Monaco reach Champions League semis
AS Monaco reached the UEFA Champions League semi-finals with a 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, completing a 6-3 aggregate victory.
Wednesday, 19 April, 2017
UEFA Champions League 1/4-final, 2nd leg
Stade Louis II, kick-off 20:45CEST
AS Monaco 3-1 Borussia Dortmund (6-3 agg.)
Kick off was delayed by a handful of minutes as security services ensured Dortmund, targets of a bomb blast ahead of last week's first leg, were safe heading into the Stade Louis II.
Whether the visitors had their minds on the task in hand is debateable and understandable. What is without doubt is that, already 3-2 down after the 90 minutes in Germany last Wednesday, BVB could not have made a worse start.
There were just three minutes on the clock when Benjamin Mendy drove forward and fired goalwards. The full-back's shot was parried by Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki into the path of Kylian Mbappé, who expertly steered a low effort into the net (3').
A Mendy cross was headed straight at Burki by Bernardo Silva before Dortmund almost reignited the tie with a Nuri Sahin free-kick. The Turkey international stepped up and guided an effort goalwards from 20 metres that beat Danijel Subasic in the Monaco goal, but the ball ricocheted to safety off a post (14').
While Lady Luck had favoured Monaco in keeping their advantage, Dortmund's errant defending allowed the hosts to double it. Mendy found Thomas Lemar on the left side, and delivered a cross for Radamel Falcao, who — with Matthias Ginter a metre away — powered in his fifth goal in six matches in the competition this season (17').
Erik Durm, a surprise inclusion in the Dortmund starting XI, almost sliced a cross into his own goal as Monaco looked to be cruising through. However, Durm's departure shortly afterwards for Ousmane Dembélé reinvigorated the Bundesliga outfit, who gave themselves hope of making a comeback early in the second half.
Dembélé stormed down the right flank, brushing off his friend and France team-mate Benjamin Mendy before crossing for Marco Reus, who fired high beyond Subasic (48') to leave Thomas Tuchel's men requiring two more goals to force extra-time.
Though Dortmund pressed, Monaco remained a threat on the counter-attack. Falcao, after bringing down a long ball from Jemerson, sent a lob over the bar (64') and when Lukasz Piszczek's pass was intercepted, Valère Germain, who had only replaced Mbappé less than a minute earlier, fired between Burki's legs to secure Monaco's semi-final berth (81').
THE PLAYER: Radamel Falcao
Another goal for the Colombia international, who might have had more.
THE STAT: 45
Falcao has 45 goals in 50 UEFA competition matches.