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Ligue 1: AS Monaco fall to Reims

AS Monaco
┬ę AS Monaco

AS Monaco suffered a disappointing 0-1 defeat against Reims in a match where they held their own for large chunks and hit the woodwork twice.

The Match


Heading into the clash having not won in three matches, Philippe Clement notably handed exciting youngster Maghnes Akliouche a start in search of some extra attacking impetus.

The beginning of the match saw both teams share some early chances as in-form Reims settled into the game particularly nicely, with Will Still’s men looking solid both offensively and defensively.

Monaco then sprung into life around the half-hour mark through Wissam Ben Yedder, as the diminutive star’s neat effort hit the post. Reims then came close to taking the lead before the interval through Folarin Balogun, who was smartly thwarted by Alexander Nubel.

The Arsenal loanee made no mistake in the second stanza, however, for he gave his team the ascendancy in the 51st minute courtesy of his slick finish.

Wanting a response from his team to get back into the game, Clement brought on Breel Embolo and Ismail Jakobs to inject some extra threat going forward.

Some decent chances then began to flow for Les Monegasques in the remaining third of the contest, but it just wasn’t to be for ASM, who ultimately lost to a dogged Reims team that claimed their fifth consecutive clean sheet.

Clement’s Debrief

“It’s simply the efficiency on both sides of the field and the lack of luck with the two posts. It was key against a well organised team that defends well. We had the chances to score and on a quick transition we conceded a goal. We then tried to push for at least a draw, but it wasn’t enough,” lamented the Belgian tactician.

“The efficiency was not there today, it’s like that in a season. Sometimes it works out for us, sometimes not. It’s up to us to raise our heads and work hard to change the factors of luck, success and defensive and offensive efficiency. In particular, we must defend better together.

“My players tried to react and had chances to score two or three goals. There is only one thing to do – that is to work hard in training and to raise our heads.”

Key stats

Despite having more shots inside the box (12 to 8), winning more duels (54 to 43) and completing more passes in the opposition half (192 to 176), the fact Reims bettered ASM in terms of expected goals (2.10 to 1.04), total shots (17 to 14) and shots on target (8 to 3) underlined that the away team produced a strong showing at the Stade Louis II.

Ajaccio awaits

Following another unsatisfactory result, which now sees them drop out of the top three, Monaco will need to immediately recalibrate their focus ahead of their trip to Ajaccio, where a win is a must to arrest their troubling recent form.