Thomas Tuchel, Marco Reus and FSV-Coach Martin Schmidt were, of course, somewhat reticent after the game, and sport was certainly not at the forefront of anyone's mind. Nevertheless, the three protagonists gave their opinion on the game. "My team's performance today has earned my utmost respect and I wish to pay them the highest compliment I can", said the BVB Manager. Here follow those comments in full.
Thomas Tuchel: "My personal sympathies, just as those of the entire team and the backroom staff, go to the families and loved ones of the affected persons. It was a terrible situation. The entire team, myself included, were unaware for a long time of what was happening. We all know that there are more important things in this life than football. That, however, does not absolve us from our duty to make the best of the talents we have been blessed with, free us from our obligation to enjoy every training session and game, or from taking it seriously. This should have been obvious to all even if today’s sad events had not occurred, but they make it all the clearer, nonetheless. It was very difficult to stand on the edge of the pitch or on the pitch, not knowing what was going on but still having to fulfil our obligation of putting in the best-possible performance.
A few observations on that: it was more than noteworthy, in fact, the team played unbelievably well today. We were well aware of the difficult circumstances we faced. We have played so many games recently and have not had one week in which we could take the time to recover properly. We knew that Mainz are characterised by athleticism and how difficult it is to prevent them from counterattacking. I certainly had some concerns, but to see my team defending and attacking as they did was incredible, they have earned my utmost respect and I wish to pay them the greatest compliment I can. For weeks now we have been putting in excellent performances on a consistent basis. To dominate Mainz while they are in such form and also to defeat them is more than I ever could have wished for."
Marco Reus: "On the pitch, we were completely unaware of what was happening elsewhere in the stadium. Even the referee asked me what was going on, why the atmosphere had sunk so low. After the game the manager told us straight away. The game seemed insignificant then, it is simply tragic. In retrospect, it is only right to compliment the fans.
Not only for that reason was today’s game extremely difficult. We spent a lot of time analysing Mainz before the game due to their victories over teams such as Bayern, Schalke, Leverkusen and Gladbach. As such, we knew what to expect. We tried to concentrate on our own game. I think that worked really well today. Our 2-0 victory was well earned at the end of the day."
Martin Schmidt: "I found out what had happened during half time from Christian Heidel. The whole stadium fell quiet. A certain feeling of lethargy then enveloped the game. We weren’t able to do much more after that in the match, but that is just something you have to accept on such days. Naturally our thoughts are with the relatives after such tragic events, and we wish to offer our deepest condolences. I found it inspiring how 80,000 fans fell quiet as a mark of respect in just a few minutes. Such solidarity is impressive, everyone in the stadium came together as a unit. That is, sadly, not always the case.
Regarding the game, all that remains to say is that it was a clear and deserved loss for us today. We were not playing at our best. We attempted to defend diligently. That worked well for 30 minutes, but then the ball found its way through us. Losses of this nature are a part of the game and will not stop us from developing further. I wish to congratulate BVB and Thomas Tuchel on their victory today."(djg)