This match kicked-off in glorious sunshine. Leonardo Jardim had opted to restore the front pairing of Falcao and Germain, and the duo duly sprang into action inside the opening minutes. The Columbian put Costil under pressure following Moutinho’s deep pass (3 mins), while Germain directed a header off-target from Touré’s excellent cross (5 mins). A few moments later, after Traoré and Germain had linked up to good effect, Lemar saw his volley charged down by a last-ditch block. AS Monaco created the first clear-cut opening of the game with around a quarter of an hour gone, as Touré delivered another cross into the middle for Falcao, who was unable to get his header on target. The ball fell to Traoré, though, who cracked an effort at goal from a tight angle on the right, forcing Costil to save with his legs. After a five-minute lull in the action, Subasic was called into action for the first time in the match, pushing away a header from Sio after Ntep had found the Ivorian striker overlapping on the right of the box.
Falcao breaks the deadlock
The scare provoked a reaction from the Monegasques. Germain tried his luck with a driven effort from the edge of the box, but Costil got down well to make the save (26 mins). The Rennes ‘keeper then watched as a strike from Traoré skimmed his right-hand post (27 mins), while a Lemar free-kick shaved the left upright a few minutes later (31 mins). Lemar was quickly back in the thick of things, reaching a Touré cross but failing to get enough power on his header to trouble Costil (34 mins), before sending a shot well over the from the Red & Whites’ very next attack (39 mins). Touré was putting in a very lively display down the right flank, and was sent into space by Germain in the 41st minute. His cross was inch-perfect for Falcao to flight a header into the net and put the home side in front. Moments later, Germain was denied what looked a clear penalty after taking a shove in the back from Mendes in the middle of the box.
Monegasques in control
After half-time, AS Monaco remained very much in the ascendancy. Following a lovely triangle started by Moutinho and Traoré, Fabinho found himself well placed in the Bretons’ box but his shot lacked the venom to pose a problem for Costil (55 mins). The tempo briefly dropped a notch or two at that point, as the Red & Whites controlled proceedings and the coaches took advantage to make their first changes of the game. On the hour mark, Rennes introduced a new-look strike partnership with Diakhaby and Saïd coming on for Sio and Ntep, while Silva replaced Traoré for Monaco. The next Monegasque offensive did not arrive until the 70th minute, with a Falcao shot that was blocked by the defence. Rennes did threaten themselves, however, with Bensebaini striking a blistering effort that was saved in style by Subasic, before Lemar cleared the ball off his own line from a Breton corner.
Lemar’s quickfire double
The Red & Whites’ defence remained unperturbed despite that second scare of the game, and towards the end of the match Leonardo Jardim opted to give Falcao and Germain a breather. Carrillo and Ndoram came on in their place. With Rennes looking resigned to their fate, AS Monaco took advantage late on to put a gloss on the scoreline as Lemar bagged a lightning-quick brace in time added-on, sliding home Carrillo’s pass in the 90th minute and then catching Costil out with a crisp long-range strike just seconds later (91 mins). The match ended 3-0, leaving AS Monaco clear leaders at the top of Ligue 1 ahead of Wednesday’s local derby against OGC Nice (matchday 6)! The Red & Whites have now won seven games in a row to round off a busy week perfectly. Their next game at the Stade Louis-II is next Saturday, when they host Angers on matchday 7! Daghe Munegu!