Here we go again,
I was convinced that the quarterfinals preview was my last one. But it seems like Leonardo Jardim and his boys like my writing. So they defeated Dortmund in both legs, even though the first one was played in a disturbing context.
So, here we are again. But this time, it’s the Italian Old Lady, the Juventus. It seems like they have been champions of Italy since Mbappé learned to walk, and that is the new wall that Falcao and co. will have to face in order to book their tickets to Cardiff.
Let’s just take a minute to note how great Monaco’s Champions League trip has been so far.
They defeated Villarreal in TP3, knocked-out Fenerbahçe in the qualifying round, and in the group stage, they defeated Spurs both home and away, finished first of their group one day before the final matchday all of that while being in the hat number 4, the one of the supposed weakest teams.
Then, Jardim’s men made their mark on two perennial CL teams, dispatching Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, before crushing the Yellow Wall.
And now, they only need 6 points out of 4 games to be French champions. Talk about a season!
I don’t need to tell you about Mbappé, which I had to in the Round of 16 preview before he established himself in Europe, neither Lemar or the tactical preciseness of Jardim.
Now they’re facing a different profile, compared to Dortmund and City.
The Bianconeri are the best defense in the world, no doubts about that. But Dybala and Higuain remind us that they’re not just a defense, but a complete, well-tuned machine that can attack with lethal efficiency as well.
I could ask myself if Monaco can break Buffon’s defense, if Glik can hold the Argentine strikers, if, if…
It’s a semi-final. All the 4 teams deserve to be there, at this stage. Monaco is not really a contender anymore, even if they’re not as established as the 3 others.
They’re playing with house money, they didn’t expect to win the league, they didn’t expect to make it to the knockout round, they weren’t even sure they would make it to the group stage. And yet, here we are. Anything is possible. As a lifelong Monaco fan, I am just enjoying our momentum, hoping for us to do our Vendetta against Turin’s Vecchia Signora, and why not, why not, keep the dream going a bit more… One game more… To Cardiff ?
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Claude Paris