Monaco vs Arsenal preview: We've got what it takes to finish off the Gunners, says Joao Moutinho

Monaco midfielder says Champions League brings out the best in his team

Joao Moutinho has claimed the Champions League brings out the best in Monaco and believes they are capable of finishing off Arsenal and reaching the final.

Leonardo Jardim’s side hold a 3-1 advantage from their last-16  first-leg clash ahead of tomorrow’s return at Stade Louis II, with the Gunners needing to score three times to have any hope of progressing.

Monaco are only fourth in Ligue 1 but outplayed Arsenal at Emirates Stadium three weeks ago and Moutinho insists they thrive in Europe’s premier competition and can go all the way to Berlin, 11 years on from their last final against Jose Mourinho’s Porto.

“We can show our best qualities against the top teams,” he told the Evening Standard. “Play in Ligue 1 is very closed, very aggressive. Some teams are good technically, but others rely on the physical side, on defending and counter-attacks. It’s hard to find space and you have to come up with different tactics to get the wins. No one believed in us in the Champions League and yet we have really played well. We deserve to be where we are.

“I have full confidence in our side, despite our lack of experience. With the team spirit we have we can go even further and why not a repeat of Monaco and Porto in 2004?”

No team in Champions League history have ever gone through having lost the home leg first and needing to score more than once to avoid elimination.

Arsene-Wenger.jpg
Arsene Wenger's team have won all four of their matches since that defeat

Arsenal find themselves in precisely that situation but midfielder Aaron Ramsey has warned Monaco that the Londoners are still alive.

“We had a sloppy first leg and we’ve made it quite difficult for ourselves, but it’s not over yet,” said Ramsey, who missed the first leg through injury. “We are more than capable of scoring three goals. We’ll go into the game believing we can achieve that.

“We need to score goals, so we will go there and try to score three or more goals and hopefully not concede any. That’s our target and that’s how we will approach it.”

Comments