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Matches 25 April 2021, 20:35

AS Monaco snatch three points with clinical ease in Angers

AS Monaco snatch three points with clinical ease in Angers
Finding it difficult to break down a well-organized Angevin side, the Rouge et Blanc were able to get the result thanks to a flash of genius from Wissam Ben Yedder, winning 1-0 with a sixth consecutive clean sheet to record their 22nd victory in the league.

To play take the pitch on this 34th round of the championship against Angers, Niko Kovac opted again for a hybrid 4-4-2. Five changes were made compared to the side that won against Lyon in the Coupe de France (2-0) in the week, with Benjamin Lecomte, Guillermo Maripán, Djibril Sidibé, Aleksandr Golovin and Stevan Jovetić back in the starting XI.

A first half lacking in chances

The start of the match was fairly balanced with the Angevins trying to establish a high press, and blocking the build-up play of Youssouf Fofana and Aurélien Tchouameni. Despite this, it was the Monegasques who tried to be the most enterprising and create the match’s first chances, first through Aleksandr Golovin who saw his shot from the edge of the area go behind for a corner (8th) and then through Stevan Jovetić a few minutes later.

On a long ball by the Russian, the Montenegrin international lost a duel against Paul Bernardoni (14th), before leaving with a calf injury, (17th), to be replaced by Wissam Ben Yedder. The latter could even have been credited with an assist if Aleksandr Golovin had not also came up short against Bernardoni shortly before half-time (43rd). Other than these chances, there was very little joy to be had against an aggressive Angevin side.

Niko Kovac makes a tactical shift

Back from the locker room, the Rouge et Blanc wanted to get back to controlling the match and they had opportunities to open the scoring. But Guillermo Maripán’s effort from a free kick by Djibril Sidibé crashed off the crossbar (54′). Ruben Aguilar also saw his shot across goal flirt with the right post (58th).

Seeing his initial approach lacking in solutions, Niko Kovac then decided to move to a 3-5-2, bringing on Benoit Badiashile in place of Aguilar (59th), to allow Caio Henrique and Djibril Sidibé to play further up the pitch, with the right back seeing his free kick from 30 meters pass go just over the goal.

A game-changing goal

In the last quarter of an hour, the Croatian technician pushed for a winner by bringing on Cesc Fàbregas and Fodé Ballo-Touré in place of Aleksandr Golovin and the captain at kick-off, Axel Disasi, in order to score a winner goal (79th), and it came only a few seconds later.

On a ball recovered in  midfield by Youssouf Fofana, the midfielder split the defence perfectly to find Wissam Ben Yedder.  Springing the offside trap, the captain kept his cool and beat Paul Bernardoni with a magnificent chipped effort (1-0, 79′), a goal reminiscent of the one he had scored against Dijon three weeks earlier.

 

A well-managed end to the match

With this goal, the hard part was done and it was enough for the Monegasques to manage the end of the match, easily done against a blunt Angers side who were muzzled by the solid defense of the Monegasques (no shots on target conceded). Despite struggling for much of the match, the Red and Whites persisted up and managed to win 1-0.

This win also gave them a 6th consecutive clean sheet and their fifth consecutive victory in the league, and further puts pressure on Lille and Lyon, the two face off at 9pm. Before their match, AS Monaco have gone second, ahead of LOSC and are now just one point behind first place.

Match details:

Ligue 1 Uber Eats – Matchday 34

Angers SCO 0-1 AS Monaco

Halftime: 0-0

Goals: Ben Yedder (79′) for AS Monaco

Bookings: Manceau (45+1′), Ould Khaled (74′) for Angers; Tchouameni (57′), Ben Yedder (74′) for AS Monaco

Angers: Bernardoni – Manceau, Thomas, Traoré ©, Pavlovic (Cabot, 82′), Capelle – Coulibaly, Amadou (Bahoken, 28′), Mangani (Thioub, 71′), Pereira-Lage (Cho, 83′) – Diony (Ould Khaled, 71′)

Subsitutes: Butelle, Ould Khaled, Taibi, Bobichon, Cabot, Fatar, Thioub, Cho, Bahoken

Manager: Stéphane Moulin

AS Monaco : Lecomte – Sidibé, Maripan, Disasi © (Ballo-Touré, 78′), Caio Henrique – Aguilar (Badiashile, 59′), Fofana, Tchouameni, Golovin (Fabregas, 79′) – Volland, Jovetic (Ben Yedder, 18′)

Subsitutes: Mannone, Ballo-Touré, Badiashile, Fabregas, Florentino Luis, Ben Yedder, Geubbels, Pellegri

Manager: Niko Kovac

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