Jardim never in doubt as Falcao pulls up

Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim said he never doubted his side would qualify for the Champions League play-offs, despite suffering a 2-1 loss against Fenerbahce in the first leg.

Les Rouges et Blancs were undone by two Emmanuel Emenike goals in Istanbul – either side of a Radamel Falcao strike, and although the Nigerian was again on the scoresheet for the return tie at Stade Louis II, it was Valere Germain who netted a brace, alongside another Falcao effort to ensure the French club kept their European dreams alive with a 4-3 win on aggregate.

After the match, Jardim said: "I always believe in my team and in my players. Before the match, not many people believed that we could qualify, but tonight, Monaco are qualified. The team had a good match in attack.

"Over the two matches, Monaco deserved to qualify. We're making progress. After the first two goals, our confidence grew. Fenerbahce is a great club, and Vitor Periera is a great coach. But Monaco were the better team out on the pitch. For me, that's no surprise."

One negative for Jardim, though, was the loss of Falcao, who picked up a hamstring injury that saw him substituted for the second half.

"Falcao is one of the best strikers in the world, so when he leaves the field, it's necessarily not good," the 42-year-old admitted. "But the rest of the lads maintained a formidable attitude and good tactical discipline."

Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev added: "I spoke with Falcao. He's going to have some tests. We hope it's not too serious because he's very motivated."

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