Wednesday, November 5, 2014

5 November 2003 - This One Goes To Eleven

On 5 November 2003, Monaco defeated Deportivo de La Coruña 8-3 in a Champions League group stage match at Stade Louis II. It remains the highest-scoring match in the tournament since the Champions League began in 1992.

Deportivo won the earlier meeting on 21 October by the narrow margin of 1-0 thanks to an 83rd minute goal from striker Diego Tristán. The rematch, however, was decided much earlier. The Spanish side fell behind 4-0 in the first half hour due to goals from Monaco midfielders Jérôme Rothen (2') and Ludovic Giuly (11'), plus a brace from striker Miladin "Dado" Pršo (pictured) (25', 29'), who was celebrating his 29th birthday. Tristán (39') and wingback Lionel Scaloni (44') pulled Deportivo within two just before the break, but left enough time for Pršo to complete his birthday hat-trick in the second minute of stoppage time.

At the half, Deportivo substituted goalkeepers, replacing José Molina with Gustavo Munua, but the change proved ineffective. Monaco kept applying the pressure with a 47th-minute goal from midfielder Jaroslav Plašil. Pršo added his fourth two minutes later, to stretch the lead to 7-2. Tristán scored his second in the 52nd minute, but Monaco midfielder Édouard Cissé found the net in the 67th minute to restore the 5-goal lead.

Monaco drew their final two group stage matches, but finished at the top of Group C and advanced to the Final, where they lost to Porto. Deportivo finished second in the group and were eliminated in the semi-finals, also by Porto.

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