Monaco vs Braga: UEFA Europa League background, form guide, previous meetings
Thursday, 17 March 2022
Monaco need to overturn a 2-0 deficit at the Stade Louis II to reach the quarter-finals as they host their last-16 second leg against 2010/11 runners-up Braga.
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Monaco need to overturn a 2-0 deficit at the Stade Louis II to reach the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals as they host the second leg of their round of 16 tie with 2010/11 runners-up Braga.
• After narrowly missing out on UEFA Champions League qualification last summer, Monaco won three and drew three of their UEFA Europa League group stage matches, taking four points each off Sturm Graz, PSV Eindhoven and fellow qualifiers Real Sociedad.
• Braga completed a hat-trick of UEFA Europa League group stage qualifications by picking up ten points in Group F and finishing as runners-up to Crvena zvezda. They then overcame Moldovan champions Sheriff 3-2 on penalties in February after both teams had won their home leg 2-0, thus ending a run of three successive aggregate defeats in the competition's knockout phase.
• In the clubs' first meeting in UEFA competition, on 10 March, Braga raced into a quick lead through Abel Ruiz but had to wait until the 89th minute before Vítor Oliveira doubled their advantage, heading in his first European goal from Fabiano's pinpoint cross.
• Monaco have lost six of their ten matches against Portuguese teams (W2 D2), including their 3-0 defeat by Porto in the 2004 UEFA Champions League final in Gelsenkirchen and the most recent home fixture, another 0-3 loss to Porto on Matchday 2 of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League. That was their first home defeat against Portuguese opposition (W2 D1), the first of those two wins having come against Belenenses (3-0) in the second leg of the 1989/90 European Cup Winners' Cup first round to seal the tie – their only previous two-legged contest against Portuguese opponents – 4-1 on aggregate.
• Braga have lost both previous European knockout ties against French opposition, going down to Paris Saint-Germain in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup round of 16 (0-0 a, 0-1 h) and Marseille in the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League round of 32 (0-3 a, 1-0 h). Their only other matches against a French club were also against Marseille, in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League group stage (3-2 h, 0-1 a). They have therefore yet to record a victory or score a goal in France (D1 L2).
• Third in last term's Ligue 1, five points behind champions LOSC Lille, Monaco returned to Europe in 2021/22 after a two-season absence.
• The team from the Principality had a tenth appearance in the UEFA Champions League group stage in their sights this term, but after overcoming Sparta Praha convincingly in the third qualifying round, Niko Kovač's side were edged out after extra time in the play-offs by Shakhtar Donetsk, thus moving over into the UEFA Europa League group stage, where they were convincing section winners, getting the better of Sturm (1-0 h, 1-1 a), Real Sociedad (1-1 a, 2-1 h) and PSV (2-1 a, 0-0 h). Kovač was replaced as head coach in January by Philippe Clement, who arrived from Belgian champions Club Brugge.
• This is Monaco's first appearance in the UEFA Europa League round of 16, their only previous participation in the competition proper having ended in the 2015/16 group stage.
• UEFA Champions League semi-finalists in 2016/17, Monaco have lost all six home group stage fixtures in that competition since. Indeed, eight of their last 12 European games at the Stade Louis II have ended in defeat, the exceptions this season's wins against Sparta, Sturm and Real Sociedad plus the draw against PSV.
• Monaco have won eight of the 21 UEFA competition ties in which they have had to recover from a first-leg away defeat, most recently knocking Manchester City out of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League round of 16 on away goals (3-5 a, 3-1 h). That is one of only two ties in seven that they have won when the first game was lost by a two-goal margin, though they are unbeaten in home second legs after losing the first game by two goals (W5 D2). On the one previous occasion when they lost the first away leg 2-0, against Valencia in the 1980/81 European Cup Winners' Cup first round, they drew the return 3-3.
• Braga's 2021/22 UEFA Europa League group stage berth, and the club's 17th European qualification in the last 18 years, was achieved on two fronts – with a fourth-placed finish in the Portuguese Liga and a third Portuguese Cup triumph, which they secured with a 2-0 victory over Benfica in the final. Carlos Carvalhal's side also reached last season's UEFA Europa League round of 32, where they lost 5-1 on aggregate to Roma.
• Runners-up to Leicester City in last season's group stage, Braga also had to settle for second place this term, a 1-1 home draw against Crvena zvezda on Matchday 6 leaving them as runners-up in Group F behind the Serbian champions, who had defeated them 2-1 in Belgrade on Matchday 1. Six of Braga's ten points came at the expense of Ludogorets (1-0 a, 4-2), while they took three off Midtjylland (3-1 h, 2-3 a) to finish one ahead of the Danish side.
• The team from northern Portugal are competing in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 for the third time. Though defeated in the round of 32 on each of their last three participations, they have a perfect record at this stage of the competition, having eliminated Liverpool in 2010/11 (1-0 h, 0-0 a) en route to the final, which they lost in Dublin to Porto, and Fenerbahçe in 2015/16 (0-1 a, 4-1 h).
• Braga have lost five of their last seven away games in the UEFA Europa League, winning the other two, and are without an away draw in the competition proper in 14 matches (W6 L8). Their all-time record on the road in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase is W2 D2 L8, including defeats in all of the last six fixtures, in which they have conceded 16 goals.
• Braga have won all 11 previous UEFA ties in which they travelled to the second away leg holding a lead. Indeed, in every one of those cases they kept a clean sheet in the home leg, including one 2-0 win, against Chievo in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup first round, which preceded a 2-1 defeat after extra time in Italy. The last three successes have all been after 1-0 home wins, the most notable against Liverpool in that 2010/11 UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie.
UEFA Europa League squad changes
In: Vanderson (Grêmio), Jean Marcelin
Out: Krépin Diatta, Wilson Isidor (Lokomotiv Moskva)
In: David Carmo, Dinis Pinto, Bernardo Fontes
Out: Mario González (Tenerife, loan), Chiquinho (Benfica, end loan), Raul Silva (Estoril, loan), Lucas Piazón, Galeno (Porto)
Links and trivia
• Monaco's 21-cap Portuguese international Gelson Martins joined the club from Atlético de Madrid in 2019 having started his career at Sporting CP, where his record against Braga was W3 D1 L3. He played alongside current Braga players Paulo Oliveira and Iuri Medeiros at the Lisbon club.
• Braga have a 19-year-old French midfielder, Jean-Baptiste Gorby, in their squad. He joined the club as a youth team player from Nantes in 2019.
• The clubs met in a goalless friendly in Braga on 24 July 2019.
• Portuguese coach Leonardo Jardim has been in charge of both clubs. Braga's boss in 2011/12, he led Monaco to the French Ligue 1 title and UEFA Champions League semi-finals in 2016/17.
• Braga have scored 102 goals in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, becoming the 13th club to reach a century in the competition – and the third from Portugal, after Sporting (109 goals) and Benfica (102) – when Ricardo Horta struck their second against Sheriff on 24 February.
• In appearing for Braga in the first leg of the knockout round play-off against Sheriff, Roger Fernandes became, at the age of 16 years 88 days, the youngest ever UEFA Europa League participant, group stage to final.
• Braga are one of three current domestic cup winners in the UEFA Europa League round of 16, along with Barcelona and Crvena zvezda.
• Monaco's record in one UEFA penalty shoot-out is W1 L0:
3-1 v Real Valladolid, 1989/90 European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final
• Braga's record in two UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W2 L0:
5-4 v Udinese, 2012/13 UEFA Champions League play-off
3-2 v Sheriff Tiraspol, 2021/22 UEFA Europa League knockout round play-off