Europa League 17 February 2023, 01:24

AS Monaco beat Leverkusen and take the lead before the second leg!

AS Monaco beat Leverkusen and take the lead before the second leg!
At the end of the extra time, the Rouge et Blanc and a providential goal from Axel Disasi sealed a victory with character in the round of 32 first leg of the Europa League away to Bayer Leverkusen (2-3).

What a European evening! As this first leg swung from one side to the other, AS Monaco had the last word in their Round of 32 first leg in the Europa League against Bayer Leverkusen (2-3). It was an important victory, which allows the Principality club to take the lead before the return leg at the Stade Louis-II (next Thursday, 6:45 p.m.).

The context 📅

Boosted by their win against Paris Saint-Germain (3-1), and on a run of eight matches without defeat in Ligue 1 since the season’s resumption (6 wins, 2 draws), the Rouge et Blanc approached this tie against Bayer Leverkusen with confidence and ambition. But above all with the idea of keeping a chance of qualifying with a view to the return leg at the Stade Louis-II (Thursday February 23, 6:45 p.m.).

They are very well organized in their training, very strong on the break and united in their efforts. Looking at their recent form, they have had four clear sheets in the last five home games, which is an indicator of the quality of this team. (...) Jeremie Frimpong and Moussa Diaby are very fast players, who can change the outcome of a match on their own.
Philippe ClementOn Bayer Leverkusen

The eleven👥

For this Round of 32 first leg in the Europa League, Philippe Clement decided to keep faith with the same 4-2-3-1 as he has played in recent weeks, with a few changes. Impressive in this role in Clermont (a 2-0 win), Takumi Minamino played in support of Breel Embolo, like in Auvergne. Elsewhere, the eleven was the same as it had been against Paris.

The scenario 🎞

The match started with a European rhythm, with enormous pressure from Monaco on the German defence. so strong that, Breel Embolo, just like his goal against Rennes early in the season, pressed Lukas Hradecky into a mistake. The latter pushed the ball into his own goal (9′, 0-1), and saw a cheer go up from the Rouge et Blanc away support, comprised of 500 supporters at the BayArena!

A helping hand from fate

On the other hand, there was a moment of nerves on a cross-shot by Moussa Diaby, diverted behind for a corner by Alexander Nübel (11′). The German goalkeeper’s teammates tried to get their foot back on the ball and Aleksandr Golovin found the Swiss striker perfectly but he saw his shot graze the left post (21′). Bayer Leverkusen retaliated again, but neither Adam Hlozek from range (25′), nor Moussa Diaby (35′), both denied by the Monegasque goalkeeper, found the hosts’ opening goal.

His opposite number in shone on an effort from the left by Krépin Diatta, keeping the ball out with his opposite hand (43′). Halftime finally came with a double German opportunity from the Palacios-Andrich duo (45 + 3′). Unfortunately the return from the locker room was cruel, since on his first attack, Florian Wirtz perfectly found Jeremie Frimpong who played in Moussa Diaby, who only had to finish from close range (48′, 1-1).

A moment of genius from Diatta…

The Rouge et Blanc struggled but Exequiel Palacios from range (54′) and then Nadiem Amiri on a cutback (58′), came up against a solid Alexander Nübel. On the other hand, he could do nothing against a solo run and finish by Florian Wirtz (59′, 2-1). Philippe Clement then made several changes. This new blood gave fresh impetus to the Monegasques, who ended up equalizing on a superb curling strike from the left foot of Krépin Diatta (2-2, 74′). What a finish! But the drama of this match did not stop there. Wissam Ben Yedder, coming on on the hour mark, popped up with a good control and shot (86′).

…Before a big finish from Disasi!

Just before Adam Hlozek hit the post of Alex Nübel (87′)! Heroic, Guillermo Maripán finished the match injured, while his captain was once again dangerous in the opposing area (92′). Following the next corner, Axel Disasi picked up the ball from almost thirty meters let fly with a missile which found the bottom corner (2-3)!

It was a completely crazy finish, but AS Monaco overturned Bayer Leverkusen — job done with this victory in Germany before the return leg in the Principality.

Key moments 🎥

9′: On a good bit of pressing by Embolo, Hradecky pushes the ball into his own goal (0-1)
11′: Diaby’s cross-shot is pushed behind for a corner by Alex Nübel
21′: Golovin finds Embolo with a long ball and he sees his shot graze the left post
43′: Golovin plays in Diatta whose curling shot from the left is punched away by Hradecky
48′: Wirtz finds Frimpong who picks out Diaby, who finishes from close range (1-1)
58′: On a cutback by Andrich, Amiri is denied by Nübel
59′: Wirtz gives Leverkusen the lead with a solo run and finish (2-1)
70′: A long shot from Frimpong is captured by Nübel
74′: Diatta finds the net perfectly from the left and allows Monaco to equalize (2-2)
86′: Ben Yedder’s control and finish is turned behind for a corner
87′: Hlozek hits the post with a powerful strike
92′: A shot by Disasi restores the advantage to the Rouge et Blanc (2-3)

The stat 📊

Scorer at the end of the match with a sublime shot from 30 meters, Axel Disasi scored his 5th goal in European play in the colors of AS Monaco. Only Wissam Ben Yedder has does better in the Rouge et Blanc squad (6). 👏

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Match details

Thursday, February 16 – BayArena

Ligue Europa – Round of 32 First Leg: Bayer Leverkusen 2-3 AS Monaco

Halftime: 0-1

Goals: Diaby (48′), Wirtz (59′)  for Leverkusen; Hradecky OG (9′), Diatta (74′) and Disasi (92′) for AS Monaco 

Bookings: Tapsoba (14′), Wirtz (50′), Adli (63′) for Leverkusen; Camara (63′), Maripán (82′) and Diatta (97′) for AS Monaco

Bayer Leverkusen: Hradecky © – Tapsoba, Tah, Hincapie – Frimpong (Hudson-Odoi, 88′), Palacios, Andrich, Amiri (Kossounou, 67′) – Wirtz – Diaby (Adli 56′), Hlozek (Schick, 88′)

Substitutes: Lomb, Pentz, Bakker, Fosu-Mensah, Kossounou, Azhil, Demirbay, Hudson-Odoi, Adli, Azmoun, Schick

Manager: Xabi Alonso

AS Monaco: Nübel – Aguilar (Matsima, 80′), Disasi ©, Maripán, C. Henrique – Fofana, Camara (Matazo, 71′) – Diatta, Minamino (Ben Seghir, 46′), Golovin (Jakobs, 71′) – Embolo (Ben Yedder, 62′)

Substitutes: Didillon, Jakobs, Matsima, Okou, Akliouche, Ben Seghir, Magassa, Gelson Martins, Matazo, Ben Yedder, Boadu, Volland

Manager: Philippe Clement