AS Monaco made it four straight Ligue 1 wins by comprehensively defeating Nantes 4-1 at the Stade Louis II.
Jumping out of the blocks immediately, Monaco wasted little time imposing themselves on the visitors, as Breel Embolo gave Les Monegasques the lead within two minutes when he headed home Wissam Ben Yedder's blocked shot.
The pair then reversed roles for Monaco's second just four minutes later, as Ben Yedder capped off a smooth move with a sublime chipped finish after being assisted by the Swiss international striker.
While the game settled down after this blistering opening, it wasn't long before Monaco roared back to life to make it 3-0. Having recovered possession near Nantes’ attacking third, Youssouf Fofana immediately charged upfield before finding Aleksandr Golovin, who, in turn fed Ben Yedder. The Monaco captain then did the rest by applying a wonderful finish to beat the exceptional Alban Lafont in goal.
Clinical and in control, Monaco then managed the remainder of the first half to maintain their advantage going into the interval.
Coming out for the second stanza looking to seal the victory, Golovin came close, firing off an early warning shot to the away side. Philippe Clement's men wouldn't have to wait long, however, to ripple the back of the net again, for Ben Yedder completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot to put the result beyond doubt.
Although Nantes grabbed a goal back when Caio Henrique frustratingly deflected the ball into his own net, Monaco ultimately ran out 4-1 winners in what was an accomplished display upon returning from the international break.
"At 4-0 it was perfect for me. But we showed good things, we were aggressive in a good way, and there was a lot of depth in the races, I'm happy. To score so quickly in the game gives you momentum, it made it easier for us. I was also able to do a little rotating in anticipation of upcoming matches, that's a good thing," he asserted afterwards.
"Our great strength is to be efficient in two systems. Against Nice and Lyon, the team evolved in 3-4-3. There is no preferential system, I am pragmatic, I look at what is best suited to my players but also to the event. We work on automation every day, the players make the right gestures, and that also applies to Taki, Krepin and Golo."
Ben Yedder's masterclass
Having endured a challenging start to the season, where he has often been left on the bench, struggled to find his form and only mustered one league goal, the 32-year-old impressively turned things around by bagging a masterful triple vs. Nantes.
Looking back to his instinctive and deadly best, Nantes were no match for the little genius, in a match where he also interacted smartly with his teammates and did many fine things with the ball at his feet.
By the numbers, his four shots, the fact he scored his three goals from an XG reading of just 1.27 and created one chance accentuated his exceptional body of work.
Clearly the better team throughout, the stats underline Monaco's dominance, for they held the ascendancy in terms of expected goals (2.28 to 0.53), shots (10 to 4), shots on target (6 to 2), big chances generated (4 to 0), progressive passes (72 to 67), successful dribbles (10 to 7) and overall duels won (46 to 39).
Shooting up to fifth in the standings courtesy of their latest triumph, next up for Les Rouge et Blanc is Trabzonspor in the Europa League at home, where a similar performance and result will be the aim.