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Ligue 1: AS Monaco return to winning ways by defeating Ajaccio

AS Monaco
© AS Monaco

Desperate to get back to winning ways after not tasting victory in their previous four matches, AS Monaco crucially secured victory vs. AC Ajaccio, with goals from Wissam Ben Yedder and Krepin Diatta proving the difference.

The Match

Making a host of changes for the challenging trip to Corsica, Philippe Clement’s men settled into the game smoothly, as they gained a foothold by controlling possession while Ajaccio looked to impose themselves physically on proceedings.


While the opening exchanges were measured as the two teams observed one another, Monaco eventually struck first through Ben Yedder, who coolly finished a rebound in the 27th minute following a set-piece to notch his 17th Ligue 1 goal of the campaign.

Monaco then comfortably carried their lead into the interval even though they weren’t anywhere near a level resembling their best.

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Coming out firing wanting to extend their advantage in the second stanza, ASM conjured some promising chances, but were ultimately unable to convert. Then, a lifeline was handed to the away side when Ajaccio were reduced to 10 men after Cyrille Bayala received his marching orders for a reckless challenge.

To a shorthanded Ajaccio’s credit, though, they kept fighting and even came close to leveling the ledger on a couple of occasions. But the shrewd introduction of Diatta tilted the game back in the favour of Les Monegasques, for the electric Senegalese attacker sealed all three points late with a polished finish.

Clement’s Debrief

“It’s true that it was less fluid than during our last successes this season. But to have a smooth match, you need two teams playing on the field. I don’t know how many fouls were called, especially on Breel (Embolo)? Surely a dozen potentially dangerous actions wiped him out,” he explained.

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“It’s not a criticism of Ajaccio, because that’s part of the game. It doesn’t prevent us from wasting time and energy because of that. We also lacked confidence in our shooting, but it’s an important victory. The team was able to react, it was well organised throughout the meeting and we were able to obtain this clean sheet as a bonus, without Alex (Nubel) having to work hard.

“We created chances, with two goals scored and decisive inbound players again. It is a great strength! There are things that could have been done better, but the foundation is there. It was the return for many injured, with Maripan, Vanderson and Camara while Ben Seghir had been ill for two weeks. Not to mention the absences of Golovin and Jakobs. 

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“It is therefore logical that not everyone plays at their best level, but despite this I saw players who increased in power as the game progressed, with a second half much better than the first, where we managed to tire the opponent. I’m happy with that.”

Key Stats

By the numbers, the fact ASM held the ascendancy in terms of expected goals (1.47 to 0.72), possession (58% to 42%), big chances created (3 to 0), shots on target (4 to 1), passes in the opposition half (166 to 107) and overall duels won (67 to 63) underlined their solid performance.

Up Next

Following this vital triumph that leaves them three points off Lens in third heading into the international break, Monaco will be hoping to come out strong against Strasbourg when play resumes in their quest to build on this accomplished win that restored some recently lost positivity and momentum.

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