Football

Tit for tat

Monaco coach Jardim refuses to shake Wenger's hand, accusing him of a lack of respect

Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim blasted Arsene Wenger's accusations that his side did not deserve to qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals and said the Frenchman showed a lack of respect after the Ligue 1 club went through on away goals.

Despite a remarkable turnaround, the Gunners paid the price for a sloppy 3-1 first-leg defeat at home but restored their pride with a 2-0 win yesterday morning (Singapore time) that sent them out of the competition after the two clubs finished 3-3 on aggregate.

Arsenal manager Wenger, who enjoyed great success at Monaco between 1987 and 1994, said after the match that his team deserved to be in tomorrow's draw as the two men failed to shake hands after the match for the second straight time.

"No, we didn't shake hands, I left the pitch because my work was done. During the first leg, the opposing coach (Wenger) did not acknowledge me, so I replied in the same manner," said the 40-year-old Venezuelan-born Jardim (above).

"Arsenal were not respectful towards us during the first match but, today, we can celebrate. For me, we deserved to qualify.

HISTORY

"We were able to benefit from the first match and it's the first time I've been in the quarter-finals of the Champions League so I'm very happy.

"The match was very intense as we expected but no-one would have believed that at the start of the competition we would reach the quarter-finals.

"Even in France or Monaco, nobody believed it was possible. Despite all the talk before the match, we showed that we were able to qualify and my players deserve credit."

Wenger, who has failed to take Arsenal past the last 16 for five straight seasons, struggled, not for the first time, to accept his side had been second best.

When asked if Monaco deserved their quarter-final place, the Frenchman replied; "I don't believe so. If you look at the number of shots on target they had, you will be surprised. Every defeat hurts but we didn't lose."

Jardim, who is in his first season at Monaco since taking over from Claudio Ranieri, expects the other teams in the last eight will fancy their chances against his underdogs.

"For the draw, it will be like the draw for the last 16, all the teams will want to play Monaco," added Jardim.

- AFP.

Champions League