Despite taking an early lead through Guillermo Maripan, the Chilean went from hero to zero when he was sent off in the 44th minute against Troyes, as a shorthanded AS Monaco ultimately fell 2-4 to Troyes.
Just days after their brilliant performance against Paris Saint-Germain, Les Monegasques were back in action against Troyes, but they were sadly left disappointed on this occasion.
Getting off to a flying start, Monaco raced to an early lead following a wonderful corner from Takumi Minamino that was assertively headed home by Maripan.
Unfortunately, their lead didn’t last long, though, as Florent Tardieu levelled the score from the penalty spot for the away side. Things then went from bad to worse for Philippe Clement’s men 20 minutes later when Maripan received his marching orders for a second yellow card.
Forced to play the remainder of the match with 10 men, Troyes then immediately capitalised on their numerical advantage by scoring a goal either side of half time courtesy of Wilson Odobert and Mama Balde respectively.
3-1 down with over 40 minutes on the clock, Monaco valiantly kept fighting and pushed hard to get back into the game. While efforts from Aleksandr Golovin and Mohamed Camara were saved, Monaco eventually pegged one back when Youssouf Fofana found the back of the net from close range.
Any hopes of snatching a point were dashed when Troyes scored again with roughly 10 minutes left, as the game ended 2-4 in favour of ESTAC.
“I’m frustrated today, because as a coach it’s important to always explain things to my players. But after these last few weeks, I can’t. I have a question for you: “does anyone sincerely think that Guillermo Maripan is wrong?” On this action, we concede a penalty and receive a yellow card. This changes the course of the match, since Memo receives a second yellow card later in the game, which I do not understand. Against Paris , I saw an action where Neymar nudged Mohamed Camara, without taking a card. Today, Guillermo touches the Troyes player very lightly, who also said he added some in the post-match interview,” Clement explained afterwards.
“Before the penalty, we did not concede many chances, and this fact of the game changes the face of the game. Then we continued to create with only ten men. But it’s not easy and we still lost three points tonight. It’s true that we could probably do better in the first half, as I told my players in the locker room. When we play ten, we need even more automation. That’s why I brought in Benoit and Golo who know their teammates better. Ruben also has a big engine, being able to put in a lot of effort.”
Even though they played over half the match a man down, the numbers underline how well Monaco managed the game when faced with adversity, for they held the ascendancy in terms of possession (52% to 48%), big chances created (4 to 3), corners (8 to 6) and second half expected goals (0.99 to 0.98).
Up next for Les Rouge et Blanc is the colossal Derby against OGC Nice at the weekend, where Monaco will look to put this result behind them to secure the victory.
Desperately needing a confidence boosting result following what’s been a tough start to the season that’s seen them win one, draw two and lose two of their first five Ligue 1 matches, obtaining a win vs. Nice is a must.