Ligue 1: AS Monaco share the spoils with Lille
Following a balanced clash between two evenly matched teams, AS Monaco and Lille were ultimately forced to settle for a 0-0 draw at the Stade Louis II.
In a match that pitted fourth and fifth against one another, it was crucial ASM didn’t lose this encounter. And courtesy of a solid collective showing and some mastery in goal from Alexander Nubel, the home team obtained a valuable draw.
Opting to go for a three at the back again, Philippe Clement’s men were once more hard to break down, just like they were last week, as their defensive solidity offered them a fine platform to shut out their foes and launch some promising attacks.
While both teams had some decent opportunities in the opening half, neither was able to convert their openings.
The second half began with both teams trying but still being unable to capitalise as well. Lille then roared into life just after the hour mark with three chances in 10 minutes. Thankfully for Les Monegasques, however, Nubel was on hand to make a trio of brilliant saves to deny Les Dogues.
Monaco then momentarily thought they’d taken the lead through Takumi Minamino only for his strike to be ruled out for offside.
In the end, both teams shared the spoils in this one despite Lille playing slightly better, with Monaco’s defence vitally holding firm to keep their first clean sheet in almost a month.
“For the ranking I would say that it is a rather good point. We played this match to win it, but it was also crucial not to lose. There were plenty of players unavailable today like Wissam, Kevin, Mohamed, Krepin, Malang and Breel, who had just returned from an eight-week absence,” he insisted.
“Despite everything my players played a very serious match and remained focused from start to finish, against a team that gives their opponents a lot of difficulty by creating many chances. For this reason, I am satisfied with the performance of my players.”
By the numbers, the fact ASM were bettered in a host of metrics including expected goals (0.93 to 0.68), total shots (10 to 8), shots on target (4 to 1) and possession (59% to 41%) illustrated how resolutely Clement’s men defended and how integral Nubel was.
Lyon on the Horizon
With just three Ligue 1 games left and Monaco sitting five points clear of Lille, they’ll be eager to achieve another good result when they face off with Olympique Lyonnais on Friday to get themselves one step closer to securing fourth.