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Review

Ligue 1: AS Monaco cruise past Reims in clinical style

Entering this tricky away trip to Reims, AS Monaco knew they’d have to keep their focus to achieve the victory they craved. They impressively did exactly that by recording an excellent 1-3 win.

The Match

With playmaking genius Aleksandr Golovin back available, Adi Hutter didn’t hesitate to bring him back into the fold to operate behind the dynamic duo of Wissa Ben Yedder and Folarin Balogun. Elsewhere, Krepin Diatta was also granted a start for this vital clash vs. a team that had beaten Lille and Olympique Lyonnais in their last two fixtures.

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@ASM

Reims immediately placed ASM on the back foot by jumping out to a fast start, as they enjoyed some decent openings early on.

After a tough quarter of an hour, Les Monegasques then had their first meaningful effort through Folarin Balogun.

Despite Monaco edging their way into proceedings, Reims still held a very real threat, with Junya Ito coming especially close. But Monaco would eventually strike first courtesy of a terrific volley from Ismail Jakobs just before the interval to bag his first goal in Ligue 1.

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Hutter’s men then carried their momentum into the second stanza by rapidly doubling their advantage when Balogun finished coolly against his former team. In a sign of respect, he opted not to celebrate.

The visitors weren’t done there, though, for Ben Yedder made it 0-3 just minutes later with his well-taken header that propelled him to 150 Ligue 1 goals.

Reims then pulled one back from the penalty spot through Teddy Teuma, thus proving the catalyst for the match to ramp up again, as both teams exchanged spells of dominance and chances.

Ultimately, however, there would be no more scoresheet action, thus meaning ASM secured a crucial road triumph to remain atop the Ligue 1 standings.

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Hutter’s Debrief

“First of all I would like to say that it was a very good match for the spectators, against a great team from Stade de Reims who played very well. For 30 minutes we suffered a lot and we stayed in the game thanks to a great save from Philipp Kohn,” explained the Austrian tactician.

“Despite everything, we managed to score on this big highlight in Reims, which helped us a lot. Because in the second half we quickly made the difference, so I think we deserved this victory.

“I’m happy with my players, we all win and lose together. So bravo to them, and bravo to our defence. And thank you to our supporters, who were fantastic tonight! They will return home happy, and we are expecting many more of them at the next home match.

“I’m not paying too much attention to the Ligue 1 rankings at the moment. It’s a good period for us, but the season is still very long, there are 34 games to play. I am especially happy that we were able to react after the defeat against Nice by winning against Marseille in a very difficult match at home (3-2), then against Reims. They are really two good teams in the championship, so I am satisfied. But once again the road is long.”

Key Stats

By the numbers, despite Reims edging Monaco in terms of expected goals (1.57 to 1.17 – heavily influenced by the penalty) and possession (54% to 46%), the fact ASM held the ascendancy in terms of open play XG (0.92 to 0.76), XG from set-pieces (0.27 to 0), tackles won (16 to 8), interceptions (16 to 8), overall duels won (68 to 59) and completed dribbles (19 to 15) demonstrated they were good value for the win all things considered.

International Break Ahead

Monaco now head into the international break sitting pretty on top of the table following their brilliant wins over OM and Reims. Upon the resumption of Ligue 1, a home match with Metz awaits, which represents a superb opportunity to continue their outstanding start to the crusade.

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