Monaco boss Didier Deschamps saluted his players for their performance in overcoming Chelsea in last night’s Champions League semi-final.

“To reach this final is fabulous, particularly when you think that most of our players started the season without any experience of the competition,’ said Deschamps.

“We have achieved something exceptional but it is not undeserved. This is a team with talent, fantastic players and players like Morientes who can make the difference in a match.

“With every round we have got stronger, gained more confidence. Porto are a strong side and their experience will make them the favourites but we know we can win this final.”

At one point the game looked to be running away from Monaco. Trailing 2-0 on the night (3-3 on aggregate) and behind on away goals, the visitors were grateful to Hugo Ibarra for reducing the deficit on the stroker of half-time. A second-half equaliser from on loan striker Fernando Morientes, effectively sealed the tie.

“We really struggled to get into it and Chelsea put us under a lot of pressure,” admitted Deschamps.

“I think some of my players were quite nervous because of the occasion but Chelsea’s second goal acted as a liberating factor.

‘We were obliged to go for it and fortunately we got that goal at the decisive time.”