Dortmund try to move on as Bartra gets tribute

Dortmund's Gabonese forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (left) and Frankfurt's Spanish defender Jesus Vallejo vying for the ball during the German First division Bundesliga football match between Borussia Dortmund and Eintracht Frankfurt in Dortmund, w
Dortmund's Gabonese forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (left) and Frankfurt's Spanish defender Jesus Vallejo vying for the ball during the German First division Bundesliga football match between Borussia Dortmund and Eintracht Frankfurt in Dortmund, western Germany, on April 15, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

BERLIN • Borussia Dortmund players paid tribute to injured defender Marc Bartra as they beat Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 on Saturday, in their first Bundesliga match since the bomb attack on their team bus on Tuesday.

Germany winger Marco Reus scored on his return after six weeks out, on an emotional afternoon for the club.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos and leading scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were also on target in a home victory which let Thomas Tuchel's side to all but wrap up a top-four finish and boost morale at the end of a traumatic week.

"The players showed incredible character and deserve the best possible compliment," said Tuchel.

Bombs rocked the Dortmund bus on the way to their Champions League home quarter-final match against Monaco and left Bartra hospitalised.

The first leg was eventually played on Wednesday but Dortmund lost 3-2, their players later admitting they were still shell-shocked by the attack.

The team was buoyed before kick-off on Saturday as Bartra was released after undergoing surgery.

"I dedicate my goal to Marc Bartra and his family," said defender Sokratis.

The Dortmund squad held his No. 5 shirt aloft as they celebrated in front of their fans after the final whistle. Said captain Marcel Schmelzer: "We're trying to talk a lot about (the attack) in order to process it and I hope it will get better quickly."

Dortmund face another test of character on Wednesday when they play Monaco in the return leg, as they look to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2013.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 17, 2017, with the headline 'Dortmund try to move on as Bartra gets tribute'. Print Edition | Subscribe