After defeating OGC Nice and Red Star Belgrade, AS Monaco made it a perfect week by running out 2-1 victors over Olympique Lyonnais.
Returning to the Stade Louis II for the visit of Les Gones, Les Monegasques finally secured their first home win of the season, as goals from Benoit Badiashile and Guillermo Maripan propelled them to victory.
After the match began with both teams feeling each other out, Philippe Clement’s men were first to launch a promising attack when Krepin Diatta hit the post. Shortly after, Breel Embolo’s header was then saved. The rest of the first half saw both sides trade shots, but neither could find the back of the net, thus meaning the score remained 0-0 at the interval.
Even though Monaco started the second stanza on the back foot, they would ultimately be the ones to break the deadlock when a trademark Caio Henrique corner perfectly found Badiashile to put the home team ahead on 53 minutes.
The Brazilian set-piece specialist was at it again just 10 minutes later when his sublime delivery obliged Maripan’s run to double their advantage. The goal was also a perfect way for the Chilean stopper to celebrate his 100th game for Monaco.
On top and appearing destined to close out the game without drama, Lyon then halved the deficit through Karl Toko-Ekambi’s wicked volley. Having to fight hard to ensure they claimed all three points with Lyon pushing for a leveller, Monaco got there in the end thanks to some more heroics from Alexander Nubel between the posts.
“It (the game) was not easy against a big team, only three days after facing Belgrade, who were also a difficult opponent. Playing this way with a lot of energy is very important. My players are thus rewarded for the work done in recent weeks,” Clement asserted in his post-match comments.
“The collective performance is better compared to last week for example, even if it is not yet perfect. I think everyone who watched this match had fun with two teams that wanted to win. To win, we need solidarity, but also talent. We can still improve in finishing, using the ball or transitioning against teams that take risks. We will have to work on that for the next game. But the discipline was there and the solidarity in the last 20 minutes, despite fatigue and the presence of seven attacking players in Lyon, which made the difference.
Although Lyon held the ascendancy in the majority of the offensive metrics, the fact Monaco bettered them in terms of tackles (15 to 7), interceptions (21 to 11), blocks (7 to 3), clearances (33 to 10), keeper saves (5 to 2) and overall duels won (58 to 49) illustrated their dogged defensive output.
Now up to seventh in the table after this vital victory, next up for AS Monaco is their Europa League clash with Ferencvaros, where they’ll be hoping to keep up their wonderful recent form and extend their winning streak to four matches.