Bernardo Silva hailed Monaco’s brave performance after they overturned a two-goal deficit and knocked Manchester City out of the Champions League following a 3-1 home win on Wednesday.
Monaco trailed 5-3 following the first leg in Manchester but the Ligue 1 leaders rallied to progress to the quarter-finals on away goals after the last-16 tie finished 6-6 on aggregate.
Silva set up teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe in the eighth minute to get the hosts off to a flying start, before Fabinho slotted home to level the scores on aggregate.
City retook the lead when Leroy Sane finished well, but Thomas Lemar picked out the head of Tiemoue Bakayoko with a free-kick to send Monaco into the quarter-finals, with Silva hailing Monaco’s response to falling behind.
“As in Manchester, we still scored three goals. We’re playing a great game,” Silva told Bein Sports.
“We were able to play very well in the first half, we pressed them well.
“In the second half, they played better and we had difficulties, it’s normal because Manchester City are a great team. But we did it. We are in the quarter-finals and this is the most important thing.
“At 2-1, we did not tremble. What makes us strong this season is that we are not afraid to play. Even at 3-2 in Manchester, we continued to play and that is also why we had taken five goals.
“We are very happy. Thanks to Bakayoko who brings us to the quarter-finals!”
1 – Monaco are the 1st team in Champions League history to go through in a knockout tie after conceding 5 goals in the 1st leg. History. pic.twitter.com/X5Tl0pSPqF
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) March 15, 2017
Bakayoko was the unlikely hero for Monaco after his header handed Monaco progression on away goals and the midfielder insisted the Ligue 1 side earned their place in the next round.
“It’s a beautiful thing,” Bakayoko told Canal Plus. “I think that over both matches we deserve the qualification.
“It was very tight, but we were able to be solid at home and score the goals we need. This qualification is due only to ourselves. Now, we hope to go even further, we must not blush before the other teams qualified in the quarters.
“We have made a lot of effort, we the players, but also the staff and supporters, who really were a 12th man.”
— Franck Ribéry (@FranckRibery) March 15, 2017
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