Monaco’s spectacular scoring capability was on display at the Etihad in the first leg of this Champions League last 16 clash, but unfortunately for Leonardo Jardim’s side, Manchester City were on an even higher level scoring-wise, which resulted in a memorable 5:3 for the Blues from Manchester.
Almost 13 years after their historic march to the final in Gelsenkirchen, Monaco have a chance to create history once again by overcoming Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, but they will need to overcome the difficult two-goal deficit which obviously gave City the status of the favorite to go through to the next round.
It could have been much different had Radamel Falcao converted a penalty in a crucial moment when the score was 1:2 for the French outfit, but luck, fate and mostly Willy Caballero prevented the Colombian from doing so to inspire a great comeback for City and head into the return leg in Monte Carlo with one foot in the quarter-finals.
But not all is lost for Monaco. Leonardo Jardim’s men have won 20 and lost just one of their 23 home matches this season. They are currently the most prolific side in Europe and are on their way to Ligue 1 glory.
Considering his performance in the first leg, Kamil Glik’s absence is not going to be of crucial nature to this duel. The Poland defender was among Monaco’s best players this season, but it’s fair to say he had a game to forget at the Etihad.
After the shocking defeat of PSG at the hands of Barcelona, Monaco remain France’s only hope in Europe. This campaign they have proven that they deserve to be where they are and that is top of Ligue 1, and with chances to win all the domestic and European cup competitions.
Jardim will hope that Falcao will be in similar form again, after his spectacular brace that should have been a hat-trick in the previous encounter with Guardiola, but the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Fabinho, Bernardo Silva, Lemar and Bakayoko will need to be at their absolute best as well.
Pep Guardiola’s men probably feel that they only need one goal to confirm their advancement to the next stage and in fairness, City would need to display merely a fraction of their form of late to do just that.
City haven’t lost a game since January when they were absolutely outclassed by Everton and considering the fact that their chances of Premier League being only mathematical, focus, motivation and desire will be turned to the Champions League starting with this game tomorrow.
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