On-loan Morientes comes back to haunt Madrid in Monaco

Stade Louis II, Monaco – 06/04/2004 – Quarter-finals
Monaco
Monaco
Giuly 45+1, 66 Morientes 48
3 - 1
Real Madrid
  • Raúl González 36
Real Madrid
Back from the brink

"The players have written an extraordinary chapter in the history of Monaco and French football." Didier Deschamps

2003/04

• FC Bayern München beat RSC Anderlecht 1-0 on Matchday 6 as they advanced at their visitors' expense. It proved the first of a record 12 successive UEFA Champions League defeats for the Belgian outfit.

• AEK Athens FC ended their third campaign still seeking a first group stage win. It would not be until the 22nd attempt, against LOSC Lille Métropole in 2006/07, that they finally broke their duck.

• This was the first season under the competition format still in use today as an extra knockout round replaced the second group stage, meaning sides had to come through 13 games to win rather than 17.

Having won the UEFA Champions League twice in the previous four seasons, Real Madrid CF were expected to reach the semi-finals for the fourth year running, especially after winning the first leg 4-2. But a full house at the Stade Louis II witnessed an epic comeback by an AS Monaco FC side spearheaded by Madrid's own on-loan striker Fernando Morientes.

Morientes had already scored against his employers at the Santiago Bernabéu, his late strike had appeared little more than consolatory as the 'galacticos' ran riot in Madrid. There was little indication that the return would be any different, not least after Raúl González opened scored on 36 minutes with an assured finish took him past Ferenc Puskás on Madrid's all-time scorers' list. Monaco had other ideas.

The match turned on the stroke of half-time when Patrice Evra's diagonal ball was cushioned by Morientes – a constant aerial threat – into the path of Ludovic Giuly, who fired low inside the far post from 20 metres. Didier Deschamps' side still required two goals, and the first came three minutes after the interval from the same source, with Evra's cross met by a thumping Morientes header – the Spanish striker's seventh goal in nine European games in 2003/04.

The former Madrid man might have scored again when he connected with Hugo Ibarra's crossfield pass, but was thwarted by Iker Casillas. It was, however, an indication of Monaco's growing belief. Their desire to win was epitomised midway through the half by Édouard Cissé. He snuffed out a Madrid attack, received a return pass under pressure and then had the presence of mind to dummy Ibarra's low cross, which Giuly cleverly back-heeled through the legs of Roberto Carlos and in.

Monaco, who twice hit the post on the break through Shabani Nonda, survived two scares when Raul's header was ruled out for offside, and the same player fired over a he reached for Zinédine Zidane's added-time cross. The Monégasques held on to reach the last four for the second time.

"The players have written an extraordinary chapter in the history of AS Monaco, and for French football," said Deschamps. "It shows that in football anything is possible if you believe it deep down." They were not done yet.

Star players

  • Morientes

    A striker with formidable aerial prowess and an eye for goal, Morientes spent seven years at Real Madrid CF and, often in tandem with Raúl González, helped the club to three UEFA Champions League titles. Twice a Liga titleholder, he spearheaded AS Monaco FC's run to the 2004 UEFA Champions League final during a loan spell, and wound down his career at Liverpool FC, Valencia CF and Olympique de Marseille. Morientes scored 27 goals in 47 appearances for Spain.

  • Raúl González

    When Club Atlético de Madrid reduced their academy in 1992 to save costs, they could not have guessed how expensive the measure would be. Striker Raúl González was welcomed with open arms by Real Madrid CF; when he left 18 years, 740 games and 323 goals later, he had helped Los Merengues to three UEFA Champions League titles and six championships. A classic goalscorer, he also registered 44 in 102 appearances for Spain.

  • Giuly

    A diminutive forward with electric pace and a knack for scoring in big games, Giuly started at Olympique Lyonnais before gaining wider acclaim at AS Monaco FC, winning Ligue 1 and reaching the 2004 UEFA Champions League final. A €7m move to FC Barcelona brought back-to-back Liga titles and victory in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League. After domestic cup wins with AS Roma and Paris-Saint-Germain FC, Giuly returned to Monaco in summer 2011.

What happened next?

• The following evening RC Deportivo La Coruña became the first side to overcome a three-goal first-leg deficit in the UEFA Champions League, beating holders AC Milan 4-0 to seal a 5-4 aggregate win.

• AS Monaco FC overcame Chelsea FC 5-3 in the last four, with Fernando Morientes again scoring in either leg to take his tally in the competition to nine, but lost the final 3-0 to FC Porto in Gelsenkirchen.

• Real Madrid CF's disappointment was compounded as they finished fourth in the Liga and started their UEFA Champions League campaign in the third qualifying round the following year.

• So too did Monaco after Didier Deschamps' side finished in third in Ligue 1, repeating the placing in 2004/05 before slipping to mid-table; in 2010/11 they descended still further after relegation.

• It would be seven seasons before Madrid next graced the UEFA Champions League quarter-final stage after suffering first knockout round disappointment for six successive campaigns.

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