A FIRST-HALF OF PERFECTION
The Red & Whites made a super start to the game, imposing themselves in the duels and playing with high intensity right from the kick-off. Thomas Lemar got the ball rolling for AS Monaco inside the eighth minute after a fine team move. Almamy Touré was sent into space down the right and drilled a cross to the near post. Metz ‘keeper Didillon got to the ball ahead of Carrillo but it fell for Lemar who slid home a left-footed strike to put the Red & Whites 1-0 up. Moments later, Lemar pinged a free-kick from 25 yards that shaved the Metz post. The duels were getting tasty in the midfield, and the Red & Whites were controlling possession and letting their superior technique show. In the 24th minute, after good work from Joao Moutinho, Valère Germain arrowed in a shot from the edge of the box to double AS Monaco’s lead. It was Germain’s first goal in Ligue 1 this season. FC Metz looked to respond through Mevlut Erding (25 mins), but his shot on the turn was off target. The hosts were focusing on corners and free-kicks, playing long balls into the area, but Subasic was dominant in the air and ensured there wereno scares. The home side were doing their best to find a way back into the game, but the Monegasque defence was solid. Sidibé came out on top in a tussle with Sarr from Cohade’s cross (33 mins), while Jemerson intervened to deny Erding (38 mins). From an attack started by Subasic, Almamy Touré crossed low towards the near post and Guido Carrillo cleverly let the ball run for Bernardo Silva who calmly slotted past Didillon to make it 3-0 to the visitors! With a comfortable half-time lead, the Red & Whites looked to have done most of the job at the Saint-Symphorien. Now they would need to protect their lead.
FC METZ RESPOND
After the break, the hosts came out the blocks quickly in the second-half. Doukouré set the tone with a thumping effort from the edge of the area that was well blocked by Subasic. In the 47th minute, Sarr popped up on the right wing and delivered a pacey cross across goal, but Glik launched himself to clear the danger. In the 48th minute, Hein sent in another cross that was cleared by Jemerson, and a minute later Cohade looked for Sarr with a ball over the top, but Subasic showed good anticipation to come out and kick the ball away. After a top class team move, Sidibé won a dangerous free-kick on the edge of the box. He took it himself but despite beating the wall, saw his effort saved by Didillon.
DOUKOURE SEES RED
On the hour mark, Doukouré was given his marching orders by the referee for a poor tackle on N'Doram. Suddenly a man to the good, the Monegasques set about creating a string of chances, and Germain was awarded a 66th minute penalty that was converted by Fabinho to put AS Monaco 4-0 up at the Saint-Symphorien. Five minutes later, Guido Carrillo notched a fifth after a lovely change of direction and the coolest of touches to beat Didillon (71 mins). The Argentine then added another in the 83rd minute, sweeping into an empty net after being set up by Boschilia, who had come on in place of Bernardo Silva. A superb 7-0 away win for AS Monaco in this final Ligue 1 match ahead of the international window, which will provide an opportunity to rest some legs and prepare for the upcoming fixtures.