Matthias Ginter, Erik Durm off the pace as resilient Dortmund go out of UCL
Borussia Dortmund crashed out of the Champions League, as they could not overcome a 3-2 deficit from the first leg on Wednesday night, losing at the Stade Louis II 3-1 (6-3 on aggregate) One can only wonder what could have been without the horrible attack on the Dortmund team last Tuesday night in which centre-back Marc Bartra was injured. The Black and Yellows weren't ready to play at their full potential one day after the attack and also weren't so just eight days later. In the end, football does not matter as the players and staff have to be glad to still be alive. Hence the following player ratings are to be taken with a big grain of salt.
Dortmund can look back with pride at a successful Champions League campaign. Although the circumstances of how they had to leave Europe's most illustrious competition will leave a sour taste in their mouths, they can be happy with the overall development of their young squad. The 6-3 aggregate after two legs doesn't tell how close the tie really was. Dortmund just needed a few things to go their way for an entirely different outcome, which is something they can take a lot of heart from.
The German side was not playing at their full capacity in either match, committing too many unforced errors and technical mishaps. Who can really blame them though? However, it must not go unmentioned that the hosts did their homework rather well and did not allow Dortmund to combine in dangerous areas while being ruthless on the counter-attack.
Manager rating out of 10
6 -- Thomas Tuchel had to consider form and fitness. He told (German broadcaster) ZDF ahead of the match that he did not see Ousmane Dembele fit to start, but had to bring the 19-year-old on when his side were 2-0 down after 20 minutes. In any case, not an easy match to coach.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Roman Burki, 6 -- A shot from Monaco's left-back Benjamin Mendy proved too powerful for Burki to properly deal with and he palmed it directly onto the foot of Kylian Mbappe. The 18-year-old had no trouble putting the ball into the net with the side of his foot to increase the Monaco advantage. Afterwards, Burki had to pull off a handful of saves to keep Dortmund with a fighting chance.
DF Lukasz Piszczek, 4 -- The usually reliable Pole was picked off twice in both ties leading to Monaco's third in both the first and second leg. "[Piszczek] is a proud father. I think he suffered a lot in the last week, which cost him a bit," Tuchel said after the match.
DF Sokratis Papastathopoulos, 7 -- Sokratis has had better games, but he was still easily the best player in Dortmund's defence.
DF Matthias Ginter, 3 -- "If a striker can head the ball freely from seven metres out in the Champions League, it's usually a goal," Tuchel said, adding "We made too many individual mistakes, lacking the compactness and aggression that is necessary for defence on the highest level." This all holds true for Matthias Ginter, who let Radamel Falcao escape in the 17th minute. It was probably the most opposite moment that showed how much it was a handicap for BVB that they had to make do without Marc Bartra, who was injured in the cowardly attack eight days ago.
MF Erik Durm, 3 -- "We didn't want to offer Mendy the inside lane under any circumstance because that is his favoured move," Tuchel said after the match. Erik Durm did that just prior to Monaco's opener. Deployed as a right wing-back, the 24-year-old was out of his depth again with Mendy and Thomas Lemar on his side. The Dortmund coach subbed Durm off after 27 minutes.
MF Julian Weigl, 5 -- Monaco kept a close eye on Weigl in the first half, stifling Dortmund's flow severely.
MF Nuri Sahin, 7 -- It must have been tough for Tuchel to take of Sahin at half-time, as the 28-year-old showed a vintage performance and was the best Dortmund player on the field in the first 45 minutes. That being said, Tuchel had little choice after Sahin played the second half in the first leg and 90 minutes against Frankfurt at the weekend on the heels of a long injury break. His free kick in the first half hit the inside of the post and stayed out -- Dortmund perhaps were just those few inches away from turning the tie around.
MF Raphael Guerreiro, 5 -- Started instead of Marcel Schmelzer to give BVB more attacking threat according to Tuchel. The Portuguese international found the space in the first half but did not capitalise on it. Moved to central midfield in the second half, but overall did not make enough right decisions to help his team out.
MF Shinji Kagawa, 6 -- Kagawa won't be happy with his match, given he had some promising opportunities to play the deadly pass, but kept Monaco alive time and time again.
FW Marco Reus, 7 -- Grew more and more frustrated as he criticised his teammates for their lack of sharp pressing. His tidy finish in the 48th minute gave Dortmund hope shortly after the break.
FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 5 -- Was completely nullified by Brazilian centre-back Jemerson, which is only possible if Dortmund's attack is kept in check in other places as well. Aubameyang's backtracking was, however, vital.
MF Ousmane Dembele, 6 -- "The kid has played too many matches already," Tuchel said about Dembele after the match. "You could see it today. This amount of technical errors and misplaced passes are usually not part of his game." Dembele was indeed not as sharp as usual but strung the assist for Reus' goal in style.
DF Marcel Schmelzer, 6 -- The introduction of the team captain in the second half reinvigorated Dortmund's left side. Mr. "Never Give Up" showed his resolve.
MF Christian Pulisic, NR -- The 18-year-old was introduced in the 72 minute, but by then Dortmund lacked the structure in their attacking play to get the USMNT international into the play.
Stefan Buczko covers Borussia Dortmund for ESPN FC. Twitter: @StefanBuczko.