Monaco on historic cloud nine
There was euphoria throughout the AS Monaco camp - from teenage sensation Kylian Mbappé to coach Leonardo Jardim and the Prince of Monaco - following their sensational qualification for the Champions League semis.
Wednesday, 19 April, 2017
UEFA Champions League quarter-final, second leg
Stade Louis II, Monaco
AS Monaco 3-1 Borussia Dortmund (6-3 agg.)
Leonardo Jardim (AS Monaco coach): "This is the first time a team has made it into the semis after starting off in the third qualifying round. This team will go down in Champions League history. There are three other teams left, all with a lot of experience. We'll need to make the most of it and play to our strengths. All four teams in the semis believe they can win the competition. We're not the favourites but we'll be looking to make it into the final. All my lads played a high-level match tonight and I'm very happy with them. At this level, it's not my job to put limitations in the players."
Thomas Tuchel (BVB Dortmund coach): "Obviously the attack on our bus had an influence on the first leg. It was also tough for us here. We had a to wait for a while in the bus [the Dortmund bus was delayed, pushing back kick-off by five minutes]. Everyone felt strange. Our concentration lapsed and we lost our drive to play, the desire we had to give our very best. It was tough. We were unlucky and weren't in the right frame of mind. We weren't up to the task of taking the advantage."
Kylian Mbappé (AS Monaco striker): "We're aware of what we've achieved. Otherwise we wouldn't be here. After each feat we achieved, we put our heads down and kept working. That's our strength. Now we'll see what we can work on, as two or three things weren't working tonight. The draw? We have no preference; in the semis, there are only big teams."
Radamel Falcao (AS Monaco captain): "We're very happy that Monaco are in the semi-finals. It's very important for French football and for France. We're very happy. We've done some great work. It was the perfect match. Right from the start, we pressed very hard. We scored early and that served us well. In the end, we pulled off a huge performance."
Prince Albert II of Monaco (AS Monaco patron): "It's extraordinary, a fantastic feeling. It's great to be back in the Champions League semi-finals. It's the reward for the excellent hard work done by the whole club over the past few years. The lads showed tremendous fighting spirit, and the youngsters are really coming of age. I'm very happy that we're playing a part in the resurgence of French football."
Vadim Vasilyev (AS Monaco vice-president): "I'm very proud and extremely happy. This side are not putting limits on themselves and I think they can go even further. It shows that the project we have put in place over the last few years is working well. Now we need to keep going and on Sunday we have a tough match in Lyon. We'll give our all in both competitions. The draw? It doesn't matter, we're ready. It's an exceptional thing that we're in the semis, and being among the last four teams is a dream."