AS Monaco made an immediate return to the winners list by grabbing a vital 1-0 away win at Reims, with Eliot Matazo’s first Ligue 1 goal proving the difference.
Having lost their place in the top three following Lyon’s 4-1 victory over Lorient, Monaco produced a solid, professional display to reclaim their spot on the podium.
In a match where Monaco were largely in control but failed to convert the many chances they conjured, they will have been delighted to just take home the three points in the end, especially considering Reims were much improved in the second half.
Even though Monaco dominated possession (61.3% to 38.7%) and the tackle count (18 to eight), the resolute Reims outshone them in terms of shots (eight to seven) and dribbles (nine to six) to keep Les Monegasques honest throughout.
“We controlled the game, we created three big chances so we should have killed the game. When you don’t, it creates tension. We were a little nervous at the end because you can always concede a goal from a set piece. It’s a great victory for us, which is good for the future,” explained Niko Kovac afterwards.
“What we have to remember today is the victory and the three points, not the game.”
Keeping another clean sheet and scoring the all-important goal that propelled them to victory, Monaco kept up their brilliant away form, which has seen them win 10 of their last 11 on the road.
With another massive clash up next in the semi final of the Coupe de France against Rumilly Vallieres, this win will be a vital confidence boost for Kovac’s men to restore some positivity after last week’s loss to Lyon.