One shot on target, two goals scored: Shakhtar Donetsk, however dominated, Wednesday August 25, in the evening in Kharkiv by Monaco but winner in the first leg (1-0), eliminated the Principality’s team, by equalizing on a stroke of fate at the end of extra time (2-2).
It was by countering a center back from Mykhailo Mudryk that Ruben Aguilar lobbed his goalkeeper Alexander Nübel. This goal against his camp from the French side (2-2, 114e) destroyed Monegasque last hopes of regaining the Champions League.
Monaco can have a lot of regrets as Niko Kovac’s team offered a top-level first period, with two goals. And so many opportunities have been created to take the break and win for good.
Only Lille and Paris SG will therefore know on Thursday the identity of their future opponents in the Champions League. Monaco will be transferred to the Europa League.
In the wake of its captain Wissam Ben Yedder, Monaco has yet failed to reverse a complicated situation. And despite 25 strikes against 9 to its opponent, the Principality team was inefficient when it came to scoring a third goal against an opponent on the verge of KO.
First perfect period
The Monegasques remained on three consecutive defeats and as many games without scoring. Ben Yedder had yet to score in six games this season. An eternity for the striker. He made up for it. But it was not enough.
On the first leg, Monaco had dominated 70 minutes without beating the excellent Ukrainian international goalkeeper Anatolii Trubin, only 20 years old. Worse, Kovac’s men had missed the start of the match and reacted only after being led.
This time, Kovac was ” certain “ that his team was going to show his “European face”. The players complied. From the start, they pressed loud and clear. They assaulted, panicked and suffocated their opponents. High recoveries, shifts, long strikes (Aurelien Tchouaméni 3e, Caio Henrique 15e, Djibril Sidibé 16e), applied preparation work: everything went without faltering until the break.
Following a frank interception from Benoît Badiashile, Youssouf Fofana gave Ben Yedder, who shifted Kevin Volland on the move. Veteran goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov, replacing injured Trubin, deflected the German international’s strike on the Monaco captain, whose volley was crystal clear (1-0, 18e).
One shot on target
Then on a long raise from Nübel, Caio Henrique centered without control for Ben Yedder. The center forward feasted on volley (2-0, 39e). “We should have killed the match by putting the third”, however prophesied at the Biadiashile break, of which a nice recovery of the law failed on the post (38e). And who especially saw his captain miss a dive that could have been decisive (45e).
In the second half, the Shakhtar returned. Sidibé made a perfect comeback ahead of Alan Patrick (51e), Maripan also ahead of Lassina Traoré (57e). And then, on the only real Ukrainian class action, Nübel bowed to Marlos (2-1, 74e).
Because Monaco was superior. WBY again missed a ball 3-0 by losing another duel against the excellent Pyatov (65e). As for Volland, he had the match point just before extra time. But Pyatov, again, was decisive (90e + 2).
In extra time, Monaco was still dominant. But without effect. And on a counter, the irremediable occurred for Aguilar and his family (114e). On a gag goal, as cruel as it is decisive.