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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PLAY-OFF

Champions League: Silva leaves Villarreal hopes in balance

Bernardo Silva's winner consigned the LaLiga outfit to a 2-1 first-leg home loss to Monaco in the teams' Champions League play-off tie.

Update:
Champions League: Silva leaves Villarreal hopes in balance

Bernardo Silva gave Monaco a 2-1 first-leg win over Villarreal in Spain as the Principality outfit took control of the sides' Champions League play-off clash on Wednesday.

Monaco take early lead

In coach Fran Escribá's first competitive game in charge of the Submarino Amarillo following Marcelino García Toral's surprise departure, the hosts got off to a terrible start as Brazilian full-back Fabinho put Monaco ahead with a third-minute penalty.

Pato celebrates his equaliser for Villarreal.
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Pato celebrates his equaliser for Villarreal.Domenech CastellóEFE

Pato levels before Silva strikes

Debutant Alexandre Pato equalised with a close-range header nine minutes ahead of half-time, but Silva restored the visitors' advantage at El Madrigal with just under 20 minutes to go.

The Portuguese forward ran at the defence before firing a left-footed strike in across Sergio Asenjo - leaving Villarreal with an uphill battle to make the group phase of Europe's premier club competition.

Bernardo Silva wheels away after making it 2-1 to Monaco.
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Bernardo Silva wheels away after making it 2-1 to Monaco.JOSE JORDANAFP

Mendy sees red for Monaco

Leonardo Jardim's away side, looking to bounce back from losing at this stage to Valencia a year ago, closed out the win despite having Benjamin Mendy sent off late on.

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