By Simon Hart at Stade Louis II
Beaten finalists last season, AS Monaco FC will take their place in Thursday's draw for the UEFA Champions League group stage here in the principality after completing a resounding 9-0 aggregate victory against NK Gorica.
Gorica may have won 5-0 at Danish champions FC København in the previous round but they managed just one shot on target all night and once in front through Ernesto Chevantón's 18th-minute opener, the only question was how many goals Monaco would win by.
If the presence in tonight's starting lineup of just two names from the side who began Monaco's last Champions League home game - the semi-final against Chelsea FC - underlined quite how Didier Deschamps' squad was stripped of its star names during the summer, the performances of their replacements offers hope for the campaign ahead.
It was the busy Uruguayan striker Chevantón who impressed in the early stages. He struck 19 goals in Serie A last season for US Lecce and could have scored as early as the sixth minute when put clean through by another new boy, Mohamed Kallon, only for Mitja Pirih to save at his feet.
Chevantón made no mistake with his second chance. He fed Kallon on the edge of the box and although Kallon's touch looked to have carried him clear of Gorica's backline, Chevantón had continued running and pounced on the loose ball ahead of his colleague to drill a shot past Pirih.
More chances came. Chevantón and Kallon both missed when clean through but in between, on 32 minutes, Lucas Bernardi made it two. The raw but promising Togolese striker, Emmanuel Adebayor, was the supplier, cutting the ball back to Bernadi whose first-time shot flew in from the edge of the box.
Suler sent off
Gorica's problems increased on 40 minutes when Marko Suler was sent off after collecting a second yellow card and, within two minutes, Monaco had scored again. From a long throw into the box, Kallon had a shot blocked by Pirih and Hassan El Fakiri bundled in the loose ball.
The second half began with another goal, Kallon meeting Adebayor's ball across the box to drill in Monaco's fourth. With the hosts in complete control, the tempo dropped but the Slovenian champions' suffering was not quite over and substitute Pontus Farnerud added a fifth goal after 66 minutes, a close-range finish from Adebayor's cross. Adebayor himself completed the rout, winning and subsequently converting a late penalty, a goal the youngster's efforts richly deserved.