MONACO • Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel complained that his team's delayed arrival at the ground for Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final second-leg clash with Monaco seriously dented their chances of turning the tie around.
A week after a bomb attack on their bus en route to the first leg in Germany left defender Marc Bartra with a broken wrist and forced the match to be postponed by 24 hours, Dortmund were held up by police in Monaco.
That forced the match at the Stade Louis II to kick off five minutes later than planned.
"The bus was supposed to depart at 7.15pm. Everyone was on the bus and the police were ready to accompany us, but then we were told we had to wait," Tuchel said after the 3-1 defeat in the Mediterranean principality, which saw them go out 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. You come into such a game trying to have a clear mind to go out and turn the tie around, but we were not able to think about football at all and it wasn't ideal."
Dortmund, runners-up in 2013, were ultimately outclassed by a brilliant young Monaco side, but Tuchel is convinced things would have been different without the tragic effects of last week.
"In the first leg it was impossible for us to play the game in the way we needed to do," he said.
"Today we got back to 2-1 and with a bit more luck we could have equalised and maybe forced extra time.
"But it's only eight days after the terrible attack so we shouldn't lend too much significance to the team's performance."
Monaco's Portuguese coach Leonardo Jardim, on the other hand, was confident that his side will not relent in their bid for continental glory.
"We have won nothing, but we have made history," declared Jardim as his side extended a run that began in the third qualifying round against Fenerbahce last July, nine months ago.
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 last team to come through two qualifying rounds to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League was Dynamo Kiev in 1999, although the format was different in those days.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE TIMES, LONDON