The Red & Whites came out looking to take the game by the scruff of the neck straight away and wasted no time imposing themselves and marauding down the flanks. Mendy won the first corner of the game in the 2nd minute, before Silva delivered the ball into the middle but Lemar was unable to take advantage (3 mins). Sidibé then popped up on the right wing, the French international swinging a cross over for Falcao who volleyed off target. The home side were well on top and were rewarded for their supremacy when Germain took down a high ball from Glik and beat Akinfeev at the second attempt. It was the ideal start, but the Muscovites were close to equalising when Subasic fluffed a clearance and had to make a double save to make up for it (15 mins).
El Tigre at the double!
After a high octane opening quarter-hour, Leonardo Jardim’s men took their foot off the gas for a ten minute spell, before going back on the attack with Germain and Sidibé down the right. The latter found himself with a sight of goal but opted to set up Lemar who was tackled as he was about to pull the trigger (24 mins). Moments later, a cross from Mendy almost caught out Akinfeev after taking a deflection off a defender (26 mins). Mendy was back in the thick of the action just before the half-hour mark, delivering an inch-perfect cross for Falcao. The skipper was not about to pass up the opportunity, and duly put AS Monaco two goals up. Even better was to come, and after linking up with Germain to bamboozle the CSKA defence, the Columbian international grabbed his second of the night just before the break (41 mins)! With a comfortable 3-0 half-time lead, AS looked set for the perfect result.
Red & White dominance
The pattern of the game continued in the second half. Mendy was having a ball down the left, swinging in cross after cross towards Falcao, who missed with an effort in the 52nd minute and was then denied by Akinfeev two minutes later. On the hour mark, the Columbian had another chance but skewed wide from a position close to the penalty spot. The Red & Whites were attacking in waves and Lemar found the overlapping Mendy perfectly, but Akinfeev came out well to clear the danger. In the 73rd minute, Sidibé found space on the right but got too much on his cross aimed for Falcao. From the resulting set piece, and with the clock ticking into the final fifteen minutes, the two-goal hero was withdrawn to be replaced by Carrillo (74 mins) as Leonardo Jardim opted to make his first change of the night.
Top spot consolidated
The shape of the game remained unchanged, however. After a long build-up down the right, the ball found its way to Germain in the Russian box. He succeeded in controlling the ball with his back to goal, but was unable to get his shot away (81 mins), and was then replaced by Mbappé on 84 minutes. The youngster was into the action immediately, pulling a clever ball back for Bakayoko, but Akinfeev pulled off a superb save (85 mins). The Russian ‘keeper was then helped out by his post in the 88th minute as Carrillo’s cross shot hit the woodwork. There was to be no fourth goal, but the job was done. The convincing win for AS Monaco ensures they will be playing European football in 2017! Better yet, the Red & Whites have now strengthened their hold at the top of Group E after Spurs were beaten by Bayer (0-1). If they avoid defeat against Tottenham on 22 November, they will qualify for the last 16 with the final game against Leverkusen to spare!