Reuters / Eric Gaillard Livepic
Conceding the opening goal inside five minutes didn’t bother Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel as much as the team’s bus getting delayed without justification ahead of the match.
After falling 3-2 in the first leg, Borussia Dortmund’s hopes of overturning its 3-2 deficit were dealt a massive blow early on, when AS Monaco jumped out to a 2-0 lead inside the opening 20 minutes en route to a 3-1 victory to advance to the Champions League semi-finals.
However, it was an incident before the encounter that left the manager perplexed, as the team’s bus was delayed for almost 20 minutes because of “security reasons” just a week after the Dortmund coach came under attack in Germany.
“The bus was supposed to depart at 7:15 p.m. Everyone was on the bus and the police were ready to accompany us, but then we were told we had to wait,” Tuchel told reporters, according to Sky Sports, after his side fell 6-3 on aggregate.
“We stayed there for 16 or 17 minutes and when we tried to find out why, they just said it was for security reasons.
“It was the worst thing that could happen a week after the attack, everyone was on the bus ready to go but we were not allowed to.
“You come into such a game trying to have a clear mind to go out and turn the tie around, but with just an hour-and-a-quarter to go before the match, we were not able to think about football at all and it wasn’t ideal.”
The delay occurred as the team left its hotel in Monaco, and ultimately caused the match to begin five minutes late.
Despite the delay, Tuchel claimed his side lacked “belief” in the moments after Kylian Mbappe knocked in a rebound just three minutes after kickoff.
“We started well with one or two dangerous moves where we found some space and then conceded an unlucky goal.
“That destroyed our belief a bit. Then we made too many mistakes in our passing and positioning.
“In the second half we tried to rally again, but we were never able to follow up on our goal. We have made great games with a back three, especially in the Champions League, but we were not good enough.
“Altogether, our performance was not up to it.”