On Wednesday night Monaco drew 0-0 with Juventus which saw them knocked out by a single goal.
After getting out of the group stage of this year’s Champions League, anything else for Monaco was a bonus. Beating Arsenal at the Emirates was the stuff of dreams, but elimination from Juventus in the quarter-finals leaves a sense of what might have been for the Ligue 1 side.
The 3-1 win in London was Monaco at their very best, but under Arsenal’s onslaught at the Stade Louis II, the looked like a side that could have been put to the sword.
However, in two legs against Juventus, Monaco showed their ability to take on one of Europe’s top sides, but they were incredibly hard to break down. Over the 180 minutes, Leonardo Jardim’s side were ultimately beaten by a controversial penalty.
Ricardo Carvalho was adjudged to have brought down Alvaro Morata in Turin, but replays showed he was possibly outside the box when the contact began; also the Portuguese defender seemed to trip up, rather than actually tackle the Spanish striker.
In the second leg, Monaco were unlucky not to quickly gain an advantage early in the game. Giorgio Chiellini slipped as Anthony Martial ran past, the Italian grabbed the ball with his arm and the referee only gave him a yellow card.
Another 20 minutes into the game and it could have easily been a red and changed the complexion of the match.
Despite having more of the ball and the clear advantage in chances, Monaco failed to trouble Gianluigi Buffon as much as they would have hoped. Jardim will be disappointed with his side’s quality from set-pieces and when they got wide.
All too often the final ball was lacking, as was a clear cutting edge in the final third. That shouldn’t take away from just how well Monaco had played to get to the last eight of the Champions League.
Beating Juventus was always going to be a step too far, so there has to be respect for the French side for keeping the tie so close. They now need to use this experience to qualify again for next season.
They are currently third in Ligue 1, but even if they don’t make it…they’ll always have Arsenal.