AS Monaco received a thorough thrashing last night from Club Brugge (4-0), eliminating them from Champions League competition.

The long road continues for Monaco this season. The club was soundly humiliated 4-0 by Club Brugge Tuesday, November 6th at the Stade Louis-II in the Champions League. The loss squashed any hopes for the team to progress in European play, effectively ending their potential to continue in the tournament. The Monégasques finish last in group A after FC Barcelona and Inter Milan played to a draw in the same evening.

According to French source Le Monde, French defender Djibril Sidibé commented:

I have no words, this is a disgrace. Even if we had some good chances, it’s finishing them that counts.

The quote comes after a match wherein the Monégasque defense conceded three goals in the first half.

Henry’s tactics

Already in a critical situation this season, AS Monaco was counting on a victory in this match as a lifeline. Two weeks ago, Thierry Henry coached the team to a draw (1-1) against the same Club Brugge. It appears that he has not found the right formula, as the team remains winless in all matches.

With a long list of injured players, Henry turned to the 3-4-3 formation to start the match, favoring the talented front line of Sylla-Diop-Falcao. Brugge’s trainer Ivan Leko lined his side up in a 3-5-2, with Belgian Vanaken and Brazilian Wesley on the attacking line.

Match breakdown

Monaco opened the match with flashes of hope. Consistent attacking help from Barreca and Sidibé had Brugge under pressure. The Belgian side called on American keeper Horvath multiple times in the opening minutes. He proved up to the challenge, winning decisive duels in front of goal. The Belgian defensive block was helped by an opening goal from Vanaken (0-1, 12th minute). Their lead doubled in the 17th when Vanaken scored a penalty that resulted from a handball in the box (0-2, 17th minute).  Wesley scored the third Belgian goal with a laser strike from his right foot after eliminating defender Glik.

This five-minute period (minute 12 to 17) was more than enough to fold a Monégasque team that lacked confidence at the outset of the match. Though the side showed sparks of energy, the disciplined Belgian side remained in control throughout the run of play. Captain Ruud Vormer took advantage of a late defensive miscommunication, beating Benaglio one-on-one in the 86th minute for the final tally of 4-0.

The loss ends Monaco’s Champions League hopes and drives them deeper into their already woeful situation. The defeat comes on a day when their owner Dmitry Rybolovlev became publicly embroiled in a case of “corruption” and “influence peddling” in respect to the organization’s activity.