Champions League: Explosions in Dortmund, goals in Turin
The Champions League evening began with highly disturbing news: Borussia Dortmund's team bus had been hit by three explosions as it made its way to Signal Iduna Park for the quarter-final first leg against Monaco. There were no serious casualties, but Marc Bartra was taken to hospital with arm injuries. The game was postponed until today. Hours after the incident, there was continued puzzlement among the Dortmund police, who still hadn't issued a statement explaining the causes. ISIS? Ultras? An accident? A disconcerting delay in updates suggestive of poor police effectiveness. Team coaches travel with an escort, meaning the authorities were on the scene and in a position to probe the events right away.
Barcelona endure torrid evening against Juventus
So the night's action was reduced to just the one game, in Turin, where Barcelona had another 'mare. They came out poorly set up, in a 3-4-3 that didn't work at all. Gonzalo Higuaín kept the three defenders' hands full while Paulo Dybala dropped deeper, proving tricky to pick up and ghosting in to score two in no time. Both fine strikes, but each time with nobody on him. Luis Enrique switched to a 4-3-3 in the second 45, sacrificing Jérémy Mathieu and bringing on the ineffective André Gomes, who offers who knows what. They didn't improve much, and shipped a third goal. The 3-0 result looks to have left them with an even bigger mountain to climb than after Paris: this is Juventus we're talking. But if they've done it once...
Real Madrid and Atlético in action today after Dortmund-Monaco
This evening first sees the rescheduled match in Dortmund, then the two Madrid sides are up. Last night there were arrests in the Spanish capital after Leicester City fans clashed with police in the centre. That kind of carry-on is a stain on football. Let's hope Atlético make them pay out on the pitch. In Munich, meanwhile, the 'BBC' were on the end of praise from their current coach, Zinedine Zidane, and former boss Carlo Ancelotti. They still have credit in the bank, of course. All three are top players. I'd prefer to see them two at a time, but that's just the way it is. If they track back, even just a little, the arrangement becomes more manageable. Gareth Bale did so the other day, albeit in exchange for nothing going forward. But it's a step.
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