Powered by Wissam Ben Yedder’s brace and a single from Kevin Volland, AS Monaco recorded their first win at home of the Ligue 1 season.
Vital victory at home
With Former England playmaker Glenn Hoddle, a true AS Monaco legend and French champion in 1988, in attendance at the Stade Louis II for the match, it was a great occasion for ASM president Dmitry Rybolovlev, alongside his daughter Ekaterina Sartori Rybolovleva and her husband Juan Sartori, to welcome the man who wore the red and white colours between 1987 and 1991. Oleg Petrov, vice-president/general manager of AS Monaco, then presented a shirt to Glenn Hoddle, as well as to David Trezeguet, who was also present to support the Monegasques.
Putting on an exciting show to defeat a struggling Saint-Etienne side 3-1, who went down to 10 men on 33 minutes when young goalkeeper Etienne Green took down Myron Boadu, the win importantly closes the gap to Marseille in second to just six points.
Having taken the lead following a blistering counter attack that Volland finished with aplomb, Les Monegasques suffered a setback when their adversaries levelled the score through Denis Bouanga while shorthanded.
Ben Yedder changes the game
The introduction of Ben Yedder just after an hour proved to be a masterstroke by Niko Kovac, for he immediately scored from the penalty spot to restore Monaco’s lead. The little genius then sealed all three points late on by producing a fine volleyed finish after Kevin Volland set him up with a beautiful lofted through ball.
Holding the ascendancy over their opponents statistically too, the fact they bettered their foes in terms of Expected Goals (1.93 to 0.34), shots (14 to eight) and chances created (13 to six) further underlined their dominance.
When speaking after the match, Kovac expressed his delight about the victory while insisting his team need to cut out the errors, stating: “I saw a lot of good things, nice moves. It was a good game to watch for the spectators, a little less for the coaches, but it was important that we win because we can now focus on the next events.
“We played very well in the first half, despite a few small mistakes. My feeling is that at the moment we are our biggest opponent and that we have to reduce our small mistakes in order to have continuity. But Saint-Etienne also played a good game, congratulations to them.”
The Croatian also noted how valuable the contributions of Volland, Ben Yedder and Boadu (who won the red card) were, with him ecstatic with the impact of his attackers.
Following a promising week, which saw Monaco win against Sturm Graz and Les Verts, plus draw with OGC Nice, they’ll now be hoping to carry their momentum into their next match against Clermont Foot.