Tuchel slams UEFA for rushed game

Above: The Monaco team bus arriving at the Signal Iduna Park stadium under heavily armed police escort.
Above: The Monaco team bus arriving at the Signal Iduna Park stadium under heavily armed police escort.PHOTOS: REUTERS, EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
Above: Good wishes for Dortmund's Spanish defender Marc Bartra, who was injured during the attack, ahead of the hurriedly rescheduled game.
Above: Good wishes for Dortmund's Spanish defender Marc Bartra, who was injured during the attack, ahead of the hurriedly rescheduled game.PHOTOS: REUTERS, EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
Above: A horror start for Dortmund, as Sven Bender's own goal while fending off Radamel Falcao puts Monaco 2-0 ahead in the 35th minute.
Above: A horror start for Dortmund, as Sven Bender's own goal while fending off Radamel Falcao puts Monaco 2-0 ahead in the 35th minute. PHOTOS: REUTERS, EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
Above: Monaco captain Falcao leads the celebrations with his team-mates after the French side score their third away goal in Dortmund.
Above: Monaco captain Falcao leads the celebrations with his team-mates after the French side score their third away goal in Dortmund.PHOTOS: REUTERS, EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Shell-shocked Germans struggle to shake off effects of attack, tough 2nd leg to overcome

DORTMUND (Germany) • Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel has angrily criticised Uefa for the rescheduling of their Champions League quarter-final tie with Monaco, claiming its actions made the club feel "impotent".

Dortmund and Monaco took to the field at the Signal Iduna Park on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after the original tie was postponed when three explosions went off near the German club's team bus as they made their way to the ground, leaving defender Marc Bartra needing surgery on an arm injury.

The hosts looked understandably distracted during the first leg - eventually losing 2-3 - and Tuchel claims his side were told they had to play via a text message from Uefa, European football's governing body.

"A decision made in Switzerland that concerns us directly. We will not forget it. It is a very bad feeling," said the manager. "A few minutes after this attack the only question that was asked was: 'Are you ready to play?' As if a beer can had been thrown on our coach.

"There is a feeling of helplessness. The date was imposed on us. The team did not feel in the mood, in which you must be for such a game. We were attacked as men and we tried to solve the problem on the ground. The players had the choice not to play but no one chose this option."

CAUSE FOR UNHAPPINESS

It is a very bad feeling. A few minutes after this attack the only question that was asked was: 'Are you ready to play?' As if a beer had been thrown on our coach.

THOMAS TUCHEL, Dortmund manager, on Uefa being insensitive.

Dortmund were not at their fluent best, particularly in the first half as Kylian Mbappe and an own goal from Sven Bender put Monaco in charge. The home side rallied in the second half with winger Ousmane Dembele pulling one back. But Mbappe broke clear to score a third away goal before Shinji Kagawa's late strike.

Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos said he felt he had been treated like an "animal and not a person".

"I am happy that I am alive. It was the most difficult day in my life and I hope that nobody else has to live this day. After yesterday I don't have any more space to think about the game," he said.

"They (Uefa) have to understand that we are not animals. We are people who have families, who have kids in the house. I am happy that all the players are alive, and all the staff are alive."

Uefa issued a statement denying that Dortmund had been forced to play. "The decision to play the match was made in agreement with clubs and authorities," it read. "We never received any information which suggested any team did not want to play."

Germany's Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere had said it was important for the match to go ahead: "We can not make the mistake of being intimidated. Then the terrorists have already won."

But former Germany international Lothar Matthaeus criticised Uefa, saying it was a mistake to play the game so soon after the attack.

"A lot of players didn't want to play, but Uefa put some pressure on and politicians asked Dortmund to play," he said.

After the final whistle, several Dortmund players were still shell-shocked.

Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim said: "It won't be the result that will be remembered, it will be what happened yesterday, which was not a football situation... the players' concentration levels were not so high."

Before the match, both sets of supporters sent out a powerful message of unity, singing Dortmund's adopted football song You'll Never Walk Alone.

The club's stricken defender Bartra also gave a positive update on his condition via Instagram.

He wrote: "Hello everyone! As you see I am much better, thanks to everyone for the messages of support! All my strength to my teammates for tonight's game!"

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 14, 2017, with the headline 'Tuchel slams UEFA for rushed game'. Print Edition | Subscribe