UCL: Monaco win first leg, 3-2, on tough night for Dortmund players
DORTMUND, Germany (AP) Borussia Dortmund lost its rescheduled Champions League quarterfinal with Monaco 3-2 on Wednesday after tributes were paid to the player injured when three explosions targeted the German team’s bus.
Teammates of Marc Bartra, who underwent surgery for injuries to his wrist and arm on Wednesday night, wore T-shirts emblazoned with the defender’s picture and words saying: “A lot of strength - we are with you.”
[ MORE: Bartra suffers hand injury after explosions outside Dortmund bus ]
And Dortmund didn’t let Bartra down on the field despite losing the first leg, which was originally due to be played on Tuesday.
Far from capitulating against one of Europe’s high-scoring sides, for whom Kylian Mbappe scored twice, Dortmund fought back to deny Monaco a commanding lead to take into the second leg.
There was an early reprieve for the hosts when Fabinho missed a penalty after Mbappe was held back. And it was a fortuitous opener from Mbappe in the 19th minute, with Thomas Lemar’s cross deflecting off his knee and going into the net.
But Lars Bender, the midfielder who replaced Bartra in the starting lineup and deployed as a makeshift defender, was left red-faced when he headed Andrea Raggi’s cross into his own net in the 35th minute for 2-0 to Monaco.
Dortmund made two changes at halftime and the impact was immediate, with a high tempo opening to the second half. Christian Pulisic unsettled the visitors with his runs and fellow substitute Nuri Sahin instigated a wonderful team move that ended with Ousmane Dembele scoring.
Sahin surged forward before working the ball out to the left flank. Raphael Guerreiro then crossed to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who knocked the ball forward for Shinji Kagawa to square to Dembele to tap into the net.
There was another moment of misfortune in the Dortmund defense in the 79th when Lukasz Piszczek’s sloppy back pass to Sokratis Papastathopoulos was intercepted by Mbappe who knocked in Monaco’s third.
Dortmund responded within five minutes, with Sahin whipping the ball into the penalty area and Kagawa turning Jemerson before slotting into the net.