A bright start
Starting the match with a new 4-4-2 formation, AS Monaco FC made the early running. The first alert in front of the Nantes goal came in the 4th minute, with a Falcao cross that just eluded Rivière in the middle. The nit was Moutinho that looked for Falcao in behind the defence, but Nantes 'keeper Riou punched the ball clear (6'). Nantes fought back in the ninth minute with a Veretout corner cleared by Rivière. The Monaco striker then headed another Moutinho cross from the right just over.
Monaco's dominance intensified as the match wore on. It needed a brave Riou to save at the feet of Falcao from a James throughball in the 18th minute to keep it scoreless. While the rhythm dropped a little, James sent a good opportunity curling high and wide from the edge of the area (29'). Two minutes later, the Colombian No.10 crossed low for Rivière, whose backheel was just blocked by Vizcarrondo. It was the last clear-cut chance of a first-half controlled by the visiting side, who just lacked that final finish.
Monaco upped the ante at the start of the second half. Veigneau was on hand to steal the ball away from Riviere who looked to get on the end of a Falcao cross in the 48th minute. James then tried his luck with a powerful effort that was saved by Riou three minutes later. In the 53rd minute, James played in Falcao who sliced his shot wide as the entire stadium held its breath. The Colombian striker had another chance from a good Obbadi pass on the hour mark, before Riou denied Raggi in the 62nd minute. Claudio Ranieri decided to throw on Anthony Martial for his Colombian top scorer. It was an inspired move as the France youth international dribbled inside the area to set up James in the 70th minute. The playmaker was blocked by Riou, but the ball came back out to Obbadi whose first time effort deflected off Bedoya and into the net.
James and Rivière go close to a second goal
Les Canaris had had their wings clipped. In the 75th minute, James went close to making the game safe, but his shot rolled just the wrong side of Riou's left-hand upright. Rivière then dragged his shot wide in the 76th. Nantes tried to find an equaliser in the dying stages. Djordjevic had a great chance with a free-kick on the edge of the box, but the wall did its job. The referee, Mr Chapron, then spotted a foul by Vizcarrondo in the area before the Venezuelan's header was helped into the net. The Beaujoire crowd groaned. The final chance of the match fell to the home side as Bedoya fired over with only Subasic to beat... but the flag was up for offside anyway. In the end, it was a deserved victory for AS Monaco FC. The win sees Les Rouge et Blanc stay in contact with the leading pair PSG and LOSC, but also maintain a five point lead over fourth-placed OM, ahead of next weekend's visit of Rennes to the Stade Louis II.