After a symbolic kick-off taken by former AS Monaco and Nice player Jean-Philippe Rohr, the home side dominated the start of the match. They piled on the pressure down the left, but the Monegasque defence was alert. The first shot of the game came from Eduardo for OGCN, but his attempt went well wide (16 mins). It did spur AS Monaco into action though, and they duly created their first dangerous situation of the evening in the 23rd minute, as Carraso’s cross intended for Matheus was narrowly intercepted Amavi. The Belgian then won a free kick level with the Nice penalty area, but Moutinho’s strike was deflected by the wall (26 mins).
Abdennour sent off!
Just as they were starting to take the ascendancy, AS Monaco suffered a first blow with the withdrawal of Kurzawa. Leonardo Jardim hastily reshuffled his team, but that did not prevent his players from looking threatening. On 38 minutes, Matheus found himself in a good position in front of Hassen, but under pressure from Palun he shot wide. In between, Hassen got down well to a volley from Berbatov, but the key moment at the end of the first half was the sending off of Abdennour for a late tackle on Genevois. Just as they were beginning to take control of the match, the visitors were faced with the prospect of playing the whole of the second half with ten men.
They did even better in fact, seeing as much of the ball as their opponents. Just before the hour mark, Leonardo Jardim sent Bernardo Silva into battle. The Portuguese was into the action immediately as he carried the ball the entire length of the pitch. OGC Nice carved out a good chance from a corner in the 65th minute, but Touré got in front of Gomis. The Monegasque response was immediate, with two shots in quick succession from Carrasco and Matheus. The first was blocked, the second deflected behind for a corner. Twenty minutes from time, the Red & Whites were starting to tire, but the match remained evenly contested. Leonardo Jardim then opted to send on Martial in place of Matheus.
Silva makes the difference again!
On his first foray forward, the U21 international won an excellent free kick. Carrasco’s effort was deflected by the wall, but after a mistake from Gomis the ball ended up at the feet of Silva, who slotted calmly past Hassen. With five minutes left on the clock, the Red & Whites were in line for three valuable points. And they saw out the rest of the game without any scares, even going close to a second goal in the 88th minute as Silva’s pull-back for Martial was just cleared by the Nice defence. The heroic Monegasques won for the third time in a row at the Allianz Riviera! A victory that takes them up to fourth place in Ligue 1, awaiting the result of St-Etienne’s clash with Marseille on Sunday evening.