After FC Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Leicester City, AS Monaco became the fourth team in the Champions League round of 16 to overcome a first-leg deficit at home on Wednesday, beating Manchester City 3-1 in the second leg to go through on away goals with a 6-6 aggregate score.
Last season, City finally reached the semifinals in what felt like a breakthrough in a years-long ascent to the European mountaintop. But that progress was already in danger in the first leg three weeks earlier when City twice overcame deficits in a topsy-turvy 5-3 win in which Monaco missed a penalty. [restrict]
The away goals were valuable, but beating City by two goals would be a tough task even at home.
Especially with Radamel Falcao, the scorer of two goals in the first leg – and the misser of the penalty – out with a hip injury.
But Falcao, Shmalcao. Even without him, Monaco’s whipsaw transitions and festival of overlaps overwhelmed City in the first half, getting two goals on the board through teenaged phenom Kylian Mbappe and Fabinho. City’s second-half score by Leroy Sane was canceled out by Tiemoue Bakayoko’s header, sending Monaco into the quarterfinals for the second time in three years.
In the seventh minute, the 18-year-old Mbappe was denied by City goalkeeper Willy Caballero. On the next play, Benjamin Mendy skipped through the untethered defense and saw his shot blocked by John Stones’ lunge. But the low Bernardo Silva cross from the rebound was diverted into the net by Mbappe.
Before the half hour, Monaco had the other goal it needed. Thomas Lemar found the overlapping Mendy, whose low cross was perfectly placed for Fabinho. The Brazilian right back struck it
Pep Guardiola’s City grew much more dangerous in the second half, after failing to register a single chance in the first half. Sergio Aguero was denied point-blank by Danijel Subasic. Sane then put a shot into the side netting after beating the Croatian goalkeeper.
At last, Sane got City the goal that put it back ahead. In the 71st minute, Raheem Sterling cut inside and provoked a sprawling save from Subasic. Sane was the first to the rebound and knocked it into the roof of the goal. [/restrict]