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Review

Ligue 1: AS Monaco suffers crushing derby defeat vs. OGC Nice

AS Monaco
┬ę AS Monaco

Having just exited the Europa League in cruel fashion at the hands of Bayer Leverkusen, AS Monaco turned their attention to the colossal Derby with OGC Nice, but unfortunately they tasted defeat here too in a match where they never really got going.

The Match 

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Getting off to a shocking start, ASM went behind within eight minutes when Terem Moffi scored clinically to instantly put the home team on the back foot.

While Mohamed Camara unleashed a promising attempt shortly after, things quickly worsened for the home side, for Moffi was on hand again to double Nice’s lead in the 26th minute.

Despite trying their best to find a way back into the game, it was Les Aiglons who grabbed another through Khephren Thuram to make it 3-0 right before half-time.

With Les Monegasques needing something special to recover the situation, Philippe Clement boldly made four changes for the second stanza by introducing Caio Henrique, Edan Diop, Aleksandr Golovin and Wissam Ben Yedder.

Even though they undoubtedly improved in the next 45 and created a host of presentable chances, it just wasn’t to be Monaco’s night, as they ultimately fell to a disappointing 0-3 loss.

Clement’s Debrief 

“I think the reason (for the loss) is mostly due to our physical condition. We played three days ago against Leverkusen and had to deal with the unavailability of some players in defence. But that’s life especially when we want to play in Europe. In recent weeks, we have chained several games with injuries caused by duels. Today, there was a lack of fluidity defensively and offensively. It’s not normal to have conceded these goals,” a dejected Clement asserted.

“We also struggled in creating chances and finishing since we shot more, so it’s not normal not to score. It’s up to us to react well since we hate losing matches, and even more so during a Derby. Today, we wanted to but we were 20-30% below our level. It’s impossible to win against this type of opponent.

“We started well in the first 15 minutes. The conceded goal gave them confidence and cut our legs. I’m obviously disappointed but it’s a lesson to learn tonight tactically. We had to manage the transition better, as we had done in the past. The Nice team was effective with three chances for three goals so it was difficult to come back.”

By the numbers, the fact ASM held the ascendancy in terms of possession (56% to 44%), total shots (15 to 12), shots inside the box (8 to 7), passes in the opposition half (331 to 83), accurate crosses (10 to 2) and successful dribbles (8 to 2) showed they put in a solid shift despite the result.

Up next

Needing to immediately recalibrate their focus and forget the last two matches, next up is a crucial contest with Troyes, where a win is a must to keep their top three dreams alive.

Prince Albert II, Arthur Leclerc and Jim Ratcliffe present

It was a smiling Jim Ratcliffe who witnessed his team’s great victory from the stands of the Louis II stadium. In the race to take over Manchester United, the president of OGC Nice did not miss a minute of the clash at the top between the two neighbours on the Riviera, with Jean-Claude Blanc, new CEO of Ineos Sport at his side since last December.

A few metres higher, Arthur Leclerc posed with an AS Monaco jersey bearing the number 14. A high-profile supporter of the Rock club, who were also encouraged by Prince Albert II.

Yoichi Takahashi, creator of Olive et Tom, travelling to the Principality for the sixth edition of Salon MAGIC which took place this weekend at the Grimaldi Forum, was also in the stands of the Louis II.

Already present at the Performance Center in La Turbie on Saturday to show their support, the Ultras put on a show at the start of the match, deploying a magnificent tifo accompanied by smoke bombs. They were unwavering in their support for the whole ninety minutes despite the loss.