In a carbon copy of last season's scoreline, the Red & Whites triumphed by two goals to nil at the Stadium Municipal. Showing desire and determination, Danijel Subasic and his teammates dominated proceedings. "We played as a team," explained captain Toulalan, who played in central defence alongside former Toulousain Abdennour, returning to his old club for the evening. A professional away performance.
55% first-half possession
The chances were Monegasque... Using the outside of his right boot to great effect - and not for the last time this evening - Berbatov found Silva well placed in a central position, but Sylla managed to get in front of the Portuguese U21 international (16 mins). On 25 minutes, Silva was played in by Moutinho but was unable to take advantage. The visitors were pressing high up the pitch, preventing Toulouse from getting their short passing game going. Martial, who looked very lively, then came within a whisker of celebrating his birthday with a goal, but saw his thunderous twenty-yard strike beaten away by the Toulouse 'keeper (34 mins).
A stroke of genius from Berbatov
Leonardo Jardim's side were rewarded for their efforts by a moment of sheer class from Dimitar Berbatov. Martial stood up a far post cross from the right, with the Bulgarian showing perfect control on the corner of the six-yard box, before taking one look up and arrowing a stunning precision shot inside the far post with the outside of the foot (45 mins). 1-0. Half-time!
"Our aim in the second half was to maintain the score..." explained Aymen Abdennour, speaking to Canal+'s reporter after the game. The team enjoyed slightly less possession, but demonstrated collective control and "team spirit". Danijel Subasic was called on to deal with some high balls, and held onto Toulouse's only shot on target in the 90th minute.
Five from "5"
Fabinho turned on the skill on 76 minutes to slip the ball past Aguilar in the area, but the Brazilian was just unable to evade the tackle from Grigore. Penalty. Responsibility was handed to the ice cool Dimitar, who duly side-footed home - going the other way this time, having gone to the keeper's right last Tuesday... clinical Bulgarian efficiency made it 2-0 (77 mins). It was Berbatov's fifth goal of the season, and his third in two matches, in the space of three days!
With the rest of the games in matchday 17 still to come, AS Monaco lie seventh in the table... and are now free to focus on the "mini cup final" that awaits against Zenit in the Champions League next Tuesday. JOIN US AT THE STADE LOUIS-II AND SHOW THEM YOUR SUPPORT! >>> YOUR TICKET: ASMonaco-Zenit