An open start
While Rennes took the kick off, it was Les Monégasques, in white, that were dangerous early. Martial started a move down the left before picking out James who switched play to Fabinho on the right. The Brazilian crossed back towards Martial who couldn't quite reach the ball with a header. Grosicki headed straight up the other end, beating Abdennour and cutting the ball back for Makoun who missed the target (2'). Game on! In the 7th minute, Abdennour then produced a great challenge to intercept the ball in front of Toivonen in the box. Rennes had back to back corners, but the ASM defence held firm. At the other end, Les Monégasque shots came from Martial (10'), Moutinho (14') and Rivière (20').
Kurzawa not in vain
With the half hour approaching, Moutinho picked out Fabinho in the area. The Brazilian sent in a hard cross that was turned behind for a corner. From the corner, James picked up possession just outside the area and his shot fell invitingly for Kurzawa who blasted goalwards, but Costil saved (27')! Moments later, Kurzawa was substituted out of the game, clearly not fully recovered from his thigh strain. He was replaced by Raggi (35'). A little of the intensity dropped out of the game as half-time approached. In the 41st minute, James failed to pick out Rivière with a cut-back. Then Carvalho blocked Kadir's curling effort. The half-time whistle came after Danzé fired high and wide.
Top ten for Rivière
After the restart, Raggi was the first to try his luck, but his long range effort was off target. Same story for Doucouré who, well set up by Makoun on the edge of the area, sent the ball high over the bar. Released by Toulalan, Rivière found the back of the net in the 55th minute with an excellent sliding shot across the goal and inside the far post for his tenth of the season in Ligue 1. Ten minutes later, Costil denied the Martinique striker a double from close range! Rivière was back in action on the hour mark with a superb pass for Martial, but M'Bengue made a great challenge on the penalty spot. Les Asémistes put their foot on the ball and it wasn't until the 70th minute that Kondogbia had their next chance with a long shot, saved by Costil.
As in the first half, the later stages of the half lacked the intensity of the opening exchanges. It still took a well-placed Carvalho to block Alessandrini's effort in the 78th minute. In the 85th, the Portuguese defender produced another great tackle, but stayed down after receiving some studs down the shin. He managed to finish the match, gritting his teeth. In stoppage time, Fabinho intercepted possession and took off on the counterattack. After a one-two with Rivière he crossed towards James, but Costil cut it out. The final whistle confirmed the slender victory thanks to Rivière's crucial goal that sees AS Monaco FC maintain their six-point advantage over LOSC with five Ligue 1 matches left to play!