Down but not out: despite losing the first leg of the Champions League playoffs against Shakhtar Donetsk, 0-1, AS Monaco retains every chance of moving on in this competition. To do this, Djibril Sidibé’ and his teammates will have 90 minutes (or more) to record a win in Ukraine next Wednesday (9 p.m.) and move through the play-offs. It is with this in mind that the right-back spoke at a post-match press conference.
Good evening Djibril. We had the impression of seeing another team from the 20th minute on. How can one explain this difference?
I think that’s the context of the Champions League where every player has to level up and be ready to step up right away. I have no specific explanation. We may have been caught up in the moment. We lost the first leg but there are 90 minutes left. In the past, we have overcome difficult situations, for example I remember the match against Manchester City in 2017. We have to play a very good match.
What did you think of the Ukrainian goalkeeper’s game?
He played his match and was ready at the right times. We are struggling to make good on our chances, but we are on the right track. Even if they won, the result is not final. We have a lot of hope; we will have to recover.
What will need to be improved upon next week?
You have to be focused all the time and avoid mistakes. Scoring goals will be essential. It’s up to us to find the determination to do even more and be decisive in the final third.
Do you see similarities to the 2016 team?
Yes of course. This was our strength last season. We had a good season to be able to have the chance to play this kind of match. There is a little fatigue with the fixture list, but we’re aiming for the Champions League. The coach is behind us. I told my teammates that nothing is over. We’ll have to play aggressively in going there, and have a very good match.
How does Jean Lucas contribute to this team?
He is still bedding in but he has technical qualities and brings freshness to the midfield. It’s not easy to show off that kind of skill even if he’s doing things right.