The opening exchanges of this Ligue 1 match displayed both teams’ defensive abilities. Caen and Monaco relied on pressure from their outside backs. Caen’s Ninga charged up the pitch in the 10th minute, centering for Beauvue whose header sailed high above the bar. Monaco answered quickly with Golovin sliding a through ball to Diop, but the young attacker missed his shot in front of Samba in the 16th minute. Aside from these two flashes, the defensive blocks mitigated any fluid attacking build. Before half-time, Chadli sent a spot kick floating above the bar, which did not require much effort from Samba.
0-0 changed quickly at the opening of the second half. The Monegasque captain Radamel Falcao lodged a curving free kick in the right corner of Samba’ net in the 54th minute. Their Normand counterparts struggled to answer, or to put together any persuasive play in their efforts. Monaco continued looking dangerous as Golovin threatened in the 69th minute, but didn’t finish the opportunity.
Caen continued to lack precise play and suffered for it. Monaco, on the other hand, held solid defensively and continued to threaten moving up the pitch. The match finished 1-0, giving Monaco its second victory of the season. Even though they added three points to their yearly performance, they remain in 19th place.
After the match, manager Thierry Henry had this to say:
“I’m happy because we needed that, the players went to get that win, and that is the beginning of something. We’ll see if that’s true the next game. But we should not get ahead of ourselves. We had to come here to win and we did it. It’s a reward for this group who has worked so hard for all this time, it was not going to happen overnight. Even with the win nothing changes, we remain in the same position (19th). We have to stay grounded. “
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