Forced to play almost 75 minutes with 10 men due to Mohamed Camara’s early red card, AS Monaco fought valiantly to secure a 1-1 draw with Clermont Foot.
After a slow start to proceedings at the Stade Louis II, the game’s defining moment arrived a quarter of an hour in when Camara received his marching orders for his challenge on Saif-Eddine Khaoui.
Despite suffering this latest early setback, Philippe Clement’s men worked their way into the game admirably, as they kept possession well and posed a threat going forward. They were eventually rewarded for their good work when Breel Embolo earned a penalty just before the half hour mark. While the Swiss international had his spot kick saved by Mory Diaw, the rebound somewhat fortuitously fell back into his path, giving him an easy tap-in to propel Monaco into the lead.
Heading into the break ahead 1-0, the second half started with Clermont desperate to get back into the match. The visitors quickly achieved their aim within eight minutes of the restart as Komnen Andric blasted home a wicked volley to level the ledger.
Battling on bravely for the remainder of the match as Les Lanciers searched vigorously for a winner, to their credit, however, Monaco held firm, making life extremely difficult for Pascal Gastien’s team to create any meaningful chances.
Although Ismail Jakobs came close late on only for Diaw to produce a wonderful save to deny the German, the game ultimately finished 1-1. Not bad considering the adversity of playing with 10 men Monaco had to contend with for the majority of the clash.
“There aren’t many teams that manage to get points by playing with ten for 70 minutes, that’s the reality. It was all the more difficult since we played Thursday night in Trabzon and had a long trip. Following this numerical inferiority after 17 minutes of play, we reacted very well. I think we deserved to get this point because Clermont didn’t create a lot of chances today,” explained the Belgian manager.
“We were motivated to take the three points, of course, and there was this desire to extend this very good series. This is now 16 points taken out of 18 possible, which is good with these circumstances. I am very proud of the attitude of my players and the way they reacted.
“They were able to show solidarity. We were able to get a few opportunities on transition with Ismail in particular. My players did their best to achieve this result. At the end of the season, it’s an important point that could count.”
By the numbers
Despite being bettered in terms of possession (66% to 34%), expected goals (2.00 to 1.09) and shots (21 to 6), the fact Monaco held the ascendancy in terms of tackles won (8 to 4), blocks (6 to 1), clearances (14 to 9), ground duels won (49 to 39) and successful headers (13 to 11) demonstrated their tenacity, commitment and fighting spirit.
Much needed week off
Although Les Rouge et Blanc couldn’t extend their Ligue 1 winning streak to six games, a draw wasn’t a bad result given the circumstances. Enjoying the rare luxury of an entire week to prepare for their next contest and able to give the players two days off, up next for Clement’s Monaco is a tough away trip to Lille, where they’ll come out firing in their quest to get back to winning ways.