Hello and welcome to Sports Mole
's live text coverage of the Champions League
quarter-final meeting between Borussia Dortmund
and AS Monaco
at the Westfalenstadion. I am sure you are aware by now, but this first-leg tie was pushed back 22 hours due to a security incident yesterday, which saw the Dortmund team cut up in a few explosions prior to the match. Not ideal for either side, it is fair to say, though the show goes on and we will be with you for the next few hours.
Before checking out some confirmed team news from the Westfalenstadion, let us first get up to speed with events from last night. The latest is that one suspect has been detained in relation to the blasts, while a second is being looked into by police. Speaking earlier today, Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke said: "We want to show that terror and hatred can never dictate our actions. This is perhaps the most difficult situation that we have faced in the past decades. We do not just play for us today. We play for everyone - no matter whether Borussia, Bayer or Schalke supporters. And of course we play for Marc Bartra, who wants to see his team win."
BORUSSIA DORTMUND XI: Burki, Bender, Dembele, Guerreiro, Aubameyang, Kagawa, Sokratis, Piszczek, Ginter, Schmelzer, Weigl
AS MONACO XI: Jorge, Toure, Fabinho, Beneddine, Moutinho, Lemar, Silva, Germain, Falcao, Cardona, Carrillo
Starting with a look at the home team, Dortmund must make do without Marco Reus and Mario Gotze once again this evening, the latter of whom is not expected to return to action until the start of next season. Boss Thomas Tuchel
decided to rest a number of key players for the weekend league defeat to Bayern Munich, telling you all you need to know about where the club's priorities lie this season, and a number of those star names have now been promoted back into the first-team fold for tonight's clash.
As expected, the hugely exciting Ousmane Dembele
will link up with Raphael Guerreiro - the scorer of an absolute beauty against Bayern last time out - in attack, with both offering support to leading marksman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Among those to come back in from that loss in Bavaria are Shinji Kagawa
, Sven Bender
, Julian Weigl and Lukasz Piszczek, as Tuchel reverts back to his strongest available side. Gonzalo Castro went off injured at the Allianz Arena, meanwhile, and he is not involved at all this evening.
In terms of the visitors, they have been dealt a blow due to the absence of Benjamin Mendy at left-back, meaning a place for Andrea Raggi in the starting lineup - a less pacey option, but a more than capable player, as witnessed in the last round against Manchester City when he was fielded in a more central-defensive position. Tiemoue Bakayoko is also out, as we already knew, following the accumulation of yellow cards picked up in the earlier stages of the competition.
Fabinho will therefore be joined in central midfield by Joao Mourinho, who boasts plenty of experience but leaves the visitors are risk of being left a little exposed in that vital area of the pitch. It is in that attack line where Monaco truly come to life, with one of the world's hottest prospects in Kylian Mbappe
linking up with a player who has found his top levels once again this term - Chelsea and Manchester United flop Radamel Falcao. The Red and Whites without a couple of key players, then, but still look like they have a few goals in them.
BORUSSIA DORTMUND SUBS: Weidenfeller, Sahin, Mor, Pulisic, Merino, Passlack
AS MONACO SUBS: De Sanctis, Jorge, Dirar, Diallo, Ndoram, Cardona, Germain
As you may have noticed, Dortmund have named just the six subs this evening rather than the regulation seven. That is thought to be as a mark of respect to Marc Bartra, who is absent from today's squad due to the injury sustained during last night's blast. The details of what happened are still not all that clear, but the ex-Barcelona man suffered a fractured wrist that required surgery. Plenty of energy available from both benches, but no Djibril Sidibe for the visitors as he has spent time in hospital with appendicitis.
It is fair to say that the Champions League now tops Dortmund's list of priorities for the season, as they are well out of the Bundesliga title race and drifted down to fourth place at the weekend. It is very much a season of transition for BVB - their second under Arsenal-linked Tuchel - and one that could well end with them sitting outside a top-three spot that have become so accustomed to in recent times. Eighteen points is now the deficit on runaway leaders Bayern following Saturday's 4-1 loss at the Allianz Arena.
You would not bet against Dortmund making up the gap on Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig directly above them in the remaining weeks of the season, currently sitting one point and eight points adrift of the pair respectively. This Die Borussen side still contains plenty of quality, even if their league position suggests otherwise, and they have certainly managed to catch the eye on the European stage with some fine showings. It is the third time in five years that they have made it through to the last eight, reaching the final once when edged out by Bayern in 2013's Wembley Stadium final.
Dortmund have lost just one of their eight European games this season, coming away to Benfica in the first leg of the first knockout-stage round. The German side dominated that match and should have left with at least an away goal, although in the end it mattered little as they were well on top in the reverse tie and were convincing 4-0 winners on the night. While their overall form in the Bundesliga ha snot been all that impressive in 2016-17, they have now gone 32 matches unbeaten at the Westfalenstadion and lost just one of their last 45.
DID YOU KNOW? Only Barcelona have scored more goals that Borussia Dortmund in this season's Champions League proper, with the German side netting 25 times in all - star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang responsible for seven of those, including three in the demolition of Benfica here in the last round. BVB have scored the outright most goals in the final 15 minutes of games (7), meanwhile, and have also netted 12 in their last two home matches.
It has largely been a season of transition for Borussia Dortmund, who are 18 points off the pace domestically and in a battle to finish in the Bundesliga's top three. The jury remains out in terms of manager Thomas Tuchel, who has had to adapt to losing yet more key players last summer, but it is on the European stage that he and his BVB side has the best hope of success in the remaining weeks of the campaign. The hosts have lost seven of their last 10 knockout-stage matches, however, winning the other three of those.
The visitors make the trip to Germany sitting in a far strong position domestically, finding themselves three points ahead of Paris Saint-Germain at the top of the Ligue 1 summit. Monaco are arguably the most exciting team on the continent right now, netting a ridiculous amount of goals to not only top the French top flight but also make it into the last eight of this competition for the fourth time - one fewer than PSG, who lead the way in terms of the Ligue 1 contingent in Europe's showpiece competition.
Monaco have scored 88 times in all this season in the French top flight and have won each of their last five. Looking further back, Les Monegasques have won 11 and drawn two of their last 13 to keep them three ahead of PSG with a far superior goal difference. It is worth remembering that their European journey started at the end of last July, having overcome Fenerbahce and then Villarreal over two legs before joining the list of established names for the group stage. On recent form, you would not bet against them extending their journey into June by coming through two more rounds.
The Red and Whites topped the Group E standings on their way to the knockouts, winning three and drawing two of their six matches. While those results alone do not sound all that special, it was their incredible two-legged display against Man City that particularly caught the eye. Too gung-ho in the first leg, maybe, but they scored three priceless away goals in a 5-3 defeat and then got the job done on home soil with a 3-1 win - 6-6 on aggregate, through on the controversial away goals rule. Their reward is this mouthwatering tie with Dortmund, which from a neutral's perspective may just be the best of the bunch.
Monaco look good value to maintain their current form and go all the way in Ligue 1, even if the fixtures are now starting to pile-up in this hectic April. The month got off to a bad start, however, as they fell to a Coup de Ligue final defeat to rivals Paris Saint-Germain to miss out on a potential quadruple. They face off against the division's heavyweight side once again in a fortnight, this time in the last four of the other domestic French competition - the Coupe de France. A domestic double and an overall treble would mark the greatest season in their history.
PREVIOUS MEETINGS! Tonight's match will mark the first competitive meeting between Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco. Only one French side has previously prevailed against BVB on their own patch in eight attempts - Marseille in a December 2011 group-stage clash, when winning 3-2 here. This is the Red and Whites' third match in this year's competition against German opposition, meanwhile, having already drawn 1-1 and lost 3-0 against Bayer Leverkusen.
Kickoff at the Westfalenstadion is now just a few minutes away, so let us check out some pre-match thoughts from both camps before that first ball is kicked.
Thomas Tuchel: "Monaco have lots of players who impress us. We think they have outstanding individual talent, but they are also very compact as a team and athletically very strong. It's a very complete package with an outstanding coach who has a distinctive style. They have big personalities and a lot of good young players. It is a 50-50 game, but the momentum is slightly on their side. But we feel ready for this great match, to show what we can do and to win it."
Leonardo Jardim: "My opinion is that we're not favourites. I think there are two quality teams with a lot of missing players. It's not easy to play all these competitions every three days with this intensity. We played in the third qualifying round, the playoffs, the group stage - we're the team that has played most in Europe. It's not easy, but it's not possible to put our reserve team out to face Dortmund. We need to play to our maximum."
KICKOFF! We are up and running at the Westfalenstadion, a little under 24 hours after the original match was scheduled to get under way. Neither manager entirely happy that the match is taking place at all, but the show goes on in what should be a thrilling last-eight tie.
Looks like three at the back again for Dortmund this evening, with Sven Bender slotting in for a rare start. Shame not to see the hugely exciting Pulisic from the off, but he will no doubt make an appearance at some stage.
Dortmund have found their rhythm early on, knocking the ball around with a little swagger. As Tuchel pointed out in those pre-match quotes, however, it is the visitors who head into this match with the momentum.
Possession is won in midfield and Kagawa looks to play Aubameyang in behind on the break. The Gabon international would have been clean through on goal if not for a fine last-ditch challenge from Kamil Glik.
Monaco not been able to find their flow early on. A searching pass over the top intended for Falcao came to nothing, as the Colombian was offside and was on his way back up the field when the ball was played.
No room for Mbappe to make the most of so far, in what has been a fairly quiet start to the match. Dortmund have seen more of the possession, but Monaco also getting on the ball and looking to create something through Moutinho.
SHOT! A first sight of goal for Aubameyang, who makes a trademark run by peeling off his man and getting on a perfectly-weighted ball from Marcel Schmelzer. The first-time shot from an angle ended over the bar.
Soon after that first opening of the evening for Aubameyang, Monaco create their first half-chance as Lemar heads over from 10 yards out. Not the easiest of opportunities but he maybe should have tested Burki from there.
PENALTY TO AS MONACO! Mbappe uses his pace to get in behind for the first time today, drawing a challenge out of Sokratis Papastathopoulos. The striker went down a little too easily for my liking, but Daniele Orsato points to the spot.
PENALTY MISSED! A shocker from Fabinho. He may have scored nine times from the spot so far this season for the French outfit but this latest attempt was dreadful, pulling it past Burki's right-hand post and giving the hosts a lifeline.
GOAL! BORUSSIA DORTMUND 0-1 AS MONACO (KYLIAN MBAPPE)
Monaco, just a couple of minutes after missing from the spot, carve their opponents open and take the lead through Mbappe's milestone 20th goal of the season. Bernardo Silva carried the ball up the field and slipped it through for Thomas Lemar, who in turn spotted Mbappe - marginally offside - at the back post to bundle over the line.
Thomas Lemar climbs for the ball and crashes heavily to the floor, making head-first contact. A short stoppage in play now while he gets treated, giving both sides a chance to catch their breath once again with more than a quarter of the game played.
Dortmund have failed to click into gear in attack so far, creating just the one half-chance for Aubameyang fairly early on. Dembele barely had a touch of the ball in dangerous positions, which will no doubt be worrying Tuchel.
Monaco sitting comfortably on their one-goal lead at the moment, being given little to do defensively. They may be without both full-backs and a key midfield man, but they are the side currently on top as they search for a second.
Be interesting to see if Jardim sticks or twists as this game goes on, with a second away goal there for the taking. Dortmund will surely improve at some point, because at the moment they are stuck between first and second gear.
CHANCE! Dortmund's best chance of the match by quite some distance. Mathias Ginter drives into the box and tees up Kagawa around 10 yards out, but he diverts the ball wide of the target with plenty to aim for.
A sign of the hosts stepping things up over the past few minutes, finally asking their opponents some questions in attack. A scuffed shot falls perfectly for Dembele, who poked it wide after being flagged for offside.
GOAL! BORUSSIA DORTMUND 0-2 AS MONACO (SVEN BENDER, OWN GOAL)
A potentially huge moment in this time, as Monaco take control with a slightly fortunate second of the evening. Sven Bender, on his first start of 2017, heads the ball past his own keeper at the end of a teasing Andrea Raggi cross from the left. All going wrong for the home side!
Monaco really are enjoying themselves now thanks to that second goal of the first leg. It came just when Dortmund were starting to find their feet in the match, but the German side now have it all to do over the remaining 95 minutes of the tie.
YELLOW CARD! Matthias Ginter with a rather aggressive challenge, rightly seeing him earn a yellow card. Second caution of the evening, with Sokratis also booked after conceding the penalty a little earlier.
Half time just a couple of minutes away now and we have still had just the two shots on target. Dortmund still awaiting their first attempt of the evening following what has been an underwhelming first-half display.
Ginter very nearly picking out the run of Kagawa behind the back of the Monaco backline, but it has just a little too much pace on it and ran straight out of play for a goal kick. Now into added time at the end of the first half.
HALF TIME: BORUSSIA DORTMUND 0-2 AS MONACO
Referee Daniele Orsabo, who has had a big say in this first half, blows his whistle to signal half time. AS Monaco sit on a dream two-goal lead at the break, meaning that as things stand Borussia Dortmund will need to score three times away from home next week - assuming that their opponents somehow do not net - if they are to keep their European adventure alive.
The home players were no doubt still feeling the effects of last night in the first half, failing to register a single attempt on target in a hugely underwhelming first-half display. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came closest to registering for his side early on when making a trademark run in behind but failing to keep his subsequent shot on target.
Monaco had barely found their rhythm when awarded a penalty 17 minutes in - Sokratis Papastathopoulos adjudged to have brought down speedy forward Kylian Mbappe in the area - but Fabinho was unable to convert from the spot for the 10th time this season as he pulled his attempt wide of Roman Burki's right-hand post. It was then Shinji Kagawa's turn to squander a decent opening, diverting the ball wide of target when spotted in a good position by Matthias Ginter.
Monaco made the breakthrough just moments later, though, as Bernardo Silva carried the ball up the field and slipped it through for Thomas Lemar, who in turn spotted Mbappe - marginally offside - at the back post to bundle over the line. One crucial away goal soon became two for the visitors, this time after Sven Bender nodded a teasing Andrea Raggi cross past his own keeper on his first start of 2017.
Plenty of work for Borussia Dortmund to do in this second half, then, which could well see manager Thomas Tuchel spring into action at the midway point. Christian Pulisic is one of the most likely candidates to be introduced for the start of the second half.
BORUSSIA DORTMUND SUBS: Weidenfeller, Sahin, Mor, Pulisic, Merino, Passlack
AS MONACO SUBS: De Sanctis, Jorge, Dirar, Diallo, Ndoram, Cardona, Germain
© Getty Images
KICKOFF! We are back up and running at the Westfalenstadion, where there is no real surprise to see a couple of changes made by the hosts. Pulisic and Sahin are on in place of Bender and Schmelzer for the next 45 minutes.
YELLOW CARD! Just seconds of the second half played when Jemerson was penalised for a challenge 22 yards from goal. Dembele took on the free kick, sending it narrowly wide of the target from a decent shooting position.
A brighter start to the second half for Dortmund, then, but they still need to show far more quality in the attacking third if they are to test Subasic. Monaco not looking to attack just yet, seemingly happy with their two goals.
Better from Dortmund as they enjoy a sustained spell of possession. Pulisic makes good inroads down one flank and then Kagawa down the other, flashing the ball into the box and winning a corner from Fabinho's awkward clearance.
Home fans out of their seats - well, those who weren't already! Pulisic making a huge difference already, twice getting the better of his man and picking out a pass, but on both occasions Subasic is not needed to produce a save.
Raggi is getting seriously targeted now down his left, with Dembele using his pace to get at him after previously being given a torrid time by Pulisic. Still, for all this dominance there are very few Dortmund chances.
GOAL! BORUSSIA DORTMUND 1-2 AS MONACO (OUSMANE DEMBELE)
Dortmund get themselves right back in the tie with a well-worked goal, which saw four of their attacking players combine. Raphael Guerreiro sent a cross into the box for Aubameyang to flick goalwards, where Kagawa got a slight touch to the ball. It fell perfectly for Dembele to help over the line from two yards out and it is game on once again!
Superb play from Guerreiro, who did very well to keep the ball in play and then win his challenge. The Dortmund ace sent in a perfect delivery that was crying out for a touch, but it went right through and Monaco can breathe.
A telling stat has just flashed up - zero attempts from Monaco in the opening 20 minutes of the second half, compared to five in the opening 45 minutes. Jardim surely thinking about making a change or two to disrupt the flow.
AS MONACO SUB! Bernardo Silva, with an assist for the opening goal, is replaced by Dirar for the final 25 minutes at the Westfalenstadion - a defensive alteration. BVB have been well on top in this second half thus far.
That second Dortmund goal is coming. A good delivery into the box is met by Sokratis at the back post, but his knockdown is just about met by a Monaco player first on the penalty spot. Pulisic is on fire at the moment.
YELLOW CARD! On the field for less than five minutes, Nabil Dirar enter the referee's book for a challenge on Kagawa. From the free kick the ball comes in, but it is not turned goalwards by a player in yellow.
Just relentless from the hosts at the moment, pinning their opponents further and further back. Jardim will point out that Subasic is barely being made to work, but the second home goal will surely arrive soon at this rate.
Dembele the latest to see his shot blocked inside the box, following a smart piece of play that again saw Raggi completely exposed. Jardim needs to make another change or else his side's two-goal lead will be completely wiped out.
For near enough the first time in this second half Monaco are able to get out of their own half. Mbappe picks up the ball and is on his way, drawing a foul out of Sokratis. The Greek defender fortunate not to see a second yellow for that.
CHANCE! Now approaching the final 10 minutes of the match and all of a sudden momentum is swinging once again. Falcao is played through and rounds the goalkeeper, but he cannot quite adjust his feet and sends the ball over the target with a player back on the line.
GOAL! BORUSSIA DORTMUND 1-3 AS MONACO (KYLIAN MBAPPE)
This guy is phenomenal! He has barely had a touch in the second half, but Mbappe pounces on a slack Piszczek pass and coolly sends the ball past Burki for a killer third away goal. Dortmund dominant in the second half but simply failed to make it count.
YELLOW CARD! Fabinho the latest player to enter the referee's book, and this one will be costly because it rules him out of the return leg. This one not over quite yet, but Monaco well on course for the last four.
GOAL! BORUSSIA DORTMUND 2-3 AS MONACO (SHINJI KAGAWA)
This tie is certainly not over after this strike from Kagawa. The former Man United ace controlled the ball perfectly inside the box and tucked it past Subasic, making it 3-2 on the night. Goals galore in Dortmund, as many predicted!
YELLOW CARD! Dortmund once again completely dominating things, with Danijel Subasic trying his best to delay play but rightly being shown a yellow card for doing so. A third Dortmund goal now changes everything.
Brilliant ball from Dembele from the right, but Aubameyang could not keep his header down. Tuchel will feel that this match should have finished all square, but his side have just one minute of normal time - plus four added on - to rescue something.
Piszczek with another error, allowing Monaco to charge forward. No way through for a fourth of the night, and it is Dortmund's turn to attack in this thrilling conclusion to the first leg. Still time for another goal here.
FULL TIME: BORUSSIA DORTMUND 2-3 AS MONACO
Referee Daniele Orsabo blows for full time, bringing an end to the classic that many predicted. The first half was gripping enough, albeit with just the one attempt on target - Sven Bender's own goal does not fit into that category - but the second 45 provided plenty of drama. In the end Kylian Mbappe's double has put AS Monaco in a very strong position to reach the semis, with Borussia Dortmund now having it all to do next week.
That concludes Sports Mole
's live text coverage of events at the Westfalenstadion. An on-the-whistle report can be found by clicking here
, while updates from the night's two other European fixtures are available right here
. Thanks for joining!