Sci-tech

Reus rues sloppy start in Dortmund's Champions League exit

Reus rues sloppy start in Dortmund's Champions League exit

The Dortmund travelling fans situated in a corner of the stadium responded with chants of "Monaco!".

Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel has been helping his players through the shock of last week's attack on their team bus and insists they are mentally ready for the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinal against Monaco on Wednesday.

That attack left defender Marc Bartra needing hospital treatment following injuries to his wrist and arm after a window was shattered. The match was hurriedly rescheduled for the next day and Monaco won 3-2.

Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel chose to make an attacking change after 26 minutes, when 19-year-old forward Ousmane Dembele replaced defender Erik Durm. The club's chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke even considered withdrawing the club from the competition.

"We've got this out of our system now, and we're more stable emotionally", said Tuchel. He said that, given what happened last week, it was tough to consider this objectively. "Very calm, everybody was very quiet, and I did not feel so good", he said.

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Tuchel knew a swift response was needed and he rolled the dice by throwing on Ousmane Dembele - scorer in the first leg - for Erik Durm.

"All the players played at a high level".

"It's a situation that we're all discovering together".

"But you could really see that their early goal took away our belief, took away our conviction". "We're the only ones who can understand what happened since we were there".

Tuchel said "it was a very odd feeling" and that - although he subsequently managed to shut it out - the concentration of the players may have been affected by the incident.

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The last team to come through two qualifying rounds to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League was Dynamo Kiev in 1999, although the format was different in those days. "We're the team that's playing the most in Europe".

There will be sympathy for Dortmund, whose coach Thomas Tuchel claimed it was "absurd" to play last week's first leg so soon after the incident with the team bus, and they will wonder what might have been had Nuri Sahin's free-kick not rebounded off the post with the score at 1-0 here.

"Eight days after the attacks you should not attach too much importance to the performance of the players", he said.

Reus says football, in this case, has a therapeutic quality.

Just a week after the German team's bus was attacked by explosives en route to the first leg in Dortmund, the kick-off for the return match was delayed by five minutes.

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