Jardim hails Silva return

Leonardo Jardim has hailed the return to form of midfielder Bernardo Silva who bagged the winning goal as Monaco saw off Villarreal 2-1 in the first leg of their Champions League play-off match at the Madrigal on Wednesday.

Silva netted the winning goal on 72 minutes followed by Alexandre Pato's 36th minute equaliser that had cancelled out a third minute Fabinho penalty.

Monaco will now welcome Villarreal to the Stade Louis II Stadium next week with a significant advantage heading into the second leg with two away goals.

Speaking after the match, Jardim said his side deserved the result, and explained just how important Silva is to his team.

He told the league's official website: "Tonight AS Monaco played well and we were lucky enough to score straight away.

"The result is a fair and deserved one but there is still a return leg to be played.

"We had to do without Bernardo Silva against Fenerbahce as he needed some rest to get back to peak physical condition. His return to form is great news for us.

"Each match is a new opportunity to grow. The team is evolving."

Villarreal boss Fran Escriba, meanwhile, felt his side deserved to share the spoils.

He said: "A draw would have been a fairer result, but that's not how it turned out.

"We have 90 minutes left to play and we will give our all to beat the odds.

"Now we have to focus on our league match, but after that we'll focus on the return leg against Monaco.

"We won't give up; we believe we can make it through to the next stage. Our fans need to know that we will give everything right up until the end."

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