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Monaco brushes aside Dortmund

Reuters

Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe reacts during Champions League action against Dortmund on Wednesday.

The Associated PressMONACO (AP) — Rising teenage star Kylian Mbappe and resurgent forward Radamel Falcao scored early goals as free-scoring Monaco beat Borussia Dortmund 3-1 to reach the Champions League semifinals on Wednesday.

Dortmund trailed 3-2 from the first leg in Germany and conceded twice inside 20 minutes — meaning it needed to score three times to have a chance. Attacking midfielder Marco Reus pulled one back in the 48th minute.

But substitute Valere Germain, just after replacing Mbappe, added the third in the 81st minute to seal a 6-3 victory on aggregate.

It was Monaco’s 141st goal of an incredible season that has captured the imagination and made the rest of Europe take notice.

The home leg in Germany was overshadowed by an attack on the Dortmund team bus as it headed to the stadium. Prior to Wednesday’s game, Dortmund’s bus was held for 20 minutes by police at the team hotel. Kickoff was briefly delayed.

Dortmund made the worst possible start to the match, conceding a goal after just 3 minutes.

Left back Bernard Mendy ran at the heart of Dortmund’s defense and hit a fierce shot that goalkeeper Roman Burki spilled. Mbappe slotted the loose ball into the bottom left corner for his 22nd goal of a breakthrough season that has made the 18-year-old arguably the most sought after young talent in world soccer.

He had scored twice in the first leg and in both legs against Manchester City in the Round of 16.

Falcao’s diving header, the 27th goal of his comeback season, made it 2-0 in the 17th minute.

Reus pulled one back when he turned in a right-wing cross from substitute Ousmane Dembele to offer some hope, before Germain sprinted through to send Stade Louis II crowd into raptures.

In the night’s other match, Barcelona went out after drawing 0-0 at home to Juventus, which won the first leg 3-0.

Monaco, which reached the semifinals in 2004 on its way to the final, will join Juventus, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in Friday’s draw.

After the drama of last week’s attack, this was a welcome return to euphoric, attacking soccer that was a joy to watch from start to finish.

Both sets of fans united in a touching show of support beforehand, singing the famed football anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” as they raised scarves together. Dortmund’s fans also sang “Hourrah, Hourrah, Monaco” (Hurray, Hurray Monaco), returning the compliment after Monaco clapped and sang for Dortmund in the first leg.

Dortmund defender Marc Bartra, who needed hospital treatment following injuries to his wrist and arm after a bus window was shattered, sat watching from the team bench.

It was a frantic spell after Mbappe’s opener, with Monaco’s attacking midfielder Bernardo Silva heading straight at Burki from a good position and Dortmund’s Nuri Sahin hitting the crossbar with a curling freekick.

Falcao showed them how to finish, launching himself to plant a diving header past Burki — a pure finisher’s goal to underline his return to the highest level after two frustrating seasons fighting his way back from a serious knee injury.

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