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Dublin: 18 °C Friday 22 June, 2018


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Good evening everyone. Get yourselves strapped in because this promises to be quite something.

Both sides are intent on attacking and scoring goals and the hosts have to – trailing by two but with three away goals in the bag. Still, you would feel they’ll need to score at least three times tonight too. It’s unlikely Pep Guardiola’s side will be held scoreless here and Monaco will certainly be aware of that.



Two changes for the home side from the first-leg at the Etihad and one of them is a pretty big one. Radamel Falcao is ruled out after picking up an injury at the weekend so Valerie Germain replaces him. And Kamil Glik also misses out and Jemerson comes into the starting XI.

Monaco XI: Subasic, Jemerson, Raggi, Sidibe, Mendy, Bakayoko, Fabinho, Lemar, Silva, Germain, Mbappe.



Two changes for Guardiola too since that 5-3 first-leg win. Nicolas Otamendi and Yaya Toure both miss out with Aleksandar Kolarov and Gael Clichy replacing them in the side.

Manchester City XI: Caballero, Sagna, Stones, Kolarov, Clichy, Fernandinho, Sterling, Silva, De Bruyne, Sane, Aguero.

A false start here. Referee is unhappy with the match ball so we wait for a replacement.


Worth keeping an eye on Thomas Lemar for Monaco too – he has a terrific eye for goal and is in double-figures for the Ligue 1 season.


It’s already end-to-end. No chances created yet but certainly no ponderous stuff. Monaco are trying to stretch City and have already got some crosses in but they’ve been lacking in quality.


Well, it’s 5-4 on aggregate now. And it’s the kid who has done it again. City had just received quite a warming when Mbappe was sent through, he tried to tuck it away but Caballero made a superb save. Moments later, from the corner, the low cross is initially blocked but then fed low to the near post and Mbappe flicked home from close range.

Flag 13Mins

BOOKING! Magna picks up a silly yellow after catching Bernardo Silva thanks to Caballero’s poor distribution. City need to calm down here, get a few passes going and catch their breath.


OFFSIDE! Mbappe puts the ball in the net for a second time but it’s called back. It’s tight but the correct call and a smashing finish from a tight angle from the teenager, who is absolutely loving it out there right now.


Another cheap giveaway from City and they look so vulnerable when trying to build from the back. Their distribution has been so poor and it’s immediately putting the defence under pressure. Monaco are buzzing and intercept once more as Germain unleashes one from distance but it’s just a little too high.


This is just turgid stuff from City. Sterling has just been whistled for a basic offside as Silva tried to play him in down the left side. They’re devoid of any momentum right now and their key players – Aguero, de Bruyne, Silva – have been anonymous.


Wow. Again, it comes down City’s right side – as it did for the first goal. Mbappe is involved and finds Mendy gets on the overlap. He has so much time to whip in a low cross and Fabinho pops up in the area to get over the ball and fire the side-foot finish beyond Caballero.


Right now, as things stand, Monaco are going through. And if City don’t stem the bleeding soon, the hosts could be out of sight very quickly.


Bernardo Silva – who’s just 22 – is absolutely toying with City tonight. Some deft touches in that playmaker role and the guests have no response. Monaco’s standout players – Mbappe, Silva, Lemar, Mendy, Fabinho, have all stepped up and are shining here.


From their 23 matches at home so far this season, Monaco have scored two or more goals in 19 of them. Staggering stuff.


Well, Guardiola can completely rip up the pre-game notes. In many ways, it doesn’t change things and City still need to score – something they would’ve known beforehand – but they ceded complete control and have been a shambles from the off.

Can they get any worse? Maybe. Monaco have been here before in the first-leg and let it slip, crumbling in the second-half. They will know all about rectifying that. They shut down City in the opening period, hustling in key zones as the guests have struggled majorly to build from the back.

Monaco have also completely isolated Silva, de Bruyne, Sterling and Aguero and will take great confidence from how easily they have bossed things here.

This is wonderfully-balanced ahead of the second half.


No changes for either side which is unsurprising. Guardiola’s team-talk probably along the lines of ‘You’ve got yourselves in this mess now get yourselves out’.


Jonathan Pearce has just said there will be extra-time if it stays like this. Which is completely incorrect. To reiterate, Monaco are through on away goals if this scoreline remains.


City actually keeping the ball here. Monaco dropping off and content to try and absorb and play on the counter, it seems.


Guardiola has got de Bruyne to drop much deeper and there’s a better shape to City since the restart.

Flag 58Mins

CHANCE! Oh, Raheem Sterling! De Bruyne plays a delightful ball for Sterling to run onto in the right channel and he’s through on goal. Aguero drops off and gives him an option for the pass but there are Monaco shirts back there. The angle is tight, Sterling dwells and then tees up Aguero but Raggi is there to dive in and make the vital interception. Sterling just took an age to make his mind up and the chance became increasingly more difficult.

Flag 58Mins

BOOKINGS! One for each side here: de Bruyne and Bakayoko. The latter will now miss the quarter-final first-leg should Monaco get there.

Flag 64Mins

CHANCE! There’s another warning for Monaco and they need to have a re-think here. Raggi absolutely sells himself all ends up and dives towards Sane in the left channel. Inevitably, the attacker gets around him, gets to the by-line and sends in the cross for Aguero but there’s so much pace on the ball that he can only try and get a piece of it and it’s wild and wide. Difficult for him to do anything, all things considered.

Flag 66Mins

CHANCE! City are getting closer and closer here. Silva is played onside as Fernandinho feeds him. The Spaniard turns and has support in the area. He plays it to Aguero who’s 1v1 and it has to be! But as he tries to roll it inside the near post, Subasic sticks out a left boot and makes a terrific save. Another warning for Monaco here. They have to make changes.


Monaco are going to make a change here and it looks like Raggi can’t continue at centre-back…


Well, it was coming and there’s plenty for Leonardo Jardim to think about because he was slow to react to City’s dominance.

Sterling picks up a ball wide right and the first touch pushes him inside. It opens up slightly and he flashes in a shot. Subasic makes a mess of it and pushes it straight into the path of Sane, who finishes it to the roof of the net.


Just before the goal, by the way, Monaco did make a switch with Raggi replaced by Toure.


Goodness me. Well, it makes sense that this comes from a set-piece because Monaco have offered nothing from open play in this period. De Bruyne gives away a free-kick (he’s been very poor but for one great pass) and Lemar flights it perfectly for Bakayoko to deliver a lovely header to the bottom corner. 6-6 on aggregate but Monaco lead on away goals. City need to score again.

Flag 80Mins

SUBSTITUTION! Moutinho (on) – Mbappe (off)

The youngster is hauled off and the veteran midfielder replaces him. They’ve got 10 minutes plus interest to hang on here, Monaco.

Flag 83Mins

SUBSTITUTION! Iheanacho (on) – Clichy (off)

Another attacker on the pitch for City. Can they grab a late winner here?

Flag 88Mins

BOOKING! Germain cynically takes down Kolarov and deservedly picks up a yellow.

Flag 90Mins

SUBSTITUTION! Dirar (on) – Germain (off)

And that’s the captain’s last involvement as he’s replaced by Dirar.

Flag 91Mins

BOOKING! Free-kick for City here. De Bruyne is taken down by Lemar and one last chance, surely.


Oh, goodness me. What an awful delivery.

And Monaco are through. Bakayoko’s header proves decisive and they progress on the away goals rule.

It was a nervy second-half. After a brilliant first-half performance, they sat back and allowed Manchester City dictate the play. Guardiola’s side had a few good chances before Leroy Sane scored but when de Bruyne gave away a cheap free-kick, Thomas Lemar floated it into the area and Bakayoko did the rest.

From there, they managed to hang on.

Dismal from City. The Champions League continues to chew them up and spit them out, regardless of the manager they have in the dugout.

Thanks for staying with us – we’ll have lots more reaction on the site throughout the evening.

About the author:

Eoin O'Callaghan