It was a shame. Despite lots of energy and a strong domination (62% possession, 15 chances, 17 shots), the players of AS Monaco were defeated late on in Montpellier (3-2). This defeat, the first of 2022 for the Rouge et Blanc, did not call anything into question despite the facts of the match. This is what Philippe Clement and Aurélien Tchouameni tried to explain to the media after the match.
Philippe Clement’s reaction
Hello coach. What is your feeling after this eventful match?
It was a crazy match, this is true. We started off the match poorly, losing the ball when it wasn’t necessary, and struggled to manage their counter-attacks. The next 20-25 minutes were better, as we regained the upper hand. Then when Montpellier scored the second goal, it was difficult to come back. Despite everything, we finished the first half well with a lot of chances and a beautiful goal.
You dominated the second half…
We really dominated, but we lacked a rhythm to our play offensively. This is quite logical, given the number of absentees, and the fact that some players were not playing in their preferred position. Despite everything, the team’s mentality was very good until the end, battling back to 2-2. We had an opportunity to go ahead, but we conceded this goal which hurts us. Given our domination and perhaps with a little more luck on our side, we deserved better, at least a draw.
Do you think your team lacks a bit of experience?
We are especially lacking in players, because there are a lot of absentees at the moment and it is a shame not to have been able to count on Kevin (Volland), who did not feel well today. But I saw good things, we had good opportunities. We have to adapt and be creative in circumstances like these.
Would you have played the same way if Kevin Volland had been available?
As I said last week, we can play in many different ways. According to the players available, our qualities are different. The presence of Kevin would not have fundamentally changed the way we play. We did not lose this match because of the tactical setup. It’s hard to show the style of play you want to have with a team in just three weeks. We have had some returns to training, but some players like Youssouf Fofana have been sick and are not yet 100% physically. We have to manage this situation and grow as a team.
What do you think of the new role of Aurélien Tchouameni, who was very good today?
I am very happy with his display. Unfortunately, he, like me, wants to win matches and is not satisfied tonight. Everyone is disappointed. I am sure that Aurélien would have preferred to have had a worse individual performance, but to take three points at full time.
Is this defeat a setback in terms of the table?
The truth is that there are still a lot of matches to play (16). As I said, after Clermont against whom we won 4-0, and after which everything seemed positive, we must not react rashly. We have to focus on ourselves and keep playing our game to get results and move up the rankings. I hope the following weeks will be more favorable for us, with the return of some players back to the squad.
Aurélien Tchouameni’s reaction
Hello Aurelien. What is your reaction after this last-minute defeat?
It’s very frustrating, because we didn’t start the game well. We have to do better at the start, so as not to end up behind 2-0. We still managed to have a good reaction, which allowed us to reduce the deficit. The scenario was infuriating with a goal conceded at the end of the match. But I think we deserved better, at least a draw, even if we didn’t put in all the right ingredients. We will get back to work to come back stronger in a week against Lens.
What do you think of the team’s tactical evolution across these last matches?
Against Nantes (0-0) and Clermont (4-0), things went well for us. It is not because we lost this match today that we have to question everything we are doing. We should have done better in our duels and in making certain choices. This is why we did not leave with a positive result.
The team will have to get back on the right foot to keep moving up the table…
Since the start of the season, we have missed the result we want several times. There are matches in which we could have played better to get the result. Today, we missed the mark, so we will have to quickly get back to taking points and being more consistent, if we want to stay in the race for the top places.