Maintaining their momentum from their accomplished 2-0 win over Olympique Lyonnais at the weekend, AS Monaco comfortably ousted Amiens in their Coupe de France quarter-final.
Getting off to another perfect start by taking the lead inside five minutes courtesy of a classy volley from Aurelien Tchouameni, this got the ball rolling nicely for the home team.
Kevin Volland then grabbed a second after being set up by debutant Maghnes Akliouche to seal the deal against the plucky Ligue 2 outfit.
Given a good match against Amiens, who were clearly relishing the challenge ahead, another highlight arose from Les Monegasques keeping a second consecutive clean sheet.
“Obviously, the most important thing is qualification. There are only four Ligue 1 teams left in these quarter-finals, which shows that all matches are dangerous in this competition. So I’m happy to have done the job and to have given playing time to many players, including a young player like Maghnes Akliouche. It is important that the whole group is involved,” the Belgian coach explained.
“It’s been 31 years since Monaco won this trophy, so it’s a big challenge for my players and for me.”
Akliouche enjoys dream debut
Making his first professional start for Monaco, exciting youngster Akliouche completely vindicated Philippe Clement’s decision to play him from the outset by putting in a showing that was littered with upside.
Stationed out on the left wing, his incisive dribbling, creative passing and partnerships with his teammates ensured he shone brightly. Grabbing a crafty assist for Volland was an ideal way to cap off his super display.
By the numbers, his four key passes, two successful dribbles and the fact he completed 88% of his 43 attempted passes further underlined the 19-year-old’s impact.
“First of all, it’s not a favour that I granted him by starting him,” Clement stated in his post-match comments. “He shows great things in each training session, he demonstrates his qualities and it was therefore normal that he had this opportunity to play. But it had to be launched in the right circumstances, tonight was one and he answered the call.”
Having now booked their place in the semi-finals of the Coupe de France, Monaco will quickly turn their attention to their clash with relegation threatened Lorient on Sunday at the Stade Louis II, where a win would keep their hopes alive of chasing down a coveted top three position.