Monaco 3 – 1 Manchester City
Manchester City were unceremoniously dumped out of the Champions League at the expense of Monaco in an enthralling Champions League tie in France.
Monaco’s three away goals in the first tie proved crucial as the controversial rule allowed them to progress by a 6-6 aggregate score.
Manchester City will rue missed chances as they were just 13 minutes from qualification as the tie was finally poised, but Tiemoue Bakayoko headed a late goal to break City hearts.
The first half encounter was dominated by the hosts, with City looking in awe of a team brimming with youth and confidence and they made the first telling contribution on 8 minutes as highly-rated French youngster Kylian Mbappe prodded the ball home from six yards.
Monaco played with intensity and flair which was epitomised by good work from Mendy on the left, who provided a sensational low cross which was matched by a sharp finish from Fabinho and put Monaco in control of the tie by the half-hour mark.
City offered little in the first half as Guardiola’s attacking line up – which included just one defensive midfielder in Fernandinho – backfired as they failed to contain Monaco’s pressing.
Man City grew stronger in the second half but took until the 65th minute to register any shot of note with Aguero making Subisic work when he wriggled into the area. It was visible that their first half efforts were starting to take their toll as Monaco allowed City possession and City’s continually growing pressure rewarded them with a goal as Sane tapped in the rebound from Sterling’s effort.
But City’s porous defence allowed Bakayoko to win the header that stripped City of the right of playing in the quarter-finals, the first time Guardiola has not progressed to this stage of the competition. Their lack of stability at the back was eptiomised by their breaking of the unwanted record of being the first team to lose a Champions League tie after scoring five goals in the first leg.
Monaco rejoiced as City despaired as the 2004 runners up joined the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich as well as surprise qualifiers Leicester in the draw on Friday.
What the manager said –
Pep Guardiola, talking to BT Sport – ‘”We played exceptional second half but we forgot to do that in the first. We wanted to defend aggressively. We were better in the second but it wasn’t enough.
“Normally we play to a good level but here we didn’t. We will learn. The team does not have a lot of experience.
“The second half we had the chances and we didn’t take them and that is why we are out. And set-pieces are so important at this level. Barcelona and Real Madrid scored from them last week. We were not there and we were not there in the first 45 minutes.’