AS Monaco could be the biggest surprise of this year’s Champions League. They are in great shape, their game is extremely attractive and what is the most important, it is productive. The French team is playing masterfully. Tottenham has experienced that in two matches of the group stage. Especially in this one today. Although the final score is not so high, Monaco at least deserved to win with two or maybe three goals difference. In every aspect of the game, they were better. Their performance was just too good for the anemic Spurs.
Right from the start they have imposed their own style of game, controlling the midfield and pressuring when without the ball.
And that paid off in the 10th minute. Fabinho rushed into the box, Eric Dier kicked him in the leg, and the Brasilian went down like he has been shot. It may be a little bit overexaggerating but foul did exist.
Radamel Falcao was the penalty kick taker, but he did an awful job. His shot was easily saved by Lloris, who read him extremely well and get to the right side, denying the ball. He probably wouldn’t take the penalty, if it wasn’t made on Fabinho because the Brasilian scored last 16 penalties.
Two minutes after that Germain had a chance but he was too slow for the goalkeeper who got to the ball first.
First shot for English team came in the 23rd minute, when Harry Keane received the ball some 25 meters from the goal, and send it near the left post, but even then he was in offside.
Later on, Tottenham was defending, and Monaco players tried with shots from distance, first Lemar, and then in the 35th minute, Germain had another chance, when he stormed down the right flank entering the box but from some 17 meters he was inaccurate, when he aimed far left bottom corner of the goal.
The first half ended and Monaco was controlling the game.
After the beginning of the second half, Monaco finally scored.
Mendy received the ball on the left side, deceived one guard, and centered the ball right in the middle of the goalkeeper area, where Djibril Sidibe hammered the ball with the header into the net.
A deserved lead for the home team.
But just two minutes after that Kamil Glik made a reckless challenge when he used too much force to stop Delle Ali in the box. Ali run into the box to get high trough ball, but Glik pulled him, bringing him down on the ground. Bjorn Kuipers immediately blew the whistle. The penalty for Tottenham.
Harry Keane made a fierce shot, and although Subasic guessed right where to go, the ball went trough his hands and into the net. Scores are leveled. 1:1.
Just five touches with the ball were needed for Monaco to gain the lead again. As they took the kick-off, the ball went to Mendy who runs down the flank, center high to the far post, Thomas Lemar received left to the goal some 15 meters and sends the ball into the lower left corner of Lloris goal. This was an instant response from Monaco.
After this goal, Monaco dominated the pitch. Tottenham didn’t stand a chance and the only question was whether will English team receive another goal.
Closest to that, was in the 68th minute, after free kick when Kamil Glik
fired a rocket from inside the box, but Lloris managed to save that one miraculously. It really was an astonishing reaction from the French goalkeeper. Glik was wondering, and we believe the whole stadium, how can that be possible.
Afterward, only Radamel Falcao had one more chance, but his effort was denied by brilliant Hugo Lloris.
We might say that although Monaco won, the best individual on the pitch was him. He saved Tottenham from getting demolished in France.
After this game, Monaco advanced to the next round, and Tottenham needs to stay unbeaten in the last match of the group against CSKA in London in order to qualify for the Europa League. This is a huge disappointment for the Spurs and their fans, who had high hopes for this team, and now they will have to wait for yet another year.