This match between Lorient and Monaco was preceded by a moment of emotion with an hommage to Yohann Essirard, a beloved groundskeeper at the club, who died on December 20 after the match against Rennes. The two captains of each side thus brought a wreath to honor his memory before the teams’ warm-ups.
From the start of the match, Lorient played with high pressing, but it was Niko Kovac’s men who opened the scoring through Axel Disasi. Following a corner from the right, taken by Ruben Aguilar, Kevin Volland deflected the ball to the near post. The ball came back to the Monegasque centre back, who took advantage of a blunder by the opposing goalkeeper to put the ball into the back of the net (6th, 1-0) for his third goal of the season.
A balanced first half
Lorient were creating some opportunities, though. Once again from a corner, though Aurélien Tchouameni came close to doubling the lead. Unfortunately his header just passed over the goal of Paul Nardi (14th). The locals, though, did not shrink from the task at hand, and responded thanks to a strike from distance by Thomas Monconduit, to which Vito Mannone was alert (21′).
With the half-hour mark just passed, Terem Moffi toyed with the Monegasque defense and fired a shot which nestled in under the bar. Les Merlus were on the scoreboard (32nd, 1-1). Then, a rebounded shot by Quentin Boisgard did not find the target a few minutes later. The Breton side was inspired and had plenty of attacks, drawing play to the wings. The two teams would finally head to half-time on level terms.
Aleksandr Golovin, an iconic return
Coming back from the interval, Sofiane Diop and Guillermo Maripan replaced Willem Geubbels and Axel Disasi. Jonathan Delaplace was sent off as soon as the referee resumed the match, Mr. Schneider, after pulling the shirt of Gelson Martins who was through on goal (49th), the turning point of the match. The Monegasques logically took advantage of their numerical superiority to settle in the opposing half of the pitch. Gelson Martins missed the target after a magnificent block by Yoane Wissa (63rd), but he however did get a corner.
It was at that moment that Aleksandr Golovin came on. The corner was quickly take on the left side, and the Russian, waiting just outside the box, delivered a magnificent shot from outside the box (64′, 2-1). On his first ball and after only four seconds on the pitch, number 17 illuminated the Moustoir with his brilliance. He also scored AS Monaco’s first goal from outside the area this season.
Doubt, then deliverance
It is believed that Niko Kovac and his players had done the hardest bit, but that would be without counting on a reaction from Lorient, who hit their second equalizer of the evening a few moments after the Monaco goal. Andreaw Gravillon turned in a free kick diverted by Vito Mannone and slotted home to give hope to the Bretons at the end of the match (67th, 2-2). But shortly after that, Guilermo Maripan hit a pass from his half of the pitch into the Lorient penalty area and found Kevin Volland, the German international finishing with a cool header, shrewdly lobbing Paul Nardi (69th, 3-2). With three goals in five minutes, the game had come alive.
But it was not over yet, as the striker turned provider for the substitute Sofiane Diop. The trio made up of these two and Aleksandr Golovin consistently gave Lorient headaches at the end of the match. The Russian played in Kevin Volland who headed in on for the young midfielder who finished with panche (78th, 4-2), for his fifth goal of the season, the outcome of the match thus being sealed.
A brilliant last quarter of an hour
But another player who started on the bench would also have his goal. Guillermo Maripan, also involved in Kevin Volland’s goal, scored from a deflection by Aurélien Tchouameni on a corner, to close the Monegasques’ evening, sealing a victory, 5 goals to 2. AS Monaco made a move in the table as they made it a third game unbeaten — just as the sending-off of Jonathan Delaplace would have hurt the locals, the entry of Aleksandr Golovin likewise changed everything, from his first touch of the ball. Next up for the Russian attacking midfielder and his teammates is a match on Saturday evening against Angers SCO at the Stade Louis-II.
Ligue 1 Uber Eats – Matchday 18
FC Lorient 2- 5 AS Monaco
Goals: Moffi (31′), Gravillon (67′) ; Disasi (9′), Golovin (64′), Volland (68′) Diop (78′) and Maripan (89′) for AS Monaco
Bookings: Lauriente (34′) for Lorient; Sidibé (3‘), Gelson Martins (6′), Diop (66‘) for AS Monaco
Dismissals: Delaplace (48′) for Lorient
FC Lorient: Nardi – Gravillon, Morel ©, Delaplace, Le Goff – Abergel (Hergault, 83′), Boisgard, Monconduit – Moffi (Grbic, 73′), Wissa (Marveaux, 84′), Laurienté (Le Fée, 83′)
Manager: Christophe Pelissier
AS Monaco: Mannone – Aguilar (Caio Henrique, 82′), Disasi (Maripan, 46′), Badiashile, Sidibé – Geubbels (Diop, 46′), Fofana, Tchouameni, Gelson Martins (Golovin, 64′) – Ben Yedder © (Jovetić, 73′), Volland
Manager: Niko Kovac