Blustery conditions had been forecast before this game, but not rain. And yet there was a bucketing shower in progress as the match kicked off. Previously, the national anthems of France and Monaco had been played, followed by a minute’s silence in memory of the victims of the Paris attacks on Friday 13 November. With 11 minutes on the clock, the Red & Whites carved out their first chance of the night. Silva delivered a long cross from the right wing that Riou fisted away from beneath his crossbar. Costa, arriving at the far post, stretched full-length but was unable to reach the ball. Costa was back in the thick of the action again moments later, popping up on the left wing to pull back a cross that was narrowly deflected for a corner by the Nantes defence. The visitors summoned up a response in the 21st minute, with a shot from Moimbé that shaved the left hand post of the AS Monaco goal.
Pasalic with the header!
Until that point AS Monaco had been well on top (59% possession during the first 20 minutes – ed.), but things started to heat up as Raggi produced a perfectly timed intervention to intercept a cross from Iloki, with Costa then leading a lightning counter attack down the left. Unfortunately, the Portuguese’s driven cross flashed across the face of Riou’s goal without finding a Monegasque shirt. Just before the half hour, Riou rescued the Canaries as he kept out a point-blank effort from Silva after Pasalic had made a fine run down the left of the box. From Moutinho’s lobbed pass, Silva threatened again with a looping header that forced Riou to make a save down to his left (41 mins). The Red & Whites kept up the pressure, and Pasalic made the breakthrough with a 43rd minute header from Touré’s inch-perfect right-wing cross! Having already got his name on the scoresheet against OL and Angers at the Stade Louis-II, the Croatian U21 put AS Monaco in sight of three precious points as the teams went in at half-time, after an excellent first forty-five for the home side.
Nantes find a cutting edge
After the break, Nantes went close through Bammou’s shot while Sigorthsson tried his luck from a header, but neither effort was on target (47 and 48 mins). In the 54th minute, Touré produced another perfect cross from the right, but Costa was just unable to get his head to the ball at the far post. Moments later, Riou intercepted a cross-shot from Coentrao (56 mins), before watching a powerful effort from Touré skim his left upright (61 mins). The Nantes ‘keeper then beat Costa to a long through ball by Silva (65 mins). With twenty minutes left, the Canaries won a free kick in a promising position on the edge of the Monaco area. Iloki curled the ball round the wall but over Subasic’s crossbar. The two coaches then made their first changes, with Traoré coming on for Carrillo for the home side, and Sala replacing Sigthorsson for Nantes (71 mins).
The Red & Whites back on track
Towards the end of the game, the tempo began to dip with no shortage of effort but not much in the way of inspiration, but AS Monaco remained in control. In the 85th minute, El Shaarawy, on as a substitute for Costa, made his way into the opposition half but was dispossessed on the edge of the area. With the game ticking into added time, Riou almost deflected Touré’s cross-shot from the left into his own net. From the following phase of play, Subasic turned a Sala strike behind for a corner, but the resulting set piece came to nothing as Toulalan cleared the danger from the penalty spot. After one last long-range effort from Alegue flew into the Fontvielle sky, AS Monaco secured their second home win of the season, the third time in a row they have claimed victory by a 1-0 scoreline at the Stade Louis-II. It represents their sixth win of the Ligue 1 campaign, and puts the Red & Whites back in the race for second spot. Their next game is against Anderlecht on Thursday!