Away at Reims this weekend, the Monegasque club fell once more to their adversaries in a match that finished with 10 men on each side.
Reims – AS Monaco: 1-0
For the moment, AS Monaco having changed head trainer has not changed the football club’s luck nor results. Thierry Henry’s men have lost yet another Ligue 1 match, this time against home side Reims. This result came in spite of the Reimois going down a man early in the second half after Romao was removed from the field. Monaco’s numeric superiority did not last, however, as Pelé was given a red card in the 71st minute. Last year’s second place team is currently in 19th position with 7 points, just ahead of Guingamp (7 points, 20th position).
Impressions from the match
Even though Thierry Henry completely changed the team’s system at half-time, it made no difference. Aware of the shortcomings created by the team’s starting formation, which left the Monegasque side possession-less and looking less than dangerous, Henry switched Tielemans out for Pelé and Sylla out for Falcao. In spite of Reims being reduced to 10 men in the 50th minute thanks to an overly violent foul by Romao on Ait Bennasser, the Rouges et Blancs could not make the most of their advantage. AS Monaco’s situation turned for the worse with Pelé’s ousting for receiving 2 yellow cards. Grandsir’s entrance in the 60th minute left the skipper with no other strategic choices.
In context, the odds were stacked against Monaco from the jump. Stade de Reims currently boasts one of the strongest defenses in all of Europe. This match marked their 8th clean sheet of the Ligue 1 season. For a Monegasque team with clear attacking issues, this match was always going to be an uphill battle.
Cafaro’s goal for Reims in the 24th minute proved to be more than enough to overcome a rather sloppy effort from unconvincing Monaco. Left to run free onto goal by Henrichs, Cafaro found himself one-on-one with Benaglio. He beat the keeper with a sound shot fired with his right foot.
Henry’s AS Monaco, searching for solutions
Henry has not yet been able to guide his young team into winning form. The skipper needs to find a way for his team to compete in tough matches and at the very least pose a threat in the attacking third.