Last night, AS Monaco received Toulouse at home at the Stade Louis-II for the 23rd day of Ligue 1 play. The match was between two poorly ranked teams (Monaco 18th, and Toulouse 13th on the league table). With goals from Golovin and Fabregas, AS Monaco registered its first league home victory of the season and the first victory under the guidance of returned manager Leonardo Jardim.
The Monegasques got on well early by throwing themselves forward and creating several scoring opportunities. With all their efforts, they were logically rewarded when Golovin opened the scoring in the first fifteen minutes. Coming off a fluid counter, Golovin found Gelson Martins to his right. The Russian international then continued streaking down the center of the field to be found again by Martins who delivered the pass in stride. With one deft touch before the shot, Golovin deceived the goalkeeper Reynet and allowed his team to take the advantage early. The visitors, however, struck back quickly, equalizing the score just five minutes after the opening goal. A corner kick was redirected into the path of Christopher Jullien whose header found the net and equalized for Toulouse. Monaco threatened again shortly after, but Golovin’s shot went crashing off the crossbar. Score at halftime, 1-1.
In the second half, Monaco was insistent and it appeared only a matter of time before they took the lead again. Their second score came from newly recruited Spanish international Cesc Fabregas, who, with the goal, officially opened his scoring account with ASM. Fabregas took advantage of a bit of mayhem in the opposing penalty area to find the ball as it bounced away from the goal. His strike was powerful and decisive, rattling the roof of Reynet’s net. The TFC came close to equalizing on a couple of occasions, notably when Durmaz fired a powerful shot that careened of the inner post of Subasic’s goal. The last fifteen minutes of play were tense as Monaco worked desperately to preserve their lead and a crucial victory in their battle against relegation.
Notes from the Monegasque skipper
Manager Jardim had this to say after the match: “This return to the Louis-II stadium was very emotional both before and during the match for me. The players are the first ones to have earned this victory.
We played well, we stayed compact. We played well on the wings as I had requested the players do. I congratulate the group for these first 3 points of our personal mini championship. A mini championship of 16 matches, I ask the players to think only of these 16 matches.
We need to earn points over the next fifteen games. I only speak and think about the future. The past is the past. It’s hard to not have won at home in the first 22 games. It’s not easy psychologically, now it’s done. It was important.
The recruits will bring us new appeal, like all the players in our squad. Jemerson received a lot of criticism, but he just provided two very good matches. We have solutions within our quality group. “
With this result, Monaco climbs up to 18th place in the standings. Leonardo Jardim’s players will need to follow up this victory with another next Sunday as they travel to Montpellier. The uphill battle to remain in Ligue 1 play next season has only just begun.