Talking Points: AS Monaco 3 Manchester City 1 – Defensive woes exposed...

Talking Points: AS Monaco 3 Manchester City 1 – Defensive woes exposed again


Manchester City failed to defend their two-goal lead from the first leg tie as high-flying Monaco sent them crashing out in the Round of 16, 3-1 on the night and 6-6 on aggregate.

Pep Guardiola’s side won the opening fixture at the Etihad 5-3 and looked the more likely of the two teams to progress. The Spanish manager went with a very attacking lineup and paid the price against a very good side.

The home team took the lead in the opening 10 minutes through Kylian Mbappe and they doubled their lead on the half hour mark through Fabinho.

Leroy Sane pulled one back in the second half but it was not long before Tiemoue Bakayoko wrapped things up with little over 10 minutes remaining with a powerful header.

READ MORE: Bacary Sagna slams Manchester City’s lack of passion against Monaco

Win compliments Monaco’s season

Monaco have enjoyed a stellar season both in Europe and in Ligue 1 thanks to a number of excellent performances. They have been superb in the attacking department and have already surpassed the 100-goal mark in all competitions. Despite the French side missing top scorer Radamel Falcao through injury, they still managed to get the three goals that they required.

Coincidently, the last time the Red and Whites reached the quarter-finals of the competition they also knocked out an English opposition in the round of 16, when they beat Arsenal in the 2014-15 season.

Few positives for City

Not for the first time this season, Manchester City have been let down by their poor defence. City’s back four looked hapless throughout the game and conceded three goals for the second game running against the French side. Guardiola chose to go with just one central-midfielder in the form of Fernandinho and his decision quickly backfired as the Monaco midfield dominated the centre of the park in the first half.

READ MORE: Guardiola: Manchester City “forgot” to play in first half

City did start the better team in the second half and maybe should have had more than just a goal to show for it. Sane has been in a rich run of form while Sergio Aguero has not turned up consistently. Guardiola can now turn his attention to the Premier League and the FA Cup for the remainder of the season.

English hopes riding on Leicester City

Leicester City are now the only English team remaining in the last eight of the Champions League this season. A couple of seasons ago, no one would have predicted that it would be the Foxes that would be carrying the pride of English football on their shoulders alone. Following a night to remember at the King Power Stadium, Leicester progressed to the quarter-finals after knocking out Sevilla.

English teams have failed to impress in European competitions in recent years, with Chelsea being the last team to win the Champions League and the Europa League in 2012 and 2013 respectively. City came closest when they reached the semi-finals of the Champions League last season but failed to get past Real Madrid. We should be able to expect a better performance from English clubs in next season’s Champions League.