This semi-final kicked off in steady rain. With five at the back, Bastia set out their stall to defend, while the Monegasques opted for a very attacking line-up with the inclusion of Berbatov, Germain and Martial in the starting eleven. The first big chance of the evening went to the home side, as the ball fell to Berbatov close to the penalty spot, but Aréola saved the Corsican team with a reflex save (21 mins). Moments later, Germain tried his luck in the area but saw his effort deflect off a defender and skim Aréola's right-hand post (23 mins).
Wallace forced off with an injury
AS Monaco were very much in the ascendancy during the opening stages of the game, but lost Wallace to injury on 28 minutes. The Brazilian was replaced by Dirar, who took up position on the right-hand side of defence, with Fabinho moving into the middle and Toulalan slotting back into central defence. Bastia took advantage of the forced reshuffle to venture out of their own half a little more. But the Monegasque back line remained untroubled until Stekelenburg made a double save from Sio (40 mins). It was a feisty affair on the pitch and the first half ended with a minor spat between Berbatov and Modesto in the Bastia area, but the referee merely gave the players a talking-to.
A real battle
The pattern of the game remained the same in the second period, with hard-fought duels and chances few and far between. It took until the 58th minute before a fierce shot from Moutinho came within inches of the Bastia goal. Shortly after that, Leonardo Jardim sent on Alain Traoré in place of Valère Germain. The match was as cagey as ever and there were 71 minutes gone before Aréola was forced to intervene to hold an Elderson header from Silva's far-post corner. Bastia summoned up a response on 75 minutes, with a powerful strike from Squillaci that flew just wide of Stekelenburg's right-hand post. The Dutch goalkeeper then got down to block a diving header from Palmieri (82 mins), the last chance in regulation time.
Defences on top right to the end
Bastia carved out the first opening of extra time on 92 minutes with an Ongenda shot that missed the far post. Five minutes later Leonardo Jardim played his final card, withdrawing Berbatov to be replaced by Kurzawa, who took up an unaccustomed position on the left wing, while Traoré went up front into the space vacated by the Bulgarian. With half-time in extra-time fast approaching, Martial made himself a shooting angle on the left-hand side of the penalty area, but unfortunately his effort was off-target (104 mins). After the change of ends, the Monegasques continued to push for a winner. Kurzawa went on a run and managed to deliver a cross from the left, but Aréola leaped to claim the ball (107 mins). Second later, Bastia countered and Stekelenburg reacted fast to come out and deny Ongenda a clear shot at goal.
Squillaci has the last word
In the dying moments of the game, Moutinho found himself with one last chance to decide the outcome with a free kick in a central position won by Fabinho. But the tie went to penalties. Silva and Moutinho missed for the Monegasques, Stekelenburg saved from Sio and Gillet. The shoot-out went on and on. Dirar stepped up to take the ninth penalty, and smacked his effort against the bar. And so in the end it was former Monaco man Squillaci with the last word. The defender beat Stekelenburg and sent Bastia into the final. Once again, AS Monaco fell at the last hurdle before the Stade de France... They'll be looking to put it behind them with a response against Guingamp in the league on Sunday.