Monaco’s victory against Real Sociedad (2-1) qualifies the club directly for the round of 16 of the competition, even if some players were struggling to understand at what level of the competition they will play next March.
The new format of European competitions is not yet imprinted in all Monegasque heads and this gave rise to a funny scene after the victory against Real Sociedad (2-1) on Thursday in the Europa League. A success which ensures the first place of the group and validates the direct qualification for the round of 16, without going through the 16th box (which will oppose the eight second in Europa League groups, against the eight third in the Champions League groups).
Fofana feared being overtaken by PSV
Asked about the relief of being qualified directly in the round of 16, Youssouf Fofana, scorer before being excluded at the very end of the match, remained measured and a little confused in his calculations. « We saw in the locker room that PSV could still steal first place from us, » he said. However, the victory against Real Sociedad secures first place in the group for the Principality club, which has a better individual goal average than PSV, 2nd at three points. In the event of a tie, ASM therefore has the advantage and will retain its first place regardless of the results of the last day.
Kovac had explained it to the players, Volland understood it
« I explained to them before the match that a victory would send us to the eighth without playing a sixteenth, amused Niko Kovac, ASM coach. Youssouf should not have listened. » His other teammates seem to have achieved their fate. On his Instagram story, Kevin Volland posted a snapshot in the night, all smiles surrounded by Mannone, Golovin and Pavlovic. A photo captioned « Qualified for round of 16 » (the equivalent of the round of 16 in English).
Monaco now has an appointment in March 2022. The draw for the 8th will take place on February 25. ASM will be seeded and will play against a team from the play-off with the advantage of receiving in the return match.