This was a game that the team couldn’t lose — and it was job done! After 90 minutes that were balanced and physically challenging, AS Monaco had a scoreless draw against Lille, which allows them to soidify their position in fourth place, five points ahead of their opponent on the evening. Following the match, Eliot Matazo and Chrislain Matsima, who both started, spoke in the mixed zone.
Hello Elliot. What is your main feeling tonight?
It’s a good feeling because we were solid defensively, we didn’t concede. It’s a very important thing for us even if we struggled a little physically in the second half. It feels good to leave with a clean sheet. Lille are a team that play very well with the ball, with a lot of movement in midfield. At the beginning, we were sitting back in order to adapt. We reacted well and analyzed the situation very quickly.
𝗙𝗶𝗻 𝗱𝘂 𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗰𝗵 🤝🔚
Un match nul qui permet à nos Monégasques de garder leur adversaire du jour à distance au classement.
Rendez-vous sur la pelouse de l'@OL vendredi prochain 👊
— AS Monaco 🇲🇨 (@AS_Monaco) May 14, 2023
You remain five points ahead. It’s a job well done…
Exactly. It was important not to lose this game because we have a big set of fixtures over the next few weeks. This draw makes it possible to leave them at a remove. We’ve take a good point but we still have three big games to play.
You had a deeper role in midfield tonight. Can you explain to us why?
The goal was to prevent Rémy Cabella from having a lot of touches. We found a good balance with the central defenders in particular where we were able to show a level of synchronization. We prevented them from playing centrally because we know that it is a team that gets a lot of players into central positions, who pack the midfield. I think we managed to break that.
How do you imagine the match in Lyon on Friday?
We don’t have time to rest because there are still three big games left against Lyon and then in Rennes. It will be two big trips, we will have to get back into it because it is not over. We will face a Lyon team that needs points. It’s a prestigious match, so I expect a match with a lot of intensity played in a beautiful stadium. It will be interesting.
📣 Vous souhaitez faire le déplacement à Lyon pour soutenir les Rouge & Blanc ?
Voici toutes les informations dont vous avez besoin ⤵
— AS Monaco 🇲🇨 (@AS_Monaco) May 12, 2023
This is the fourth clean sheet of the season. Do you think it’s thanks to the three-man defense?
The coach chose this three-man defense to have a little more balance and defensive solidity. This is working well for us at the moment and reassures the whole team, from defenders to attackers. Since it is working, we will continue playing this way.
Chrislain Matsima’s reaction
Good evening Chrislain. How do you see this result?
I think we had a very good start to the match where we showed lots of character, in line with the match in Angers. At the beginning, our objective was to take three points. We would have preferred to leave with this but we can take away a lot of positives from this draw, especially in terms of concentration, the balance of the team and everything we have put in place. We didn’t concede a goal either. Of course it’s a little frustrating not to take the three points but what we did tonight can only help us for the future. With this draw, they are still behind us.
How do you see the match ahead, away to Lyon?
We expect a challenging match because it remains a big match in the league. Lyon remains a big team. We are going to recover well and prepare for this match as we should be in order to answer the call.
On a personal level, you must feel confident…
Yes it’s true, we can say that I was confident in this match. But it goes back to last week against Angers. I wanted to continue being in a good state of mind. This is something that has helped us in these last two games, and it bodes well for the future. We have to continue to stay positive in order to be able to help the team. I was very comfortable in this three-man defence with Axel and Caio since there is very good communication. We manage to cover each other so it’s beneficial for us as we haven’t conceded a goal together.
We have the impression that you are really starting your Monegasque career…
Of course, this kind of match allows you to gain experience. Since my return, I am trying to take every minute seriously to keep improving. These are two games in which I’ve performed well, and it helps the team. It is beneficial for me and I hope that I can continue like this.