Story so far
Monaco kicked off their campaign in July, overcoming Fenerbahçe and Villarreal in qualifying to book a place in the competition proper. A pair of 2-1 wins against Tottenham underpinned a strong group campaign, and they had already wrapped up top spot when they lost 3-0 in Leverkusen. Yet it was the sensational round of 16 victory over Manchester City that really caught everyone’s attention. Next up: Dortmund.
Record this season: P8 W4 D2 L2 F15 A13 (excluding qualifying)
For all their attacking wiles, surely Monaco couldn’t overhaul a 5-3 first-leg deficit versus Manchester City in the last 16? The players never doubted it, haring out of the blocks and immediately putting the visitors on the back foot. Within 29 minutes goals from Kylian Mbappé and Fabinho had turned the tie on its head and got Prince Albert II and the rest of the home support to their feet.
Why this is Monaco’s year
The beauty of Leonardo Jardim’s side, described as “a bunch of mates” by Mbappé, is that they play without fear, like they are playing for fun in the schoolyard. The average age of Monaco’s outfield players at the end of the second leg against City was 22 and that youthful abandon means they fear no one and nothing. Shades of Ajax’s victorious team of 1994/95.
Main attraction: Radamel Falcao – The Colombia striker, now 31, is still prone to injury but he has developed the happy knack of hitting the ground running whenever fit: he has played six, scored six in the competition.
Rising star: Kylian Mbappé – In a team full of young talent, the 18-year-old forward’s star burns brightest. The ‘new Thierry Henry’ has managed a goal a game since the beginning of February.
Unsung hero: Andrea Raggi – The centre-back never quite lived up to his early promise in Italy but his quality has been manifest since his 2012 switch to Monaco. He has started every European fixture this season.
Top Fantasy points scorers: Fabinho, Thomas Lemar (28)