Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 16th 2017 Contents sports A43
Thursday, March 16, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Monaco whips Man City 3-1 to reach quarters
moue Bakayoko's thumping
header sent Monaco through
to the Champions League quar-
terfinals as the home side beat
Manchester City 3-1 yesterday to
progress on the away goals rule
in another pulsating match be-
tween two attack-minded sides.
City fought back from 2-0 down
and was momentarily in con-
trol after midfielder Leroy Sane's
71st-minute goal. But six minutes
later Bakayoko rose imperiously to
meet Thomas Lemar's curling free
kick and restore the two-goal mar-
gin Monaco needed as the contest
finished 6-6 on aggregate.
"If you analyse the two games,
Monaco deserved to go through. I
think over the two games we played
better than City," Monaco coach
Leonardo Jardim said. "Even in
the first leg, City had a bit of luck."
City coach Pep Guardiola lament-
ed the fact that his side had failed to
compete in the first half.
"At this level, you have to play
more than 45 minutes. We only
played for 45 minutes," Guardiola
said. "The gap between the first
and the second halves is there. You
ask me why? It's the same question
I am asking myself."
Trailing 5-3 from the first leg of
their Round of 16 match, Monaco
made the perfect start. Confirm-
ing his reputation as a rising star
of European football, 18-year-old
forward Kylian Mbappe scored from
close range in the eighth minute for
his 11th goal in 11 games.
Brazilian midfielder Fabinho
made it 2-0 in the 29th with a crisp
shot from near the penalty spot after
excellent work by left back Benjamin
Mendy. Three weeks ago, City had
rallied from 3-2 down with three
goals in the last 20 minutes and
Pep Guardiola's side needed another
comeback on the French Riviera.
City played much better in the
second half, with Sane scoring after
top scorer Sergio Aguero had missed
good chances. The fleet-footed
Sane was one of City's best players
in the first leg and came alive after
the break, smashing the ball into the
roof of the net after Danijel Subasic's
save from Raheem Sterling's low
shot fell right into his path.
That gave City hope. But it was
not enough, and Monaco's players
rushed to the centre circle to mob
each other as the final whistle blew.
Their lap of honour was richly de-
served, especially considering the
side's goal tally now stands at 126
this season. In the night's other
match, Atletico Madrid drew 0-0
at home to Bayer Leverkusen to ad-
vance 4-2 on aggregate. The other
teams in Friday's draw are holders
Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus,
Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund
Radamel Falcao, who scored twice
for Monaco in the first leg, failed a
late fitness test on a hip injury.
He was hardly needed yester-
day. French striker Valere Germain
took his place, linking up in a 4-3-
3 flanked by Bernardo Silva and
Mbappe - who tormented City's
defense with his blistering pace
and trickery.There was a touch of
destiny about Monaco's win.
Monaco has been in an almost
identical position before, overturn-
ing a 4-2 loss away to Real Madrid
Federer, Nadal win to set up
early showdown at Indian Wells
INDIAN WELLS---Roger Federer
edged Steve Johnson 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4)
in a hard-serving duel at the BNP
Paribas Open on Tuesday, setting
up a fourth-round match against
Federer fired 12 aces --- his fastest
serve registering 131 mph --- and nev-
er faced a break point against Johnson,
who reached 136 on the radar gun and
fought off all four break points against
Nadal advanced with a 6-3, 7-5 win
against 26th-seeded Fernando Verdas-
co for his 50th career victory at the de-
sert tournament, where he's won three
titles but none since 2013.
Five-time Indian Wells winner No-
vak Djokovic defeated 2013 finalist Juan
Martin del Potro 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 and next
faces Nick Kyrgios in the same quarter
of the draw as Federer and Nadal.
"The third set was the best tennis
I've played this year probably," Djokovic
said. "I'm just hoping I can carry this
confidence, especially on the return, to
tomorrow's match because I'm going
to need that."
On the women's side, No. 2 seed
Angelique Kerber lost to 14th-seeded
Elena Vesnina 6-3, 6-3 in the fourth
round. Kerber is assured of retaking
the No. 1 ranking from injured Serena
Williams next week.
No 9 Madison Keys was beaten by
2011 champion Caroline Wozniacki
Federer is a four-time champion at
Indian Wells who won his last title in
2012. He defeated Nadal in the Austral-
ian Open final in January for his record
18th Grand Slam title. Their meeting
on Wednesday will be the earliest they
have played since their first match in
2004 at Miami, where Nadal won.
"Because it's early in the tournament,
I think we both don't quite yet know
to 100 percent how everything feels,"
Federer said. "There is a bit of the un-
known, which is exciting maybe for the
fans to see how we're going to try to
figure that part out."
Federer hit 32 winners against John-
son, including a forehand volley that
earned him a mini-break in the first
set tiebreaker. He won five of the next
six points and closed out the set on
Johnson's desperate backhand lob that
Johnson held at 6-all to force the
second tiebreaker and fell behind 4-2.
He broke Federer for a 4-all tie before
Federer won on his second match point
when Johnson netted a backhand. (AP)
Manchester City's Raheem Sterling, left, challenges for the ball with Monaco's
Djibril Sidibe during a Champions League round of 16 second leg football match at
the Louis II stadium in Monaco, yesterday. Monaco won 3-1. PHOTO: AP PHOTO
in the first leg to reach the semifinals in
2004 --- the year it reached the final.
That was one of the best nights in
the club's history, and the fans wanted
another one. The compact Stade Louis
II, with its capacity of 18,500, is one of
the quieter stadiums in France and is
rarely full --- even with Monaco top of
the league. But it was this time, as fans
decked in red and white chanted "Le sta-
de avec vous" (The stadium's with you)
from the offset.
Guardiola had sounded almost like a
Monaco season-ticket holder on the eve
of the game, speaking with gushing ad-
miration about how he feared Monaco's
attack, and saying it was impossible to
stop a team that was so prolific.
He was right. With seven minutes
played, Germain won the ball in midfield
and released Mbappe, whose touch took
him clean through. But in an effort to pick
his spot cleanly he telegraphed his shot
and goalkeeper Willy Caballero stood up
well to make a fine save.
A minute later, Mbappe was cele-
brating. Mendy's cross was blocked
with a sliding tackle by centre half John
Stones, the loose ball fell to Silva and his
drilled pass was tucked away. The second
seemed inevitable when it came, with the
impressive Lemar starting the move.
By this point, Guardiola was already
pacing up and down, all gesticulation
and pointed fingers, his side barely
able to get into Monaco's half, let alone
shoot on target. Jardim stood perfectly
still, hands behind his back like an army
general watching his battle plans unfurl
to perfection. (AP)
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