Monaco go down to City in eight-goal thriller
Radamel Falcao scored twice in a crazy encounter but AS Monaco lost 5-3 to Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
UEFA Champions League last 16, first leg
Manchester City 5 - 3 AS Monaco
This tie promised much and most definitely delivered at the Etihad Stadium, but Monaco will feel they have missed an opportunity as a two-goal deficit leaves them with a small mountain to climb in the return at the Stade Louis II on March 15.
City went in front in the 26th minute when David Silva found Leroy Sané and he squared for Raheem Sterling to tap in, but Monaco were back level within six minutes with a fine goal. Following a poor ball out from City goalkeeper Willy Caballero, Fabinho delivered a superb cross from the right and Falcao dived to head home at the back post.
The Ligue 1 leaders were in front at the break as Fabinho delivered a free-kick over the top and the lively Kylian Mbappé - preferred to Valère Germain up front - fired past Caballero. And they could have been out of sight within five minutes of the restart, but Falcao hit his penalty weakly at Caballero after being fouled in the box by Nicolás Otamendi.
That proved to be a pivotal moment as the hosts were back level before the hour mark, Falcao giving the ball away on the edge of the City third and Raheem Sterling intercepting before charging forward and setting up Sergio Agüero, whose shot went right through Danijel Subasic and in.
Falcao got away from John Stones and produced a truly sublime chip over Caballero for his second of the night as Monaco went ahead again in the 61st minute, but three goals in the space of 11 minutes swung the tie potentially decisively the way of the Premier League side.
First Agüero hooked home at the back post from a corner for his second of the night, and then Stones escaped the attentions of Kamil Glik to turn in another corner and put Pep Guardiola's men ahead. The Monaco defence had gone missing and Agüero squared for Sané to make it 5-3 with eight minutes left.
THE PLAYER: Radamel Falcao
It was a bittersweet night for Falcao as the Colombian missed a penalty and ended up on the losing side. But he also scored two superb goals to confirm his return as a top-class player on the big stage.
THE STAT: 8
This was the first time a first leg match in a Champions League knockout tie had featured as many as eight goals.