Leonardo Jardim can be satisfied with the trip to Italy. Despite only returning from their transatlantic tour on Friday, it was a feisty and well drilled Monaco side that faced FC Parma tonight, with a double-barrelled salvo from Joao Moutinho enough to secure victory.
The first half saw Parma looking the more dangerous of the two sides, with Biabany causing problems down the right flank. The Red & Whites had to wait until the 17th minute for their first chance, but they made the most of it as Joao Moutinho's well struck free-kick bounced in front of the Parma 'keeper Antonio Mirante and arrowed into the net. Advantage AS Monaco!
The AS Monaco players were now in the ascendancy and dominating possession, forcing their Italian opponents to chase the ball for long periods but without creating a great deal in front of goal. The only other real opening of a quiet first period came in the 41st minute, but Dimitar Berbatov's effort from a Kondogbia cross was just off target.
A raft of half-time substitutions upset the rhythm of the game somewhat after the break, although that failed to put AS Monaco out of their stride. After a disjointed opening, the second period sprang to life in the 70th minute when Joao Moutinho notched his second of the night, knocking in the rebound after Mirante had parried a powerful shot from Dimitar Berbatov. There were no further scares from that point, as AS Monaco coasted to the final whistle with their 2-0 lead intact.
Against the toughest opponents they have yet faced in their pre-season schedule, it looks like everything's going to plan so far for the Monaco squad, as they prepare for the Ligue 1 opener at home to Lorient in just under a fortnight. Next up, the Emirates Cup game against Valencia on Saturday!