Cruel! There is no other word to define AS Monaco’s elimination against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday in the Champions League play-off. Defeated in the first leg at Stade Louis-II (1-0), the Red and White were heroic on their return to Ukraine, leading 2-0 at half-time, before giving in at the end of extra time (2- 2). It was therefore with immense disappointment, but also with the feeling of having given everything to obtain the victory, that Niko Kovac and Youssouf Fofana analyzed this draw in front of the media. Extracts.

It’s football unfortunately. They’ve only had one shot on target in this game and are scoring two goals, while we have 25 attempts I think, 10 of them on target. Normally, we have to win this game and score three or four more goals.

For me, we should be able to score a third goal before half-time. In the second half we forced them to play long because usually they use short play. We played very aggressively, like we did last season. Once again we created a lot of chances, but the opposing goalkeeper made a lot of saves late in the game. It’s not easy to accept.

⌚ 92 ‘NONNNNN !! Another huge save from Pyatov on a Kevin strike! 😡

When I look at the two games and the 210 minutes played, I would say we dominated 190 minutes. In the first 20 minutes of the first leg, we weren’t the real AS Monaco that I know. But at the end of the day I have to say that sometimes football is really cruel. It’s hard. But I’m very proud of the performance of my players, who forced Shakhtar to outsmart compared to usual. I think we did everything right, and the truth, I repeat, is that Donetsk scored two goals with just one shot on target. It’s strange, but it’s football and I respect it. But we are not going to give up.

When I arrived at the Club, I said that we wanted to bring AS Monaco back to Europe. We did it. Unfortunately we missed the opportunity to play in the Champions League today. We were very close and will be able to rely on this experience to play in the Europa League. Especially young players, because Europe is new to them. Playing only in Ligue 1 is quite “easy”, but doing two competitions is new now. We must refocus directly on the Troyes match this Sunday.

There is disappointment, a lot of frustration, because we have put in all the ingredients. We missed the success in the last gesture.
We will play the Europa League hard. I want to believe that tonight is a new beginning. We have shown the true face of AS Monaco.

We have to digest it quickly because we have a match against Troyes coming up on Sunday to lift our heads and get off to a good start. You have to learn from this result to move forward, while keeping this game in mind as a benchmark for the future.

Exactly. All of the hard work from last season has reflected tonight. We were really in sync with our travels, we didn’t need to talk to each other. We had a really good game, with a great first half and a “managed” second, but it was in the last gesture that we sinned a bit.

Terrible disappointment for the Monegasques who will not participate in the Champions League this year despite an excellent performance against Chakhtar 🤯🏆

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