Two wins, six goals scored and just one conceded...AS Monaco's debut in the UEFA Youth League could quite simply not be going any better. It may not have always been pretty against Zenit, but the Monegasque youngsters were well worth their second victory in as many game. True, the 3-0 scoreline may be slightly flattering given the chances that the hosts fashioned either side of half-time. But as against Bayer, the gulf in class was plain to see. Almamy Touré took just five minutes to open his side's account as he headed in from a corner.
Andzouana makes it two
Even before that opener, the Red & Whites had already threatened on a number of occasions. Until the half-hour mark, there was only one side in it as Abdou Aziz Thiam dominated the midfield. But a combination of a Russian revival and an injury to the scorer of the opening goal disrupted the away side's rhythm just before the break. And after half-time, Frédéric Barilaro's men took a while to re-establish their supremacy as Zenit came out with a more aggressive approach that saw them pressure their opponents until the 70th minute. At which point, Yhoan Andzouana gave his side breathing room with a crisp left-footed strike to make it 2-0. Pierre-Daniel Nguinda then added a third to end any hopes of a Russian comeback, although the hosts did keep looking for a consolation until the final whistle.
Next up: Benfica on 22 October
Frédéric Barilaro's side will host Portuguese side Benfica on 22 October, when they will have the chance to take another big stride towards qualification for the next round. If they are to extend their stay in this competition they will need to show greater consistency, as one slip-up could see the curtain come down early on this talented young side's European adventure.