The match got off to a quiet start as both teams began hesitantly. The Monegasques tried to inject some urgency into proceedings through Carrasco, but were unable to unsettle a well-marshalled Nantes defence. The first shot of the game came from Serge Gakpé on 11 mins. The former Monaco player tried his luck from the right hand side of the box, but Subasic held onto his effort easily. The home side went looking for an instant riposte as Carrasco pulled a dangerous looking ball back across goal, but Cissokho was there to mop up (13 mins). With a light breeze sweeping across the pitch, from that point both sides struggled to make headway into their opponent's half.
Carrasco gets no reward
It took until the half-hour mark for the match to really spring into life, Nantes adopting a more offensive outlook without posing any meaningful threat to Subasic's goal. For AS Monaco, Martial escaped his marker Vizcarrondo on 40 minutes and pulled the ball back for Carrasco, but the Belgian had it nicked off his toes as he shaped to shoot. He had another go a minute later with a shot on the turn from the edge of the area, but failed to hit the target. And it was once again Carrasco in the thick of the action on 44 minutes, as he drilled in a cross that flew across the face of Riou's goal but evaded everyone. The scoreline remained goalless as the teams went in at half-time.
Germain almost makes the perfect entrance
No sooner had the second half got under way than the Monegasque substitutes were out and warming up. On the pitch, the match was following a familiar pattern with the home side still unable to trouble the Nantes back line. On 59 minutes, Moutinho found Carrasco in the penalty area. The Belgian went down under a challenge from Vizcarrondo, and was harshly shown a yellow card. Moments later he found himself one-on-one with Riou, but his attempt to round the 'keeper took him wide, allowing a defender to get back and bar the way to goal. Having come on for Martial two minutes earlier, Germain then met a Carrasco cross with a thumping volley on 69 minutes, but the ball flashed narrowly wide. The match was finally sparking and it took a firm hand from Riou to keep out a Fabinho effort on 71 minutes.
Bernardo makes the difference!
The Red & Whites kept up the pressure and were ultimately rewarded in the 72nd minute when Silva arrived at the far post to steer home Kurzawa's cross-shot. It was the Portuguese midfielder's second goal in Ligue 1, and a priceless one at that! For a period after the goal, AS Monaco enjoyed total dominance but were unable to put daylight between the sides. Nantes summoned up the last of their strength in time added-on and twice came close to netting an equaliser. First Raggi produced a timely intervention to thwart Bammou (91 mins), before Audel smacked a volley against the bar with the final action of the game in the 94th. Despite that close shave, the Red & Whites claimed three precious points that keep them in touch with the league leaders, while widening the gap with the chasing pack. Next up, Évian TG visit the Stade Louis-II in the last 32 of the Coupe de France on Wednesday.