Gotze predicts success for diligent Dortmund

MONACO • Borussia Dortmund star Mario Gotze is confident that his German side can go far in the Champions League after they qualified for the last 16 as Group A winners with a 2-0 win over Thierry Henry's Monaco on Tuesday.

Portugal midfielder Raphael Guerreiro scored twice to claim all three points for the visitors as they snatched top spot from Atletico Madrid - who could only draw 0-0 at Club Brugge - with a superior head-to-head record.

"With all the possession we had, you'd have to say we deserved the win in the end," Gotze said on the club's official website.

"Winning the group makes it that bit sweeter. We were saying before the match that we felt Atletico might draw 0-0. Fortunately, this turned out to be the case.

"The situation is really positive. As long as we work hard as a team, both in defence and in attack, we're going to have a lot of success."

Meanwhile, Atletico president Enrique Cerezo stole the limelight before their match when he appeared to let slip a sexist remark, telling a female reporter he did not wish to discuss money with a woman.

Cristina Garcia Tirado of Spanish television station Cuatro had asked if the club had enough money to offer a new contract to veteran defender Diego Godin.

"To be sincere, I don't like to speak about money because it is uncouth, and even less so with a woman," Cerezo said in response to her question.

Garcia herself played down the comment, saying Cerezo was "a great person and a gentleman" and had always been respectful to her and other women.

"It was an unfortunate moment from the president but, normally, he is very respectful towards me. I think it was a lapse and he didn't think about his answer. He has always treated me kindly," she said.

"It's true that sometimes he says things and makes jokes without thinking about the consequences, but he does not want to cause any harm."

Last week, French DJ Martin Solveig was widely criticised for asking Lyon forward Ada Hegerberg, when she came on stage to receive the inaugural Ballon d'Or award for the best player in women's football, whether she could "twerk".

In Istanbul, Group D winners Porto struggled to a 3-2 away victory over Galatasaray but, despite the loss, the Turkish side finished third and secured a spot in the Europa League's round of 32.

Lokomotiv Moscow had needed a win against already-qualified Schalke to have any hope of snatching third place away from Galatasaray, but they fell to a stoppage-time goal from Alessandro Schoepf and finished bottom after the 1-0 defeat.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 13, 2018, with the headline 'Gotze predicts success for diligent Dortmund'. Print Edition | Subscribe