Ligue 1: AS Monaco undone by Lyon

Les Monégasques avaient pourtant ouvert le score face à Lyon mais ont fini par s'incliner (Photo © AS Monaco)

Despite racing out to an early lead within two minutes, AS Monaco suffered a frustrating defeat to Olympique Lyonnais, who produced an impressive comeback to run out 3-1 victors.

The Match

Deploying his team in his recently preferred three at the back system and notably bringing back Wissam Ben Yedder into the starting line-up, Philippe Clement’s men got off to a perfect start when Ben Yedder converted the penalty that he won in the second minute.

ASM then kept up the pressure, as they continued to create some promising chances, with the likes of Youssouf Fofana, Ismail Jakobs and Ben Yedder coming close over the course of the next 30 minutes.

Having failed to capitalise further, Lyon then punished Les Monegasques for missing their opportunities when Alexandre Lacazette levelled the ledger in the 38th minute.

The away team then almost replied immediately through Axel Disasi, but Anthony Lopes was on hand to save his effort, thus ensuring the score remained 1-1 at the interval.

While Aleksandr Golovin’s blistering blast almost propelled ASM back into the lead, it would be Lyon who drew first blood in the second stanza through Maxence Caqueret just prior to the hour mark.

Clement then attempted to turn the tide by introducing Eliesse Ben Seghir and Mohamed Camara. The signs were instantly positive that Monaco would be able to even things up, as they hit the woodwork and generally looked like they could come home strong.

Disappointingly for Clement’s men, though, OL then bagged their third to double their advantage courtesy of gifted youngster Rayan Cherki twelve minutes from time, which ended ASM’s rally to ultimately ensure Laurent Blanc’s team won 3-1.

Clement’s Debrief

“We have to look at ourselves, and not look around. Tonight, however, we started this match perfectly with the penalty and the goal in the second minute. But not only that, because afterwards we had the best chances. We had good organisation, passing lines and situations. And then we conceded a goal that hurts us mentally, which means that in the second period we were not the same team. But that must not happen,” he reflected.

“We have a very young group with less experience when it comes to dealing with difficulties. Now we have two more games to play and our destiny is in our hands. Unfortunately when you put your head down, you can’t win games.”

Key Stats

By the numbers, although Monaco bettered their foes in terms of first half expected goals (1.14 to 0.65), corners (8 to 2), accurate crosses (6 to 0) and tackles won (12 to 8), Lyon’s danger was illustrated by the fact they held the ascendancy in terms of overall expected goals (2.05 to 1.52), total shots (23 to 15), possession (62% to 38%) and passes inside the opposition half (206 to 158).

Up Next

Following this defeat, Monaco still occupy fourth with two games left and remain five points ahead of Lille, who are yet to play, thus making it vital they recalibrate their focus as they head into these last Ligue 1 clashes with Rennes and Toulouse in their quest to secure fourth.

“It’s up to me to take the players who are mentally stronger for these last two battles. It is not only the physical and technical qualities that will decide this. I want to see a clear reaction next week from my players. Yes we can have regrets tonight and on some big games. We are missing a little something to pass this course. But again, there are two games left to react,” Clement insisted.