Fri, Apr 21, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Monaco dream on after making semis

DRAW SINKS BARCA:At the Camp Nou, Neymar was left in tears after a 0-0 draw against Juventus put Barcelona out after the hosts faced a tougher test

AFP, MONACO

AS Monaco’s Radamel Falcao, bottom, heads the ball to score against Borussia Dortmund during their Champions League quarter-final at the Stade Louis II in Monaco on Wednesday.

Photo: AP

A brilliant AS Monaco side who have taken Europe by storm will not relent in their bid for glory after beating Borussia Dortmund to reach the Champions League semi-finals, manager Leonardo Jardim said.

The team from the Mediterranean principality were too good for their German opponents in Wednesday’s quarter-final second leg, winning 3-1 at the Stade Louis II to advance 6-3 on aggregate.

“We have won nothing, but we have made history,” Jardim said after the game.

His side extended a run that began in the third qualifying round against Fenerbahce in July last year.

Teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe, skipper Radamel Falcao and substitute Valere Germain got their goals, with Marco Reus netting for Dortmund on a memorable night for the hosts.

The previous team to come through two qualifying rounds to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League were Dynamo Kiev in 1999, although the format was different in those days.

Nobody expected Monaco — conquerors of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the last round — to get this far, but they have done it playing a superb brand of soccer that has yielded 141 goals so far this season.

Now they are preparing for their first semi-final appearance since 2004 as they join Juventus, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in the draw.

None of those teams will fancy playing Monaco, who for all Paris Saint-Germain’s efforts in recent years will be the first French representative in the last four since Olympique Lyonnais in 2010.

“We have taken France into the semi-finals. We want to go out and enjoy it, but all four sides are capable of winning the competition,” Jardim said.

For Dortmund, elimination was hard to take, but the tie was overshadowed by the bomb attack on their team bus en route to last week’s first leg, which left Marc Bartra with a broken wrist.

Bartra was there to support his teammates in Monaco, but it was another difficult night as their bus was delayed in leaving for the ground, held up by police 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,” manager Thomas Tuchel said.

The kick-off was delayed by five minutes, but Dortmund’s concentration was again affected.

“It’s only eight days after the terrible attack so we shouldn’t lend too much significance to the team’s performance,” Tuchel said.

At the Camp Nou, a distraught Neymar left the field in tears as Juventus held Barcelona to a 0-0 draw to reach the semi-finals 3-0 on aggregate.

Neymar had been Barca’s hero in a remarkable finish with two goals and an assist in the final minutes against PSG in the previous round.

Yet, he found it far harder up against friend and former Barca teammate Dani Alves and his frustrations at a perceived lack of protection from referee Bjorn Kuipers spilled over as he was booked just before halftime.

This story has been viewed 4240 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top