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Team 31 January 2022, 14:43

Vito Mannone: "We had to stay very focused throughout"

Vito Mannone: "We had to stay very focused throughout"
Following a huge match with many saves to his credit, the Italian goalkeeper of AS Monaco spoke after the team's qualification against Lens (2-4).

He had an amazing match! After a warning in the fifth minute of play on a powerful strike from thirty meters from Seko Fofana, Vito Mannone postponed conceding an opener for a very long time in this thrilling round of 16 in the Coupe de France, won by AS Monaco in Lens (2-4). Having made numerous saves, he allowed his partners to hold the line while ahaead 3-2, before a second goal from Wissam Ben Yedder sealed the result. Delighted with his performance, that of the team and the qualification, he spoke after the match.

Hello Vito. You did a great job tonight…

It is true that there were a lot of Lens shots to deal with. I knew before the match that Seko Fofana is a midfielder who tries his luck a lot, for example. There are quality players in this team, including Arnaud Kalimuendo who was very dangerous in the second half. In these kinds of matches, you have to stay focused throughout, because you know that anything can happen at either end.

How do you see the first goal conceded by the team?

The first shot was not easy to capture, because the ball had a very difficult trajectory. I managed to tip it away. Then Caio failed to clear the ball so I stopped the second shot and unfortunately I was unlucky as the ball came back to the striker’s feet. Football is like that! Once again, there were quite a few chance to deal with tonight. It was not an easy go of it.

I had seen Lens' performance against Lille, with their turnaround and this goal at the very end of the match in the round of 32. This team is very strong at home. I think that if I had finished the first half with a clean sheet, I would have had a more calm second half.
Vito MannoneAS Monaco goalkeeper

Were you not afraid of a comeback from Lens, as in the previous round?

I had seen Lens’ performance against Lille, with their turnaround and this goal at the very end of the match in the round of 32. This team is very strong at home. I think that if I had finished the first half with a clean sheet, I would have had a more calm second half. We conceded this goal in the 45th minute, from an offside position. It’s unfortunate, but the most important thing is our qualification for the quarterfinals.

Aurélien Tchouameni had another great game. Is he already a top player according to you?

He is a great talent, a great player. He can continue to train and develop more I think, because he is very young. He must continue like this, work hard and believe in his qualities. He is very strong physically. He is one of the best at recovering the ball, he does the team a lot of good.

Rise. Risk. Repeat.

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