Teenager Kylian Mbappe scored twice as Monaco edged the first leg of the rescheduled Champions League quarter-final tie at Borussia Dortmund.
In a match delayed by 24 hours after a bomb attack on the hosts’ bus,Mbappe diverted in Thomas Lemar’s cross before Sven Bender’s own goal made it 2-0.
Ousmane Dembele slotted in from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s flick to pull one back for Dortmund, but Mbappe curled home to restore the two-goal cushion before Shinji Kagawa added a late second for the hosts.
Kagawa showed great skill to dribble past Jemerson and slot in, and there was almost even more late drama when Aubameyang headed over from yards out.
But Monaco survived and will take a slender advantage into a highly anticipated second leg at Stade Louis II on 19 April.
Mbappe fuels the hype as Monaco shine
Monaco’s free-wheeling attack has scored 88 goals in 31 Ligue 1 games this season, and Dortmund were the latest to be disorientated by their movement and slick passing.
Mbappe gave early notice of his muscularity and pace as Sokratis Papastathopoulos gave away an early penalty attempting to get back on the right side. The Greek was relieved to see Fabinho drag the spot-kick wide, but the let-off was brief.
Less than three minutes later, Bernardo Silva broke free and picked out the overlapping Lemar with a sublime outside-of-the-foot pass. The full-back’s cross from a prime shooting position seemed to catch his team-mates by surprise, but the ball ricocheted off Mbappe’s thigh and rolled in.
Bender – playing in defence after Marc Bartra fractured his wrist in Tuesday’s bomb attack – contrived to head Andrea Raggi’s cross past his own goalkeeper for the second, but it was the third that fuelled the growing hype around Mbappe.
The 18-year-old’s emergence has been sudden – he played only 25 minutes in the group stage – but he showed the anticipation and composure of a veteran as he pounced on Lukasz Piszczek’s under-hit backpass, raced in on goal and barely broke stride in burying a curling shot into the top corner from 20 yards.
Tuchel shuffles pack to change tide
While it is impossible to say whether Tuesday’s attack contributed to Dortmund’s slow start, manager Thomas Tuchel’s double change at half-time was undoubtedly the spur to their recovery.
The introduction of Christian Pulisic – like Mbappe only 18 years old – was particularly effective. The United States international shredded left-back Raggi with pace and skill as Monaco were forced deeper and deeper.
The pressure soon told as Dembele side-footed home to give Dortmund hope.
But Mbappe’s breakaway second meant that, despite Tuchel’s exhortations on the sidelines and Kagawa’s neat strike, the hosts will continue playing catch-up in next week’s return leg.
Dortmund fans undaunted
The Dortmund fans invited visiting Monaco supporters into their homes after Tuesday night’s postponement, and a sell-out crowd of 65,849 was characteristically loud and proud when the tie belatedly got under way amid heightened security.
A huge ‘tifo’ greeted the teams as they strode out and for the rest of the evening the home fans in the Kop end of the Westfalenstadion displayed club badge by wearing coordinated coloured ponchos.
There were also messages of support for the injured Bartra in the stands and on the shirts of his team-mates.
Mbappe sets more records – the stats
- Mbappe is the youngest player to score a brace in a Champions League knockout game (18 years 113 days).
- Mbappe has now scored in three successive Champions League games for Monaco (four goals).
- He is the fifth player to score in his first three Champions League knockout stage appearances after Christian Karembeu, Steffen Effenburg, Luis Garcia and Leroy Sane.
- Fabinho had scored all nine of his penalties for Monaco this season in all competitions prior to his miss in this game.
Source: BBC Sports