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Tuchel stunned as Dortmund bus delayed in Monaco

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The Dortmund bus arrives under police escort at the Louis II stadium prior to their UEFA Champions League football match against Monaco, on April 19, 2017 © AFP / boris HORVAT

MONACO, Monaco, Apr 19 – Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel said it “was very unfortunate” that his team’s bus was delayed on its way to their Champions League quarter-final second leg tie against Monaco on Wednesday.

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.

UEFA said heavy traffic was to blame for the delay in the visitors arriving, but Tuchel told Sky Germany: “Let’s say that the incident is very unfortunate.

“We didn’t know what was going on. This quarter of an hour prevented us from thinking about football when we were well prepared for the match.”

Dortmund later took to Twitter to criticise police, claiming the squad were prevented from leaving their hotel for 20 minutes “without justification”.

Dortmund’s “You’ll never walk alone” anthem, a song notably shared with English club Liverpool, was played at the ground to mark the solidarity between the two clubs in the wake of last week’s bus attack.

The Dortmund travelling fans situated in a corner of the stadium responded with chants of “Monaco! Monaco!” while a section of home supporters held aloft a huge red and white banner emblazoned with the words “BVB you’ll never walk alone”.

For the game itself, both Marcel Schmelzer and Ousmane Dembele were left out of th e team.

Schmelzer and Dembele started on the bench along with Sven Bender as Erik Durm, Raphael Guerreiro and Matthias Ginter all started for the German club, who were looking to overturn a 3-2 first-leg deficit at the Stade Louis II.

The changes meant Tuchel sent his side out in a 3-5-2 formation, with Marco Reus — who missed the first leg — supporting one-time Monaco player Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in attack.

There was no Marc Bartra, the Spanish defender who needed surgery on a broken wrist suffered in the attack on the Dortmund team bus that forced the first leg to be postponed by 24 hours.

Bartra was in the stadium to watch Wednesday’s second leg.

Monaco were without influential Brazilian midfielder Fabinho, who missed a penalty in the first leg, due to suspension, so Tiemoue Bakayoko and Joao Moutinho partnered one another in midfield.

Almamy Toure started at right-back with Djibril Sidibe still recovering from appendicitis, while teenage prodigy Kylian Mbappe played alongside Radamel Falcao up front.

Mbappe scored twice in the first leg, either side of a Bender own goal, to leave Monaco in pole position to reach the semi-finals for the first time in 13 years.

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