AS Monaco brushed aside Montpellier 3-1 in what was an accomplished performance at the Stade Louis II.
Backing up their vital Europa League win against PSV Eindhoven in style, goals from Kevin Volland, Wissam Ben Yedder and Gelson Martins saw them comfortably defeat a good Montpellier team.
Making five changes from their midweek clash in the Netherlands by bringing Strahinja Pavlovic, Sofiane Diop, Eliot Matazo, Ben Yedder and Martins in from the start, Niko Kovac got his squad rotation spot on.
Absolutely delighted with his team, the Croatian manager’s joy was evident in his post match comments, saying: “We are happy to have bounced back well after Lyon, having won two good matches, against PSV Eindhoven in the Europa League for the Club’s 200th European game and against Montpellier. Today we had 75 minutes of great quality, with good football. We created opportunities, we got great opportunities, so we are happy with this result.
“After eleven days of the championship, I think we are getting better and better. We are progressing game after game. Like the second goal very well concluded by Wissam, with a very high recovery and this fantastic cross from Kevin. That’s how I like to see my team, and we have to continue in this direction.”
Les Monegasques’ dominance wasn’t only restricted to the scoreline, for they bettered their opponents statistically too. Holding the ascendancy in terms of possession (65% to 35%), Expected Goals (2.13 to 1.36), chances created (11 to 6) and duels won (48 to 46), there was no questioning Monaco deserved their win.
As in most home games this season, President Dmitry Rybolovlev followed his team’s performance, accompanied by his daughter Ekaterina with her husband Juan Sartori, and the Vice President General Manager Oleg Petrov and the Director sportsman Paul Mitchell.
Among the less accustomed to the Stade Louis II, this Sunday afternoon there were around 900 young players from amateur clubs of the Côte d’Azur Football District, residents of the Hector Otto Foundation and children of Saint-Martin-Vésubie, one of the communes in the Alpes-Maritimes hard hit by storm Alex last year. Some of these guests even left with the jerseys of several players, such as Diop, Ismail Jakobs and even Captain Ben Yedder.
Rare break between matches
Kovac and his troops have the opportunity to enjoy a rare seven days off between matches with no midweek clash to deal with. Aside from having a break, they’ll also be hoping to get some crucial work done on the training ground before they face off with Stade Brestois next Sunday.