The opening exchanges were a cagey affair. Both sides remained cautious and it took until the tenth minute for the opening shot of the game, from Ocampos, deflected behind for a corner that the referee, Mr Varela gave as a goal kick. But it marked the start of hostilities and Reims' first effort arrived in the 13th minute with Atar's volley that flew over the crossbar. Turan then sent over a cross that no managed to get a touch on (16'). Moments later, Rivière met Germain's cross, but his header was off target (17'). The two sides traded blows and in the 20th minute, Isimat was called upon to block Charbonnier's effort inside the box.
Kondogbia hits the crossbar...
After two more shots from Germain and Ocampos (21' and 26'), the match was broken open in the 34th minute. Ocampos turned over possession and Reims took full advantage. Atar released Turan down the left and his cross picked out Devaux whose header gave Romero no chance in the visitors' goal. Just like in the Week 8 Ligue 1 match between the two sides, the midfielder put his side on the right road. The goal was a huge boost to Reims, who dominated the remainder of the first 45 minutes. Despite playing second fiddle, Les Rouge et Blanc carved out two huge chances before the break. Kondogbia sent a rocket smashing against the crossbar before bouncing out off the post (40'). Ocampos then crossed but neither Rivère nor Germain could get the decisive touch…
…and Fabinho too!
After the break, Poulsen shot across the face of goal before Charbonnier saw his effort saved at the other end by Romero. Les Rouge et Blanc took back control of the game and Fabinho saw a first effort saved by the impressive Placide in the 52nd minute. The Reims 'keeper then denied a curling Ocampos effort two minutes later, before producing an excellent save to keep out Poulsen's deflected effort (60'). In the 62nd minute, Rivière was blocked in extremis on the penalty spot before a missile from the boot of Fabinho crashed back off the crossbar in the 66th. It just wouldn't go in for AS Monaco FC, as was amply illustrated by another Placide save to stop Poulsen after a great pass over the top from James (74').
A wall named Placide
Les Rouge et Blanc threw everything in to the final stages. From a partly cleared Borja cross, James beat two defenders and was again denied by the impeccable Placide (77'). The Reims 'keeper then had a bit of luck in keeping out Pi's long range effort (87'), just after James had fired over (86'). In the end, it was the Stade de Reims that had the final word as Romero saved from Oniangue, in the final chance of the match. It was the first defeat for the Asémiste team in a competitive match this season. The side must now pick themselves up for Sunday's Ligue 1 trip to Lille.