AS Monaco coach Niko Kovac hailed Cesc Fabregas and Kevin Volland after they starred in Friday’s come-from-behind 3-2 win over Paris Saint-Germain but was not getting carried away with a result which left his team four points behind the Ligue 1 Uber Eats leaders.
“I don’t want to get excited after this victory, although it is a very beautiful result,” Kovac told reporters after the game at the Stade Louis II.
“To win 3-2 after trailing 2-0 against the Champions League finalist is quite a performance. But the job is not finished. This is the message I want to send to my players. The season is still very long.”
Kylian Mbappé’s first-half brace had PSG seemingly on course for a ninth consecutive Ligue 1 Uber Eats win but Monaco came roaring back after the interval with Volland scoring twice before Fabregas’ late penalty decided the game. A third straight win for the principality side left them provisionally in second place in the table.
“One goal changes the whole situation and in the end it happened in this way,” Kovac said of his team’s approach after falling two goals behind.
“My players did very well in the second half. You can only beat PSG if you stick together as a team. They have top players, world-class players but we can only compare with them if we play as a team.”
Fabregas sets the example
German international Volland has now scored four goals in Monaco’s last two home games and his contribution was all the more valuable given the principality side were missing Wissam Ben Yedder after he tested positive for Covid-19.
“I’m not surprised by his contribution because I know what Kevin can give to the team. When he arrived, I said I had to give him time because he was coming to a new country, a new city, a new club, with a new language, in a new league,” Kovac said.
“It is important to have a decisive second striker to accompany Wissam Ben Yedder, our captain. And in his absence, he has proven himself to be decisive too.”
Kovac also highlighted role played by Fabregas, who came on at half-time and set up Volland’s equaliser before scoring the winner.
“He is a real professional and a good human being. So it’s not easy for a coach to consign him to the sidelines. When he’s a substitute he’s respectful of my choices, even though he can be upset. He’s 33, young players can learn a lot from him, and we really need him.”