Football

Man City fight back to beat Monaco in Champions League thriller

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said his side needed to tighten up in defence.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said his side needed to tighten up in defence. Reuters/Lee Smith

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said his side would continue their attacking philosophy against Monaco after seeing his side come from 2-1 and 3-2 down to overcome the French league leaders 5-3 in the first leg of their Uefa Champions League clash on Tuesday night.

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Guardiola acknowledged his side must tighten up at the back in order to advance from the last 16 to the quarter-finals but said his players would go to return leg at the Stade Louis II in Monaco seeking more goals.

"Monaco will attack more and more and we have to defend better," said Guardiola. "But we will have our chances. We are not going there to defend a 5-3 result.

"We now know each other better. We will adjust some things, they will adjust some things, but we have to score goals. If we don't score a goal in Monaco, we will be eliminated."

In a see-saw match Raheem Sterling gave City a 26th-minute lead following a brilliant run from Leroy Sane. Radamel Falcao headed in Monaco's equaliser six minutes later.

Nicolas Otamendi was at fault for Monaco's second goal just before half-time scored by Kylian Mbappe. Otamendi compounded his misery by conceding a penalty five minutes into the second period. City goalkeeper Willy Caballero saved his blushes by parrying Falcao's effort away to safety.

Sergio Aguero and Falcao swapped goals to make it 3-2 to Monaco. But from the 71st minute city pulverized Monaco in an 11 minute dazzle. Aguero scored his second of the night to make it 3-3 before John Stones and Leroy Sané added the gloss.

Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim said Falcao's failure to convert his penalty when Monaco were leading 2-1 had been a key moment as well as his side's inability to hold onto their leads.

"I used Kylian up front today because we know City well. We know there's lots of space in behind," Jardim said. "I thought he played a great match. The guy is 18-years-old. And that's part of our project as well. The defensive errors are also a question of age, maturity. Lots of the players are 20, 21, 22."

Monaco's performance underlined their billing as Europe's most prolific attacking team and gave Jardim hope they can turn the tie around in three weeks' time.

"I think playing here in England, scoring three goals at City, putting on a great show, is also an important moment," he said. "I congratulate the team. There are 90 minutes left at home. Nothing is finished."

 

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