After the defeat by two goals in the first leg, Philippe Clement and his men would have liked to turn this knockout tie of the Europa League against Braga around. Unfortunately, AS Monaco could only get a draw at home against the Portuguese side (1-1). It was a performance that the Rouge et Blanc coach tried to analyze in front of the media.
Hello Philippe. How do you see this fiery encounter?
The motivation was there tonight, but our hopes fell somewhat with Braga’s opener in the first half. There were opportunities to do better than a draw, that’s for sure. When you want to reverse a tie with a two-goal deficit, you have to score very quickly. We didn’t manage to do that in the first half, and after their goal the pace dropped a bit. When we got back from the locker room, we had a few chances, but they were often packing the box. After Axel’s goal there was some energy, but it was too late. We will have to analyze all of this, in order to be able to move forward.
What do you think was missing?
We lacked creativity in the final third, against a team that was playing with a very defensive outlook with a two-goal advantage from the first leg. There is a statistic that was revealing: it was Guillermo Maripán who played the most balls into the opposing area, despite being a defender. They were very compact in the middle, and it was not easy to get around them, even on the flanks.
How do you recover after this elimination?
I am very disappointed like everyone else, the staff, the players, the managers, the supporters… There are two solutions: you can lower your head, or raise it and bounce back! There are ten league “finals” left until the end of the season. We will have to do our best to win as many as possible and not linger on the disappointment of our elimination. Everything is still possible, but we have to react. I have a lot of young players in this squad, who are logically very disappointed tonight. We have to stay together and show solidarity to create more chances and score goals.
What reaction do you expect from your players?
We also see the ability of the players to respond when the chips are down. Sometimes you have to make your own fate. Confidence has to return, and that starts with winning duels, moving forward and creating chances. This is what we are going to apply ourselves to do just that starting Sunday against Paris Saint-Germain.