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In brief

Friendly: AS Monaco power past Real Betis

AS Monaco secured their first win of their pre-season by defeating Real Betis 1-3 at St. George’s Park, with a brace from Kevin Volland and a goal from Takumi Minamino propelling them to victory.

The Match

Deploying his team in a 3-4-2-1 shape for this one, Adi Hutter’s plans worked wonderfully from the off, as ASM made a bright start to proceedings. Coming close to bulging the back of the net three times in the opening 10 minutes, all the signs were positive for Monaco early.

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With the likes of Vanderson, Ismail Jakobs and Aleksandr Golovin looking very dangerous, Betis were well and truly placed on the back foot against the dominant Monaco.

While the chances continued to flow for Hutter’s men during the first half, their failure to convert saw them enter the break level with the Spanish outfit.

Opting to make wholesale changes at the interval, these alterations didn’t pay off instantly, for Betis began to get back into the game. But luckily Radoslaw Majecki was up to the task, pulling off some terrific stops to deny Los Verdiblancos.

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Monaco finally rewarded themselves for all their hard work when they took the lead 56 minutes in through Kevin Volland. The German genius then doubled his team’s advantage 10 minutes later to thrust ASM into a commanding position.

Minamino then got in on the act to make it 0-3 before Manuel Pellegrini’s side pegged a goal back courtesy of Raul Garcia.

Managing the final stages of the match nicely and remaining defensively sound, Monaco ultimately ran out 1-3 victors to bag Hutter’s first triumph.

Hutter’s Debrief 

“We worked this week on a vertical game with an aggressive style, so I’m very happy. In the second half we played differently, but the boys scored. It’s a very good thing for us to get this first victory in pre-season. But the important thing is how the team played, and we are very happy with that,” he insisted.

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Leeds on the horizon

Up next for ASM is a quality hit-out against a talented Leeds United side on Saturday, which will serve as another important fixture to build momentum and confidence ahead of the new campaign.