MONACO (Reuters) - Monaco took great pride in staying true to their attacking philosophy after knocking Manchester City out of the Champions League on Wednesday.
The Ligue 1 leaders lost the first leg 5-3 in Manchester, but beat the Premier League side 3-1 at home to advance on away goals thanks to Tiemoue Bakayoko’s second-half header.
“We never panicked. Our strength this season is that we are not scared to play. Even when we were 3-2 up in Manchester we continued to play and that’s also why we conceded five goals,” attacking midfielder Bernardo Silva told reporters.
“We have the best attack in Europe,” said coach Leonardo Jardim, referring to the fact that Monaco have scored 126 goals in all competitions this season.
“In the first half, we pressed hard and they did not see the ball. We played more than City, we can even say that in the first leg they were lucky.”
Monaco started the game on the front foot and the 18-year-old Kylian Mbappe put them ahead with a tap-in before Fabinho, 23, doubled the tally just before the half hour.
Leroy Sane pulled one back for the visitors in the 71st minute but Bakayoko, 22, headed home the goal that sent Jardim’s young side through.
“When you look at the number of goals, it’s 6-6 but we managed to score many away goals and be solid at home so I would say we deserve to go through,” said Bakayoko.
“If we’re here, it has nothing to do with luck, we made a lot of efforts. There is a lot of pride tonight. We deserve this.”
After becoming the first team to go through in the Champions League after conceding five goals in the first leg, Monaco await Friday’s draw in confident mood.
“When we look at the quarter-finals line-up, we have nothing to be afraid of,” Bakayoko said.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ed Osmond