Thursday, 20 April 2017

Dortmund Crash Out Of Champions League As Falcao Send Monaco Into Semi-Finals

Monaco have made the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2004 after a 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund. Monaco took a two-goal lead in under 20 minutes through Kylian Mbappe from a rebound after a Benjamin Mendy long-range strike followed by Radamel Falcao's free header. Marco Reus replied for the visitors two minutes after half-time.

Despite Dortmund improving in the second half and enjoying more of the ball, substitute Valere Germain sealed Monaco's place in the semi-finals just seconds after coming off the bench. The task was already tough for Dortmund with Monaco already leading 3-2 on a difficult night at Signal Iduna Park last week through an Mbappe double and a Sven Bender own goal.

The second leg kicked off five minutes late, with Dortmund saying the police held the team bus at the hotel for 20 minutes without reason. In the third minute, in front of a packed out crowd at the Stade Louis II, Monaco took the lead through their highly-rated youngster Mbappe. The 18-year-old pounced on a rebound from a Mendy shot from outside the box which was sloppily palmed out by Roman Burki. Mbappe's opener makes him the first player to score in each of his first four Champions League knockout games.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came close with a first-time shot and Falcao narrowly missed his header at the near post, while Nuri Sahin also cracked the woodwork from a free-kick just outside the box. Monaco showed their attacking prowess again when they took a 5-2 aggregate lead through Falcao just 17 minutes in. A cross into the box from Thomas Lemar was met by the unmarked Colombia international who had the simple task of nodding the ball into the bottom left corner, leaving Dortmund, who improved as the half progressed, with a mountain to climb.

Despite Dortmund's increasing dominance in possession, Germain sealed Monaco's place in the semi-finals 21 seconds after coming off the bench with a simple finish following a slick counter-attack started by the dangerous Lemar.

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