Monaco await Champions League semifinal

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Coach Didier Deschamps says Monaco will not change their attacking approach in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Chelsea.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:06 IST
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Coach Didier Deschamps has said that Monaco will not change their attacking approach as he aims to knock his old club Chelsea out of the Champions League in the second leg of their semi-final on Wednesday. Monaco lead Chelsea by three goals to one going into semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge. The team from French Ligue 1 are the clear favourites to go through. They won the first leg 3-1 thanks to goals from Dado Prso, Fernando Morientes and Shabani Nonda, despite being down to ten men for much of the second half. The success that Morientes has enjoyed this season typifies the way coach Didier Deschamps has transformed a team of journeymen and cast-offs into a hugely formidable outfit. The Spaniard only moved reluctantly to the principality, on loan, after it was made clear that there would be no place among Real Madrid's first choice line-up alongside Ronaldo and Raul. But with Deschamps introducing his own exciting brand of attacking football at Monaco, Morientes has positively thrived. Their positive approach has served them brilliantly so far in this season's Champions League, with an 8-3 win over Deportivo and a memorable quarter-final victory against mighty Real Madrid among the highlights. And, against his former side, the coach says he sees no reason to change their attacking instincts for Wednesday's game, despite the advantage. "We are not going to change our style. We've obviously got to know how to defend, but we've not got the type of team that can go out and just defend. The important thing is to look to score a goal, because if we do that it puts the tie very much in our favour," said Monaco coach Didier Deschamps. The Monaco coach scoffed at the idea that the pressure of such games could become too great - perhaps unsurprisingly for someone who won the World Cup and the European Championships as a player. "Yes, but it's normal. I think that all the coaches want to live the same sensation, you know. The pressure is part of my job, and it's normal. But it's a good pressure - for me and for Ranieri as well. We have got a good opportunity to qualify, and it's important. We do this job for this sort of situation," Deschamps said. But Deschamps acknowledged the comfort that Chelsea can take from the fact that there have been several spectacular second-leg comebacks in this year's Champions League - including his own Monaco overturning a 4-2 deficit against Real Madrid in the quarter-finals. Deschamps has a few injury concerns heading into the tie. Winger Jerome Rothen has been suffering with a slight groin strain. Dado Prso, who scored in the first leg, has been troubled by a toe injury. Both trained at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday though. Deschamps will be hoping that Ludovic Giuly can maintain his inspirational form. The diminutive midfielder has been a revelation this season in the playmaker role, and completely outshone Real Madrid's 'Galacticos' in the quarter-final. And of course, he has Morientes up front. It would be a fitting reposte to the powers that be at Real Madrid if the Spaniard could earn a Champions League winners medal less than a year after he was ushered out of the Bernabeu. So for Monaco, the dream continues, with just 90 minutes lying between them and a place in the final in Gelsenkirchen on May 26. (AP)

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