After a draw against PSV Eindhoven (1-1) in the third preliminary round of the Champions League, AS Monaco have their destiny in hand. With this result, the return leg next Tuesday in Eindhoven (8:30 p.m.) remains more open than ever and the team’s chances of qualifying remain intact. Here are excerpts from coach Philippe Clement’s press conference.
Good evening, Philippe. How did you see this result?
We can’t have any regrets because the players gave their all. They showed an exemplary mentality, despite everything. Ir was difficult to create chances in the first half, and PSV scored with their first real chance, obviously it was a blow but the team reacted extremely well. We comfortably dominated in the second half. We also had bad luck with Youssouf hitting the post, but if a team were to win tonight, it was us.
— AS Monaco EN (@AS_Monaco_EN) August 2, 2022
How do you see the return leg?
I expect PSV to be even more attacking than today. In addition, the stadium will be full, it will galvanize them. I’m sure it will be a great evening, because we, too, are going to play for everything! Everything remains to be done, against a team with a lot of quality. They can score anytime thanks to the experience of their players. We are a younger team that must continue to grow. But today I saw a lot of good things, especially with Takumi Minamino, who is becoming more and more integrated. The substitutes also gave a lot, which is a good omen. There will also be a share of luck in our potential qualification, but we have to earn it!
Your players, especially Breel Embolo, appeared to be in very good physical shape…
Yes! Breel is powerful, and that’s a part of why we recruited him. But in general, the team is in good physical shape. We had what was an intense and tiring preseason for the players, but when we see their physical level tonight we see that it pays off! Against Strasbourg, it will be necessary to respond to a very physical team, with a lot of power and qualities. With the run of matches, inevitably we will rotate a little, but no let-up will be allowed! Everyone has to be physically at their peak to get the best possible results.
A last word on the goalscorer, Axel Disasi?
I am very happy with him. But I’m happy with everyone. Axel always scores a lot in training, it’s crazy! We want to push him to score even more. This is an important quality for a defender and an additional attacking weapon.