Article posted on 30 August 2016 at 1:39pm

France

AS Monaco win maiden European trophy

A European Cup final victory for Monaco started off looking very unlikely until Mircea Nesu saw red for being too keen in the tackle. His attempt at stamping some authority in the game began straight from kick off as he flew into Dylan Byrne within the first few seconds. It was a tackling attempt where he was never going to win the ball and, had it been later in the game, the referee may have shown a straight red.

Milan's players were well and truly up for the game and dominated the early exchanges with both Fabio Rossitto and Karl Connolly coming close to breaking the deadlock. Unfortunately Mircea Nesu seemed unable to tame himself and, after another couple of silly challenges, the referee had no choice but to remove him from the game.

Once Milan were down to 10 men there was little in the game as both teams tried to re-adjust. Monaco looked a little nervy during the first half but a couple of late half-chances, along with a half time re-think, seemed to give them confidence and from then on, a victory for them never looked in doubt.

Monaco dominated the second half and were getting closer and closer to scoring anyway, when Karl Connolly clipped Ulrich Wilson at the edge of the box. Marin Duna made no mistake with the penalty, placed nicely into the corner and then helped himself to a second goal, 8 minutes later after some good work by Fernando Redondo down the left side. After beating a couple of tired Milan players, Redondo found himself able to slide it past the keeper for Duna to smack the ball into an empty net.

There was still time for Marin Duna to snatch his hat trick but one effort fizzed past the past and the other deflected off a defender nicely into the keepers' arms.

So, in the end, a thoroughly deserved victory for AS Monaco in only their second every European Cup venture - the last one behind 24 seasons ago!

Unfortunately, they won't be in it next season to defend their title, as Stade Plabenn├ęcois have claimed the French title and Monaco are a point short of being able to grab second place with the final league matches. However, I'm sure that won't stop the celebrations of being the best team in Mystify for season 30.

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