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Review

Ligue 1: Dominant AS Monaco breeze past Clermont Foot

AS Monaco
┬ę AS Monaco

Still undefeated since Ligue 1 action resumed after the World Cup, AS Monaco recorded their fifth victory in their last seven league games by comfortably defeating Clermont Foot 0-2 away.

The Match

With Philippe Clement making a host of changes for this must-win clash, the Belgian’s alterations paid off, as the team put in a collectively strong effort to get the job done.

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Starting the match perfectly, Les Monegasques took the lead inside three minutes through Guillermo Maripan following a typically superb Caio Henrique delivery.

Then, 10 minutes later, Monaco doubled their advantage when Breel Embolo applied the finishing touch to Aleksandr Golovin’s wonderful pass following his wicked dribble.

2-0 up and cruising, the away side kept up their high level for the remainder of the half, as they controlled the game and created more promising openings.

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Keen to avoid a repeat of their second half lapse against Auxerre, there was a lot to like about how Monaco kept things compact at the back and largely maintained their discipline. 

Although both teams enjoyed some decent opportunities throughout the second stanza, the match ultimately ended in a 2-0 victory for ASM, in a clash where they crucially recorded their first clean sheet since January 1.

Clement’s Debrief

“Scoring a goal very early on was very beneficial, but it’s also thanks to the whole team pushing hard every time to get a good start to the game. It is not the first time. Then we had control of the ball by creating chances in the first half. It was also a match with special circumstances with the wind. We had to adapt,” he insisted.

“In this sense, the second half was more complicated to play long behind the defence of Clermont. But we didn’t concede a goal, that’s the most important thing this afternoon. It was a game where we showed maturity. I am very happy that the team has learned the lessons of its match against Auxerre in order to push until the end and not leave opportunities for the opponent. We must continue like this.

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“Indeed, it is always important not to concede a goal since you are sure to take at least one point. And with our streak of 32 consecutive games with at least one goal scored, you have a great chance of winning. But we are not a team that only defends because we want to create chances. So we have to keep our discipline and a good structure, and that’s what I saw every moment today.”

Defining figures

By the numbers, the fact Monaco held the ascendancy in terms of expected goals (1.39 to 0.39), total shots (14 to 8), shots on target (5 to 3), accurate long balls (38 to 18) and aerial duels won (11 to 6) illustrated they were deserved victors.

PSG Awaits

Now sitting just two points behind joint-third placed Olympique de Marseille and RC Lens, a colossal clash with league leaders Paris Saint-Germain awaits for Monaco, where a statement win would be the ideal way to continue their exceptional current form.