Sparta lost 0-2 to Monaco
Spartans started the third qualifying round against a very difficult opponent, AS Monaco, at the home pitch. It was the first game for a team from Ligue 1 in the new season. The first half was very equal with the difference that AS scored from their only chance, but Sparta did not. Spartans tried to equal the score in the second half, however, AS added the second goal. The successful scorers were Tchouameni and Volland.
Sparta’s coach Pavel Vrba had to make a few changes in his roster. He could not count due to different reasons with Štetina, Krejčí, LK37, Højer and Čelůstka. On the other hand, Niko Kovač had available all players including Sofiane Diop who recovered from an injury.
None of the teams wanted to open the field in the beginning. The first dangerous chance came from Golovin’s feet after 11 minutes, but he tightly missed the goal.
Gelson aimed better three minutes later, but his shot did not have enough power to make trouble for Nita.
Sparta had an interesting chance in the 21st minute when Panák shot inside the penalty area after the free kick from Dočkal, but he did not hit the ball as he wanted and missed the target.
At the same minute, Gelson was running alone inside the penalty area after Polidar slipped. The ball was jumping, and he did not shoot perfectly and sent the ball to a stand.
The first clear chance came in the 23rd minute. Wiesner sent a long pass directly on Hložek’s head, but he tightly missed Nübel’s goal in a great opportunity.
Monaco went into the lead after the corner in the 38th minute. Golovin found Tchouameni’s head, and he easily scored the first goal in this match. Nita did not have any chance in this situation.
AS could add the second goal after the next 3 minutes. Fofana sent a very dangerous shot to Nita. One of the defenders made an important block right in front of the Romanian goalkeeper. Nothing else happened in the first half and teams went into the dressing rooms with a score of 0-1.
The second half started similarly to the beginning of the match. The first bigger chance came in the 59th minute when Nita had to tackle Volland’s shot, but the ball was still inside the penalty area while Diop won the header and hit the ball in the direction of Volland who did not miss again, 0-2.
Spartans wanted to do something with the result. Nübel made a mistake in the 69th minute, while the ball went directly to Pešek who was tightly outside the penalty area. Sparta’s offensive player tried to shoot right away while Monaco’s goalkeeper was not inside the goal, but he came back on time and caught his shot.
A great pass found running Jakobs in the 79th minute. His shot from a good position was saved by ready Nita.
Mussaba had a good chance in the additional time, but he sent the ball above Nita’s goal. It was the last interesting moment in this match. The game finished 0-2.
Sparta’s coach Pavel Vrba: “I cannot say anything about lack of effort from my players. Our opponent had higher quality, was more dangerous and deservedly won. It is a pity that Hložek did not score from his chance while it was 0-0. You will receive one or two chances in games like this and you need to score from that. If not, you cannot think about winning it. Monaco scored a goal and controlled the game. It was very difficult for us to create chances then. This match showed us where we are in comparison to the best European teams. We still want to dramatize this double match, but we understand it is going to be difficult. We have to score the first goal and be active in Monaco. We will see what will happen there.“
The second game is scheduled for Tuesday 10th of August in Stade Louis II.