Leonardo Jardim saluted AS Monaco FC's ability to stick to the game plan as he celebrated a 3-1 win at Arsenal FC that left Arsène Wenger ruing his own side's lack of composure.
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• Leonardo Jardim celebrates a 3-1 victory "nobody thought was possible"
• The Monaco boss says the plan was to soak up the pressure and hit Arsenal as they tired
• Arsène Wenger admits Arsenal "were a bit suicidal defensively"
• Albert II, Prince of Monaco, was among the visiting supporters in north London
• The second leg is on 17 March, with the quarter-final draw three days later
Leonardo Jardim, Monaco coach
We analysed Arsenal beforehand and knew they were stronger in the first half of games and that they struggle a bit after the interval. We were very organised in the first half, and that allowed us to counterattack with great effect in the second.
Arsenal have some very good players and we were able to nullify that threat. Nobody thought this result would be possible. That said, Arsenal are a great team and we are only halfway through the tie. I'm very happy with the result [but] we still haven't won anything – we're only at the halfway stage.
Football is an art. You need to know how to attack and defend, and we are a very balanced side. First and foremost we try to look for stability so we can attack. It's very difficult to score lots of goals in the Champions League, so it's better for us to be an organised team. Tonight this allowed us to attack Arsenal in the second half.
This wasn't our biggest win. We've had some big wins already in the Champions League this season, such as against Zenit on matchday six and against Leverkusen.
Arsène Wenger, Arsenal manager
Congratulations to Monaco, they got a perfect result. We missed chances and were a bit suicidal defensively. We were unlucky because the first goal was deflected, but the second and third goals were suicidal. It looks like we have lost our nerve and our rationality on the pitch. The heart took over the head, and at this level that doesn't work.
Mentally we were not sharp enough to get into this game and we paid for it. In the first 20 minutes there were enough spaces to take the lead. We missed our chances. At this level, you cannot afford the chances we missed. On the night Monaco produced a performance and we didn't.
We had a lot of possession but I just believe that defensively we were not at the right level. Our weakness was down to mentality. We rushed our play and we were too impatient – this is a tie of 180 minutes. The balance wasn't right because we always had to attack. When we lost the ball we were exposed physically, and at the back it was not one of our best nights.
Maybe it was more heart than brain. The players wanted to do well and come back. At 2-1 they thought 'let's get back to 2-2', but they forgot to be cautious. We have a small chance, but no matter how small the chance is, we'll go for it.