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Review

Ligue 1: AS Monaco thrashed by Montpellier

AS-Monaco
(Photo © AS Monaco)

AS Monaco endured a terrible night at the office against Montpellier, with Les Monegasques suffering a crushing 0-4 loss at the Stade Louis II.

The Match 

Desperate to respond after losing to RC Lens last weekend, ASM made a bright start, with the home team coming close to scoring early before this talented Montpellier began to grow into the contest.

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Having come close through Arnaud Nordin in the 14th minute, the away team eventually grabbed the lead just prior to the half-hour mark, with Nordin making no mistake this time. Punishing Youssouf Fofana for his untimely error clinically, Montpellier then kicked on, as they brought the pressure by creating a host of chances prior to the interval.

With Philippe Clement’s men luckily only down by a solitary goal at half-time, the aim was to roar back in the second stanza. The early signs were positive after the Belgian manager introduced Ismail Jakobs, Krepin Diatta and Eliesse Ben Seghir at the break, as some decent opportunities came their way.

Unfortunately the game turned back in the favour of Montpellier, who regained control and capitalised on their openings despite Alexander Nubel’s heroics between the posts. Indeed, three goals in the space of 15 minutes by La Paillade from Faitout Maouassa, Nordin and Stephy Mavididi emphatically put an end to any hopes ASM harboured of coming back.

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Suffering another devastating setback in their quest for Champions League qualification, which appears over now, this latest result leaves Monaco five points back from third placed Lens, who have a game in hand.

Clement’s Debrief

“The two defeats of Lens and Montpellier hurt. We started the game well though. All week in the sessions, in the warm-up, you felt that the players wanted to bounce back. But at 1-0 there was an implosion in the heads. Some then wanted to force fate by stepping out of their role a little,” explained a dejected Clement.

“But suddenly we lost our organisation and we lacked aggression and strength in the duels in the second period. I felt it at half-time and tried to change that, but couldn’t. I still have confidence in my players, but we have to look at ourselves in the mirror and go back to basics, put in some intensity. You have to be dominant with the ball, but also without it, and show more aggression.

“There are still five games, and it’s up to us to bounce back and prove that we deserve to play in Europe. It is also important for the players for their future. Football is not an individual sport, but a collective one. And we lost sight of that notion during the game. We’ve been playing for the podium so far and it’s still possible if we turn our heads. But we must act quickly.”

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Key Stats

By the numbers, even though ASM had more possession (54% to 46%) and completed more passes in the opposition half (180 to 105), the fact their foes held the ascendancy in terms of expected goals (2.02 to 0.90), total shots (19 to 7), shots on target (9 to 4), shots inside the box (13 to 5) and overall duels won (53 to 43) illustrated they were the more dangerous and dominant force in this one.

Up Next

With a massive clash with Angers coming up, Monaco will need to recalibrate their focus immediately, as their aim will now be to regain their momentum to remain in fourth at least in the table.

Returning to winning ways will be the only way to do just that.

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