Alex scores in PSV Eindhoven victory
Brazilian Alex scored early on to earn dominating PSV Eindhoven a 1-0 Champions League home victory at the Philips Stadium over hapless Monaco, who did well to keep down the winning scoreline on Tuesday.
PSV, inspired by midfielder Mark van Bommel, had countless chances in the first half but only managed Alex’s eighth-minute goal. Last season’s finalists Monaco played tighter after the break, limiting PSV to one great chance when Andre Ooijer shot over the crossbar.
Ankle injuries to both Javier Chevanton and Sebastien Squillaci meant they both missed the match to give Monaco coach Didier Deschamps a headache. Emmanuel Adebayor came in for Chevanton and Julien Rodriguez and Gael Givet continued their partnership in defence.
PSV, in good form leading the Dutch league by four points, welcomed back Van Bommel and Johann Vogel, who were returning after missing the weekend win over NEC Nijmegen.
Monaco’s first match in the competition last season was a 2-1 victory against PSV and their campaign ended with a final loss against FC Porto.
For PSV, this season is a great campaign as they have qualified from the group stages for the first time in eight years.
And PSV’s season got even better with the winning goal from Brazilian Alex. His powerful downward header following a Van Bommel corner bounced over Monaco goalkeeper Flavio Roma to leave last season’s runners-up chasing the game.
PSV looked dangerous from deadball kicks early on, and an indirect effort from Van Bommel was promising but Monaco managed to clear the danger. Monaco, meanwhile, were having trouble putting attacking moves together.
About 10 minutes from the break, Monaco looked to have their first real opportunity when Adebayor intercepted a back pass on the edge of PSV’s box. However, goal-scorer Alex made a great tackle to deny the Togolese striker.
After the break, 22-year-old American winger DaMarcus Beasley replaced Peru’s Jefferson Farfan, who had caused Monaco’s defence all sorts of problems on the flank.
With half an hour left, PSV had a superb chance for their second goal in the ensuing action from a Van Bommel free kick but Ooijer could only strike the ball over the crossbar from 6m.
Monaco had still not had a real chance on goal with a quarter-hour left but at last were making more effort to push forward.
Deschamps brought on striker Shabani Nonda for Adebayor with eight minutes to go and Monaco looked sharper in attack from then on, but it was too late to impact the result.—Sapa-AFP