussia Dortmund ahead of AS Monaco match

The Borussia Dortmund team bus’ departure from the hotel to the stadium was delayed by police for almost 17 minutes, and the UEFA Champions League match against AS Monaco started five minutes late

football Updated: Apr 20, 2017 10:25 IST
Borussia Dortmund went out of the UEFA Champions League after losing 1-3 (3-6 on aggregate) to AS Monaco.
Borussia Dortmund went out of the UEFA Champions League after losing 1-3 (3-6 on aggregate) to AS Monaco. (AFP)

Eight days after their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal first leg against Monaco was postponed following an attack on their team bus, Borussia Dortmund’s focus was again affected ahead of the return leg on Wednesday.

Last week’s first leg was postponed by 24 hours after the Dortmund team bus was attacked with explosives on its way to the stadium.

The 20:45 (18:45GMT) kickoff in Monaco was delayed by five minutes after Borussia Dortmund were held up by traffic, UEFA said, but Dortmund gave another explanation following a 3-1 loss that sent them out of the competition.

“The departure of the bus was scheduled for 19:15 so everybody was in the bus at that time and police were there to escort us to the stadium,” coach Thomas Tuchel told a news conference after his team exited the tournament 6-3 on aggregate.

Read more | Juventus F.C. hold firm to knock FC Barcelona out of UEFA Champions League

“But after 16 or 17 minutes nothing had happened and we asked why we were not moving. We were told that it was for security reasons. Eight days after what happened, it was the worst thing that could happen to us.”

Tuchel said he was focussed on the game when it kicked off but could not speak for his players.

“The starting conditions were difficult. We did not have the quality, the energy and the luck to equalise,” Tuchel said.

Read more | Bayern Munich file UEFA complaint over Madrid police ‘attack’

“Over both games we have the feeling that everything that could go wrong went wrong.”

Monaco scored twice in the first 17 minutes to effectively settle the tie.

“This early goal affected our confidence,” Tuchel said. “We lacked the courage to defend and press. We were not good enough but I don’t want to criticise the players.”