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Review

Ligue 1: Masterful AS Monaco brush aside Clermont Foot

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L'AS Monaco s'offre une nouvelle victoire à domicile contre Clermont © AS Monaco

AS Monaco’s thumping 4-1 win over Clermont Foot not only ensured they returned to winning ways, but it also locked in their Champions League qualification spot for next season.

The Match

Having suffered a frustrating loss to Olympique Lyonnais last weekend, Adi Hutter notably brought in Wilfried Singo and Breel Embolo for what was the club’s 700th home match, in his pursuit for victory at the Stade Louis II under the eyes of President Dmitry Rybolovlev.

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Despite Clermont starting the match promisingly, it was Les Monegasques who raced to an early lead through Takumi Minamino’s crisp finish in the 16th minute.

The home side then looked to push on, as Wissam Ben Yedder came close and Vanderson unleashed an effort.

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Down but not out, the struggling visitors struck next to level the ledger courtesy of Muhammed Cham following an Alan Virginius delivery.

ASM immediately reacted, however, for Embolo powered them back into the lead with a neat strike to claim his first goal in 436 days on his first start since returning from injury.

Ahead at the interval, it was all about game management for ASM in their quest to claim all three points. And that they did, with Ben Yedder’s nifty effort giving them a crucial two-goal buffer with roughly 30 minutes to play. This goal, his 116th for the club, also propelled him into second on ASM’s all-time scoring list.

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Navigating the next section of the match smartly while still creating chances, Ben Yedder put the finishing touches on the win when he completed his brace late on to cap off a smashing triumph in style. The victory vitally guarantees Les Rouge et Blanc at least a place in the UCL play-off round.

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Hutter’s Debrief

“The first half was not our best in recent weeks, but the key moment was Breel Embolo’s 2-1 goal, which allowed us not to be in doubt for long. Then, overall, I think we fully deserved our victory,” reflected the Austrian manager.

Related Reading: Adi Hutter: Everything you need to know about the AS Monaco manager

“We still have two very important matches to play in Montpellier and against Nantes at home. We will now watch the other matches with more serenity, it’s true. But we will quickly focus on preparing for the trip to Montpellier, because we must continue our momentum. Brest and Lille also want this second place so we will have to defend it until the end. I am entirely focused on our goal, which is to return to the Champions League, that’s why I joined the club.”

Key Stats

By the numbers, the fact ASM held the ascendancy in terms of expected goals (3.67 to 1.43), total shots (23 to 9), shots on target (8 to 1), shots inside the box (19 to 5), possession (62% to 38%) and passes in the opposition half (251 to 118) demonstrated their superiority.

Up Next

Strengthening their hold on second with just two games left, a trip to Montpellier now awaits, where they’ll be keen to bank another three points and make a guaranteed Champions League their own.

Alongside The Match – Club Operations

It was also an important day for the young fans, with several initiatives taking place before and during the match.

The new “All at the Stadium” operation: In an effort to strengthen links between AS Monaco and amateur football, the club invited nearly 2,000 young licensees from municipalities in the region and Italy to attend the match.

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Presentation of cheque to the Mediterranean League: Continuing this approach, the club renews its support for the Mediterranean League and all amateur clubs in the region. Thiago Scuro, General Director of AS Monaco, and Michel Aubery, President of the AS Monaco association, presented a cheque for 9,219 euros to Patrick Scala, member of the Management Committee of the Mediterranean League. This sum corresponds with part of the ticketing revenue for receptions in Marseille and Lille this season.

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Eliesse Ben Seghir nominated for the UNFP Trophy for best prospect: Already nominated last year, Eliesse Ben Seghir is once again in the list of best prospects in Ligue 1 this season. Trained at the Academy, the 19-year-old young player was also called up for the first time with the Moroccan selection this season.