The bus with the German team who was heading to the stadium in Dortmund for a match against AS Monaco was damaged at 18:15 BST on Tuesday – 90 minutes before kick-off – about six miles from the Westfalenstadion in Dortmund. The match was cancelled swiftly after the attack, which left Dortmund defender Marc Bartra requiring surgery on a broken bone in his wrist.
Police said there were three explosives hidden in a nearby hedge. They called it “a targeted attack” and found a letter at the scene claiming responsibility for the attack. Federal prosecutors revealed on Wednesday that an Islamist suspect had been arrested in connection with the incident.
Police are preparing for a “large deployment” at the rescheduled game, and security at Wednesday’s other Champions League ties – Atletico Madrid vs Leicester City and Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid – is being stepped up.
“Measures are being reviewed and stepped up wherever and whenever it is needed,” Uefa competitions director Giorgio Marchetti told BBC Radio 4’s Today program.
“The security risk is the top priority element which is included in the preparation of matches.”
Tuesday’s match was initially delayed and, with thousands of fans already inside the stadium, was postponed 15 minutes after the scheduled kick-off, with Monaco fans chanting in support of their opponents.
Fifa president Gianni Infantino condemned the incident, while Uefa counterpart Aleksander Ceferin said he was “deeply disturbed” and praised the decision to postpone the game.
With the second leg in Monaco set for 19 April, there was no choice but to play the game on Wednesday, as Monaco have a domestic game against Dijon on Saturday.
Soon after the match was rearranged, people in the Dortmund area offered to host Monaco fans who chose to stay in Germany for an extra night or two, using #bedforawayfans. The hashtag caught on and was endorsed by both clubs, with Dortmund saying: ‘Dear supporter of @AS_Monaco_EN! If you need accommodation in Dortmund, please check #bedforawatyfans.’
Monaco also announced that it would give fans 80 euros (£68) toward hotel rooms for the night.
Police Dortmund praised fans for the way they dealt with developments, tweeting: ‘High praise to all stadium visitors! Without problems almost all left the stadium and are on the way home!’
After the explosions, Dortmund players were transferred to the ground in minibuses and later made their way home on private cars.
For the love of the game
AS Monaco claimed a stylish win in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at Borussia Dortmund (3-2).
After the match was delayed by 22 hours due to the violent events surrounding Dortmund’s team bus on Tuesday evening, the players were welcomed to the pitch by light rain and phenomenal support from the south stand at Signal Iduna Park. The 11,000 fans of the “Yellow Wall” ensured this first ever meeting between Dortmund and Monaco in the quarter-final of the Champions League kicked off in the best possible way: with emotion, love and fraternity.
The game took barely 10 minutes to spring into life as Aubameyang registered the first effort (11 mins), the former Monaco man sending his shot over Subasic’s crossbar. There was an immediate response from the visitors, as Touré’s cross found the head of Lemar, but Bürki was untroubled (12 mins). Papastathopoulos then brought down Mbappé in the box. Penalty to the Red & Whites (16 mins). Fabinho stepped up but dragged his shot wide of the goal, putting an end to the Brazilian’s run of 13 consecutive successful penalty attempts.
MBAPPÉ: 3 GOALS IN 3 GAMES
AS Monaco were playing with focus and commitment, making efficient use of the 35% ball possession they managed to wrest from Borussia. Bernardo Silva launched a counter-attack for the visitors, running almost the length of Signal Induna Park with the ball at his feet before laying it off perfectly for Lemar who served up his third assist (of his side’s last five goals in the Champions League) for Mbappé who was all alone 6 yards out (20 mins). The newly capped French international is tearing up the record books, and is the youngest player ever to score three goals in the knockout stages of the Champions League (18 years and 2 months).
The Germans sought to make the most of their territorial advantage (332 passes, compared with 138 in the first half). Ginter did superbly down the right and his cross was met in the middle by Kagawa, who put his effort wide (31 mins). Dembelé was then called offside (36 mins). The Red & Whites kept their cool, putting the Jardim gameplan into effect flawlessly. Raggi, standing in for Mendy on the left, unleashed a magnificent cross that had Bender in all sorts of trouble, under pressure from Falcao. The German defender could only head past his own ‘keeper (35 mins).
UNDER PRESSURE FROM 63,000 IN DORTMUND FANS
Leonardo Jardim’s players led Dortmund 2-0 at half-time. The Yellow and Blacks started the second half in determined fashion. Jemerson picked up a booking. Free-kick to the home side, in a central position 20 yards out. Dembélé went for goal, but sent his shot wide (47 mins). With the pressure on Subasic’s goal mounting, Fabinho (50 mins) and Glik (52 mins) made great tackles to avert the danger. The 63,000 German supporters were making a wall of noise to encourage their side, and Borussia deservedly pulled one back through Ousmane Dembélé who seized on an acrobatic lay-off from Aubameyang (57 mins).
MBAPPÉ AT THE DOUBLE
Leo Jardim made his first change on 66 minutes, sending on Dirar in place of Silva Silva. The Red & Whites continued to resist and once again countered brilliantly, Falcao running onto a perfect through ball and getting to it ahead of Bürki, but just failing to direct his shot on target (76 mins). Barely three minutes later, with Monaco’s forwards pressing high up the pitch, Mbappé pounced on a wayward pass and ran clean through before curling the ball past Bürki (79 mins) to notch his fourth goal in his first three Champions League appearances. Phenomenal. 3-1 to Monaco. With the home supporters continuing to roar their team on, Kagawa showed icy composure to give Borussia hope (84 mins), minutes from the end of another thrilling contest.
Borussia justified their stats as the team that has scored the most goals in the last fifteen minutes of matches in this competition. The Red & Whites saw out the rest of the game well. The final whistle went to seal the win for AS Monaco, only the second time a French side has ever managed such a feat here, after Olympique de Marseille back in 2011… Unique Forever!