Monaco need another big Champions League comeback

Dhaka,  Mon,  21 August 2017
Published : 13 Mar 2017, 21:48:25
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Monaco need another big Champions League comeback

PARIS, Mar 13 (AP): Leonardo Jardim's Monaco squad would rather not just be remembered as this season's great entertainers.

Monaco showcased its forward play with a dazzling display against Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 match. But the attacking football came at a cost as Monaco surrendered a 3-2 lead to trail 5-3 heading into Wednesday's return leg. Les Monegasques will need top scorer Radamel Falcao and teen star Kylian Mbappe at their brilliant best to topple City.

With both teams packed with attacking talent, and not renowned for solid defending, another goal feast could be on the cards at Stade Louis II. The odds are on City to advance, but Monaco has been in this position before. When it reached the final in 2004, Monaco overcame a 4-2 away loss to knock out Real Madrid in the quarterfinals.

Jardim is adamant his team can compete for four trophies this season, and the manager's message is backed by the players.

"We've got a good team and we want to show the rest of Europe," Brazilian midfielder Fabinho said.

That is also Manchester City's aim.

"When we play like we did against Monaco, we come close to the great teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern," Munich, veteran City midfielder Yaya Toure said. "We cannot dream about anything yet because we still have a second leg to play. But if you ask the fans, they believe it."

Toure won the Champions League playing for Barcelona under Pep Guardiola, who is in his first season in charge of City.

He believes Guardiola is building "something big" at City.

"The fans feel it, everyone feels it," the 33-year-old Toure said. "We are getting a winning mentality in Europe."

Meanwhile, things look fairly straightforward for Juventus on Tuesday and Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, while Leicester will be hopeful of continuing its mini-revival since Claudio Ranieri was firing.

All three clubs have home games.

Juventus, the beaten finalist in 2015, leads Porto 2-0 from the first leg, Atletico faces Bayer Leverkusen with a 4-2 lead, and Leicester trails Sevilla 2-1 after scoring a precious away goal through revitalized striker Jamie Vardy. Leicester will be counting on Vardy again at home.
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