Manchester City took on Monaco on Tuesday night, in the Champions League round of 16. The French powerhouses pushed the blues to the wire, forcing Guardiola’s men to recover from behind twice before they were able to secure their crucial 2 goal advantage. The final score was 5-3 in City’s favour giving them a slight advantage for the second leg fixture.
Initially, Manchester City pulled away in the 26th minute after a fine piece of work from Leroy Sane set up Raheem Sterling for the finish. However, City were unable to hold the lead after suffering constant pressure from Jardin’s squad, an impressive diving header from Radamel Falcao equalized the scoreboard after a mistake from Willy Caballero in goal. City later had a controversial penalty challenge after Aguero was brought down in the box by Monaco keeper, Subasic, resulting in a booking for the Argentinian for diving. Kylian Mbappe took ASM into the lead in the 39th minute with a firecracker of a strike into the roof of the net.
Falcao was then gifted a penalty straight after the break, after a terrible challenge from Manchester City centre back Otamendi, Radamel stepped up to the mark, but strong hands from the goalkeeper denied the Columbian of his second of the match. Sergio Aguero then broke through on goal in the 57th minute but seemed to scuff the shot as it rolled towards the Monaco goal, should’ve been a simple save for Subasic in goal but the Croatian blundered the save and allowed Aguero onto the scoresheet, bringing the game equal once more. The goal of the game then came for Radamel Falcao who, after a poor display of defending from John Stones, chipped the ball over Willy Caballero with surgical precision, the wonderful finish from their front man brought Monaco back into a strong position with a 3-2 lead.
However, Manchester City would simply not die down, David Silva stepped up for a 70th minute corner, curled the ball over the Monaco defence towards the back post were Aguero was waiting to pounce. Sergio grabbed his second of the game with a cool side volley into the bottom corner to bring the sides equal again. City were then able to push ahead, again with another corner, this time it was Kevin De Bruyne’s chance to deliver the ball, a knock on from Yaya Toure opened up the goal for John Stones at the back post who put away the easy finish to give Manchester City the lead. City would finally wrap up the game in the 82nd minute, Spanish playmaker David Silva delivered a neat chipped through ball to Aguero who knocked the ball past Subasic in goal and into the path of German youngster Leroy Sane. Sane grabbed his fourth goal of the season, and later the man of the match award, for Manchester City to put the hosts two goals ahead.
Falcao has a great chance for a constellation goal in the final minutes of the game but was once again denied by Willy Caballero who made a great save in order to maintain the two goal cushion.
City go into the second leg with a good advantage, however the constant threat posed by Monaco and the demonstration of their attacking prowess shows that this game is far from over, with potentially another twist in the tale around the corner, it will be interesting to see which of the two come out on top.