In typical form, the rouges et blancs of AS Monaco were sluggish to start the match against Dortmund. Having already been eliminated from the competition in their second match against FC Brugge (0-4), and then condemned to the last place in Group A with their second loss to Atletico Madrid (0-2)… Well, it suffices to say that there was little to play for except a slice of pride.
Dortmund, on the other hand, was battling for group supremacy against Atletico Madrid who was away at Bruges. Though both sides had guaranteed to qualify for the knockout round, last night’s match was decisive for determining who would come out with the more favorable seed.
Dortmund stepped on to the pitch looking focused and determined. With first place on the line, they applied immediate pressure, testing Monegasque keeper Benaglio early and often. The breakthrough came in the 15th minute with almost inexistent defense from the home team. As Dortmund worked the ball down the right side of the pitch, Monaco remained on the back foot, failing to apply pressure to the ball carrier. By the time two defenders decided to challenge for the ball, Raphaël Guerreiro was free to walk into the center of the box and await an opportunity for the easy finish.
Thierry Henry’s men were slightly more lively in the late first and early send-half. Getting off to a better second-half start, the Monegasques looked dangerous when Glik almost scored on a corner struck by Tielemans. Unfortunately, his shot sailed over the bar. In general, their performance was less than prolific in terms of pace and opportunities. Guerreiro registered himself a double at the very end of the match.
As against Atletico, Monaco could have hoped for a little better, but paid for its mistakes and failed to materialize its opportunities.
The elimination already registered will allow the ASM to devote itself to another mission, that of avoiding relegation in the Ligue 1. They will start climbing that mountain this Sunday with a trip to Lyon.