Borussia Dortmund beat Azerbaijani side Qabala FK, 3-1, on Thursday in the UEFA Europa League.
Here’s what the head coach and the players had to say after the game (Sources: derwesten.de, kicker.de, ruhrnachrichten.de).
Thomas Tuchel: “We wanted to avoid them [Qabala] believing in a surprise, but we failed to do that. We respected them, because it’s difficult to win here. We couldn’t bank on being in front so commandingly and safely [at the half].”
Tuchel on the lack of rotation: “We did think about playing some other guys. Now I’m happy we played the players you’d have expected. Otherwise mistakes would’ve been made and people would’ve made them out to be because of the new players. They could’ve been chalked up to lack of familiarity. This makes analysing our mistakes easier: There are no excuses.”
Tuchel on his defence: “We defended badly, all around, in transition as well as in regular duels. We completely lost the grip after five or six minutes. In duels, we weren’t aggressive, not attentive. We were very fortunate not to go behind, which would’ve made our job much more difficult.
Tuchel on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: “His hunger, his attitude and his goal threat are exemplary. He sets the benchmark for everyone else. He’s irreplaceable in his current form.”
Ilkay Gündogan: “I don’t know if we need to be pressured. We were fortunate twice, that could’ve gone wrong. Against this kind of opponent, on this kind of pitch, conceding would’ve been a problem. Then we scored the 1-0 from a wonder goal, took control of the game and won deservedly.”
Roman Weidenfeller: “We accepted the game, it was a hard-earned victory.”
Matthias Ginter: “We could’ve been down by two goals after ten minutes. There’s no excuse for that. We have to defend better than that. Thankfully we scored from our first chance, that helped us.”
Ginter on the return fixture: “Of course we want to achieve first place in the group as quickly as possible. We’ll do everything for that goal in two weeks. But first we have to do our job in the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal.”