The match between AS Monaco and RC Lens, played this Saturday at the Stade Louis-II, was the opportunity for the two teams to get their first win of the season in Ligue 1. Unfortunately for the Rouge et Blanc, the win ended up being for the visitors, who made the difference in the second half on the third matchday of Ligue 1.
— AS Monaco 🇲🇨 (@AS_Monaco) August 21, 2021
In an oppressive heat and against a Lens side who were aggressive in their pressing, Niko Kovac’s men struggled during the first 45 minutes, notably conceding a huge chance on a header from Ignatius Ganago (17′). Despite this delay in getting going, the Rouge et Blanc remained solid and could even have opened the scoring before the break, but Aleksandr Golovin was unable to poke home a fine low cross from Wissam Ben Yedder (41′).
Both sides finish with ten men
Building on the momentum of the first period, the Northerner side would however open the scoring after the break, on a powerful strike from Ignatius Ganago (51′), but were quickly reduced to ten men after an ugly foul by Cheick Doucouré on Krépin Diatta, who would be forced off (61′).
Throwing all their attackers on, hoping to equalize, the Monegasques laid siege to Lens’ goal during the last half hour, without, however finding the necessary result, including a goalmouth scramble (73′) and a superb strike from Caio Henrique cleared by Jean-Louis Leca (74′). They also would end the game with ten after a wild tackle by Aleksandr Golovin (86′) and even conceded a second goal from Simon Banza on the counter in stoppage time (90 + 4′).
Looking ahead to Shakhtar Donetsk
Niko Kovac’s players now will have to turn their minds to Wednesday and their trip to Kharkiv to face Shakhtar Donetsk, in the return leg of the Champions League, needing to overturn the result from the first leg (a 1-0 defeat at Louis-II) and to qualify for the group stage of the most prestigious of all club competitions.
Ligue 1, Matchday 3
AS Monaco 0-2 RC Lens
Goals: Ganago (51′), Banza (90+4′)
Bookings: Kovac (57′), Pavlovic (83′) ; Leca (61′)
Dismissals : Golovin (86′) ; Doucouré (61′)
AS Monaco: Nübel – Aguilar (Sidibé 83′), Disasi, Pavlovic, C. Henrique – Tchouameni (Gelson Martins 63′), Jean Lucas – Golovin, Diop (Fabregas 76′), Diatta (Boadu 63′) – Ben Yedder © (Volland 63′)
Substitutes: Majecki, Badiashile, Sidibé, Fabregas, Gelson Martins, Jakobs, Matazo, Boadu, Volland
Manager: Niko Kovac
RC Lens : Leca – Clauss, Gradit, Medina, Danso, Machado (Frankowski 46′) – Fofana ©, Doucouré, Kakuta (Haïdara 75′, Boura 90+3′) – Sotoca (Banza 75′), Ganago (Cahuzac 64′)
Substitutes: Farinez, Wooh, Boura, Haïdara, Cahuzac, Pereira Da Costa, Frankowski, Banza, Jean
Manager: Franck Haise