Monday, May 29, 2017

AS Monaco 3-1 Manchester City: Principality club stun Citizens to seal place in the UCL quarterfinals

Milos Markovic in Editorial, UEFA Champions League 15 Mar 2017

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Monaco deservedly go through to the UCL quarterfinals / Image via fanshare.com

It was yet another highly entertaining match between AS Monaco and Manchester City which saw the Principality club go through after a scintillating 6-6 aggregate draw.

The French side are through to the Champions League quarterfinals thanks to away goals as Pep Guardiola goes crashing out of the competition for the first time ever in this stage.

Our full match report follows:  

Form Guide & Team News

Both Manchester City and AS Monaco have enjoyed a successful three weeks since their previous meeting at the Etihad.

The Principality club bounced back from that 5-3 defeat with four consecutive wins, three of which came in the Ligue 1 to help Leonardo Jardim’s men keep their top spot in the French championship with three-point advantage over champions Paris Saint-Germain.

The Citizens managed three wins, but were forced to settle for a goalless draw against Stoke City, which cost them a chance to overtake Tottenham in the second place in the Premier League table.

The hosts headed into the return leg in Monaco without injured Gabriel Boschilia, Guido Carillo and Radamel Falcao, whereas Kamil Glik is unavailable through the yellow-card suspension.

As for the Citizens, long-term absentees Ilkay Gundogan and Vincent Kompany were joined by the Brazilian sensation Gabriel Jesus in the treatment room.

First Half

The first 45 minutes of the return leg of the Champions League Last-16 tie between AS Monaco and Manchester City at Stade Louis II saw hosts live up to billing and confirm their imposing status as one of Europe’s most exciting teams.

Leonardo Jardim headed into the match knowing exactly what needed to be done and they executed their plan perfectly over the first half of the match.

Composed and concentrated on the ball as much as off of it, Monaco piled pressure on Manchester City who tried by failed to assert Pep Guardiola’s philosophy. The Spaniard is a kind of a manager who likes to go on the front foot and be in control of the proceedings, but his men did little to nothing to do what was asked of them.

On the other side, the young and exciting Monaco side displayed great maturity to stun the groggy Manchester City defenses and get on the scoresheet to level the aggregate score to 5-5.

Dynamic youngster Kylian Mbappe was the one to open the scoring with his 11th goal in his last 11 games, as he latched on Bernardo Silva’s drilled cross from the left to convert it past Caballero, just moments after the City goalkeeper stopped the 18-year-old in a dangerous one-on-one chance.

One minute from the half-hour mark Monaco doubled their lead through Fabinho.

Mendy provided an assist through a wonderfully driven cross for Fabinho, who slotted the ball into the net from 12 yards to put Manchester City in a proper mess at half time.

Second Half

Aware that their life in the Champions League is hanging by a thread and that they are on the path to fail their manager and earn him the earliest European elimination in his managerial career thus far, Manchester City kicked off the second half a changed team.

The Citizens exerted great pressure and pushed Monaco back bravely, creating a couple of great goal chances through Aguero in the first place. The Argentine was involved in two attempts to beat Subasic but Monaco’s last-gasp defending prevented the flamboyant Argentine striker to score.

Five minutes after getting involved in a run through the left channel after which his shot hit the side-netting, Leroy Sane managed to break the duck for much-improved City in the second half.

It was Raheem Sterling who used his great pace to dance through Monaco players and into the box, before unleashing a low shot towards Subasic’s goal. Monaco shot stopper pushed the ball, but only to Sane who pounced it into an empty net.

Manchester City were given an important lifeline as they effectively got back in the game, but their celebration lasted only for three minutes as AS Monaco once again built a two-goal lead after 77 minutes.

The third goal of the game for the French team came out of nothing really, but a well-executed set-piece and Aleksandar Kolarov’s mistimed attempt for a header allowed the ball to meet with Bakayoko’s precise header.

With plenty at stake in the closing stages of this openly-contested match, Manchester City threw all cards in attack, attempting to get another goal that would send them into the quarterfinals, but resilient Monaco held bravely to claim their deserved spot among the top eight clubs in Europe.

Statistical Overview

Monaco had 41% possession to Man City’s 59%

The hosts made 8 goal attempts to visitors’ 6

Exciting game finishes 6-6 on aggregate as Monaco go through on away goals

Kylian Mbappe scored 11 goals in his last 11 games

Pep Guardiola crashes out of the UCL in the Last-16 for the 1st time in career

AS MONACO: Subasic 7 – Sidibe 7, Raggi 6.5 (Toure 6), Jemerson 7, Mendy 7.5 – Fabinho 7.5, bakayoko 7.5, Lemar 7.5 – Silva 7, Germain 7 (Dirar 6), Mbappe 8.

Unused subs: Cardona, Jorge, De Sanctis, Diallo.

MANCHESTER UNITED: Caballero 6.5 – Sagna 6.5, Stones 5.5, Kolarov 6.5, Clichy 6 (Iheanacho 6) – Fernandinho 6.5 – Sterling 7, Silva 6.5, De Bryne 6.5, Sane 7.5 – Aguero 6.5.

Unused subs: Bravo, Delph, navas, Otamendi, Toure, Zabaleta.

REFEREE: Gianluca Rocchi

Other result tonight

Atletico Madrid 0-0 Bayer Leverkusen

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Milos Markovic


Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.

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