The Citizen (KZN)

Feast of goals in prospect

- Paris

– Despite their attacking qualities, Borussia Dortmund and Monaco face similar concerns as they prepare for tonight’s Champions League quarterfin­al first leg, with both having their defensive frailties brutally exposed in recent weeks.

No side had ever advanced through a knockout tie conceding six goals but swashbuckl­ing Monaco threw caution to the wind to oust Manchester City, netting three away goals in a 5-3 defeat in the first leg before running out 3-1 winners at home to advance on away goals.

Youngster Kylian Mbappe has been a revelation, while the 31-year-old Radamel Falcao is enjoying a new lease of life after appearing to put his fitness problems behind him.

Dortmund, with seven-goal Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (above) leading the way, broke the record for goals scored in the competitio­n’s group stage when they netted 21 to finish in top spot above Real Madrid in the group stages, which included an 8-4 demolition of Legia Warsaw.

Against Benfica in the round of 16, they also demonstrat­ed their class to come back from a 1-0 firstleg defeat and win 4-0 at home.

“I want everyone who comes to the stadium to enjoy watching us because we play attacking football and outscore our opponents,” coach Thomas Tuchel said.

“I think we are good at winning the ball back, good at playing at a high tempo, good at quick, attacking interplay and we’re also a hard-working team.”

Like Monaco, Dortmund have enjoyed the emergence of a talented sensation, with 19-year-old Frenchman Ousmane Dembele contributi­ng five assists in his maiden European campaign.

While there are no doubts about either side’s attacking quality ahead of their first competitiv­e meeting, both have recently been brutally exposed defensivel­y against high-quality opposition.

Monaco have conceded eight goals in their last two away games and 13 in their entire Champions League campaign – more than any of the other quarterfin­alists – and they were crushed 4-1 by Paris St-Germain in the League Cup final on April 1.

Dortmund were outclassed 4-1 by Bayern Munich on Saturday at the Allianz Arena. –

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