A great start from VAFC
When the match kicked-off, there were plenty of empty seats in the Stade du Hainaut. Already relegated to Ligue 2, the home side started strongly, looking to finish their home season on a high. They enjoyed the first chance through Waris right from kick-off and it took a reflex save from Romero to save with his foot. Waris was back in action a few seconds later down the right when he got the better of Abdennour before his cross was turned behind by Raggi. After weathering the early storm, Les Monégasques came into the game through Germain, whose first shot was saved by Penneteau (6') and his second hit the crossbar (9')!
Germain opened the scoring
The following minutes were quiet as the battle raged in midfield. It still took two fine tackles from Carvalho on Doumbia to calm the hosts endeavour. In the 38th minute, Dirar was brought down on the edge of the area, and the resulting Ferreira Carrasco free-kick was deflected behind for a corner. Just as Waris looked to clear the danger from the corner, he was dispossessed by Ferreira Carrasco who cut back inside and chipped the ball into Germain. One on one with Penneteau, the striker side-footed home (40'). Three minutes later he had the chance to double the advantage after good work from Dirar, but his lob failed to catch out Penneteau. It was 1-0 at the break.
After the restart, Les Monégasques made the early running. Dirar then burst through the heart of the defence before picking out Germain who was tackled in extremis (50'). It was a carbon copy for YFC in the 62nd minute after good lead up play by Martial who was then replaced by Rivière. But slowly but surely, Valenciennes came back into it and equalised through Doumbia in the 70th minute. The VAFC midfielder was found by Masuaku on the penalty spot and gave Romero no chance with a powerful low shot. VAFC then had a dangerous free-kick, but Masuaku completely messed up his shot (73'). The home side's pressure continued and in the 76th minute, Waris earned another free-kick that Carvalho cleared.
A jewel from Dirar
After failing to make much impact in the second half, the Monégasque attack burst back into action in the final ten minutes. After drawing a first stop from Penneteau with a free-kick in the 79th minute, Dirar produced the game's best moment with a stunning left-footed curler into the top corner of Penneteau's goal in the 87th minute. After providing assists in the last two matches, the Moroccan netted his first Ligue 1 goal, after returning from a knee reconstruction. It was a great moment for the AS Monaco No.7 who offered his side a 23rd victory of the season and equalled the club's all-time record for the most number of points in a season, with 79... Les Rouge et Blanc will have the chance to make history next week when they entertain Les Girondins de Bordeaux to the Stade Louis-II to finish the season on a high note.