Ligue 1: Scintillating AS Monaco crush Ajaccio 7-1

AS Monaco

AS Monaco produced a sensational display to destroy struggling Ajaccio 7-1 at the Stade Louis II, in a match where Wissam Ben Yedder scored a hat-trick and Breel Embolo bagged a brace.

The Match

Coming out firing in their quest to get back to winning ways following their draw vs. Lorient, AS Monaco jumped out of the blocks to grab the lead inside two minutes through Axel Disasi. Their dream start continued straight after too, for they quickly doubled their advantage when Vanderson found Krepin Diatta at the back post, who coolly applied his finish.

Ajaccio then stamped their mark in the 11th minute, as Youcef Belaili halved the deficit. That would be as good as it got for the visitors, though, for Ben Yedder quickly re-established Monaco’s ascendancy by bagging two goals in the space of seven minutes to ensure they held a 4-1 lead by the half-hour mark.

Monaco’s talisman then completed a remarkable triple inside 14 minutes when he slotted home a penalty 10 minutes from the interval. Indeed, that strike notably propelled him to 89 goals for the club and ahead of Christian Dalger for third in ASM’s all-time scoring list.

While the pace of the game dropped in the second stanza with Monaco holding such a commanding advantage, they weren’t done yet as Embolo found the back of the net twice in the closing 30, firstly with a header and then through a diving finish.

Eventually running out incredible 7-1 victors, there was so much positivity to be extracted from their scintillating effort that saw them claim their third win in their last four Ligue 1 matches.

Clement’s Debrief

Cutting a delighted figure when speaking after the match, Philippe Clement was full of praise for his troops, stating: “We started this game very well, aggressively, with good play and lots of movement. We scored two goals quickly, even if the one we conceded saddens me. But we quickly reacted by doing things right again with and without the ball. At half-time, with 5-1 on the scoreboard, it was important to stay focused. The danger was that each player wanted to put on a “show” on the pitch. Fortunately, we scored two more goals on the return to finish the job, and that’s what I want to remember.

“In recent weeks, when the questions were there concerning the choices in attack, I have answered: it is our strength! We currently have eight players in the attacking sector and two elements with Wissam and Breel who have scored at least ten goals each in Ligue 1. Only Paris Saint-Germain are doing better than us and are still as well armed. This is where we see the strength of our collective, because beyond the scorers, all of the players brought their best to the building this evening.

“We now have eight points more than last season at the same time. But when I look at all the games in detail, it could have been even more. I do not forget the red cards at the start of the season, which slowed us down early. It’s the best record in the last five years at AS Monaco, and the third best in ten years, so that means something. Above all, I am very happy to see that my players have improved a lot in recent months. Not to mention that we have scored in 29 consecutive games now, it’s a record in Europe.”

Stats tell the story

By the numbers, the fact Les Monegasques bettered their adversaries in terms of expected goals (3.93 to 0.28), possession (66% to 34%), total shots (11 to 5), big chances created (7 to 0), shots on target (8 to 2), passes inside the opposition half (194 to 91) and overall duels won (50 to 40) further underlined their superiority.

Marseille on the horizon

Up next for Monaco is a colossal away clash with Olympique de Marseille at the Velodrome, where they’ll be gunning for glory in order to decrease the gap to OM in third to just two points.