Manchester City to face Monaco in UEFA Champions League Last 16 tie

Manchester City to face Monaco in UEFA Champions League Last 16 tie

City have progressed to the last 16 of the Champions League where a meeting with Ligue 1 outfit AS Monaco lies in wait.

Oscar_Norman_
Oscar Norman

Having faced a formidable group stage, Manchester City managed to get through to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League where a tie with 2004 runners-up AS Monaco awaits.

Monaco saw off the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Bayer Leverkusen and CSKA Moscow to finish top of Group E - seeing them into the first knockout stage as one of the seeded teams.

Favourable draw for Guardiola's charges?

A seemingly easy tie for City most would think given the difference in quality of squads and management? Not necessarily. Monaco have enjoyed a flying start to their season and are currently the top scoring side in Europe's top five leagues with a goal difference of 37. 

Much of this success can be attributed to the former Atletico Madrid and Manchester United striker Radamel Falcao, who has scored 14 in 16 appearances in what has been an inspired turnaround for the Colombian following his dismal time in England.

City have never met Monaco before in any competition, either in a friendly or on a competitive basis.

Pep Guardiola's men should have the quality to get into the quarter-finals for the second successive season, but if the defensive woes of the current campaign aren't rectified by the time the two sides meet, City's progression could be in doubt. 

City director warns of "very difficult" game

"Monaco are playing the best football in France right now - this will be a very difficult game for us," said City's Director of Football Txiki Begiristain after the draw was made, evidently wary of the threat posed by Monaco. 

Despite losing their final group stage game 3-0, Monaco - managed by Portuguese Leonardo Jardim - were undefeated in the rest of their games, including beating City's league rivals Spurs home and away.

The first leg against the Ligue 1 outfit is on Tuesday February 21st at the Etihad Stadium, with the return leg at Monaco's Stade Louis II not until Wednesday March 15th. Both games kick off at 7:45pm.

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