PSV draw 1-1 in Monaco in the first leg of qualifying for the Champions League
PSV left the first leg of their UEFA Champions League qualifier in Monaco with a draw. The match ended 1-1 which means that the club from Eindhoven will progress to the next round if they were to win their return leg next Tuesday in Eindhoven. Midfielder Joey Veerman scored PSV’s only goal.
PSV was coming off a spectacular victory against Ajax in the Johan Cruyff Schaal on Saturday, which will have helped the confidence of the Eindhovenaren for a game in which they were perceived to be the underdogs. AS Monaco is one of the most successful clubs in France, having won the Ligue 1, the top division in France, eight times. This was Monaco’s first competitive match since the end of last season, where they finished third in Ligue 1.
Monaco took the initiative in the Stade Louis, pegging PSV back while the Dutch side struggled to keep possession. Yet it was PSV who nearly took the lead after 22 minutes when Joey Veerman’s curled attempt missed the goal by inches.
Monaco provided moments of danger through their new signing Takumi Minamino. The Japanese winger was able to find space several times in the PSV box, but his finish let him down on every occasion.
PSV took a surprise lead after 38 minutes; again, it was Joey Veerman proving the danger. After a good lay-off from veteran striker Luuk de Jong, the 23-year-old from Volendam, smashed the ball into the far corner sparking wild celebrations from the 450 traveling PSV supporters.
It was an eventful start to the second half in Monaco as Takumi Minamino escaped the attention of the PSV defenders again after only three minutes of the second half. Fortunately for PSV, Minamino failed once again in front of the goal.
Guus Til could not continue his rich goalscoring form, which saw him score a hat trick on Saturday against Ajax in Amsterdam, as he missed a massive opportunity after good build-up play by German left-back Phillip Max.
AS Monaco equalized after 81 minutes when a free kick was headed on by Youssouf Fofana to find Centre back Axel Disasi, who could sweep home from close range.
The combination of Monaco's substitutes and evident fatigue in the PSV ranks made for a nail-biting finale for the Boeren as Fofana again showed his aerial prowess to head against the post after Walter Benitez had saved from Disasi.
PSV held on for a draw and now only needs to beat Monaco next week in Eindhoven to progress to the next qualifying round for this season's edition of the Champions League.