In a Stade Geoffroy-Guichard with two stands behind the goals closed to the public, the match started at a high pace. On a good ball from Ben Yedder, Henrichs offered a warning shot to Ruffier in the second minute! The response from the hosts, however was not long in coming and Lecomte won his duel with Bouanga in the 7th. Dominant in the early going, the Red and Whites bossed this first period, but they still offered a great opportunity to Bouanga, who could not find the target and did not take advantage (25th). Silva did not need anyone’s assent to try his luck from distance and see his well-hit strike come close to the left post of Ruffier!
Red and white mastery
As St Etienne played an increasingly physical match in the middle of the park, it was necessary to wait until the 35th minute to see Gelson Martins test Ruffier on a cross deflected by a defender. The former Monaco keeper was strong in the air and slapped the ball behind for a corner. Very active in this first period, Ben Yedder did not manage an attempt until the 45th minute, following a good one-two with Henrichs. It was just before the break — a magnificent sombrero followed by cross into the Saint-Etienne area that went begging. At the break the score remained nil-nil but AS Monaco seemed on the right track. All that was needed was a goal to make the first 45 minutes of good quality worthwhile.
Bouanga finds the fault
The breakthrough was close to coming when Baldé has a powerful header from Golovin’s cross after the interval. Unfortunately the Senegalese saw his attempt pass just above the crossbar (49th). Ten minutes later, after a first intervention from Glik, Hamouma beat Jemerson on the left and saw his shot repelled by Lecomte to the feet of Bouanga. The latter opened the scoring for ASSE. Les Verts tried to find the net again but Hamouma stumbled against Lecomte in the 64th. Shortly thereafter, Jean-Kévin Augustin replaced Keita Baldé in leading the Monegasque attack. With his deep runs, the latter brought a new option to his team.
A frustrating end to the match
It was on one of these runs that he suffered a foul from Fofana at the edge of the area. Mr Brisard issued a red card against the Saint Etienne defender, before changing it after the intervention of VAR, signaling a very narrow offside against Augustin at the start of the action (74th). Following this, Golovin missed the target with a header (78th), just like Augustin (84th) and Silva (89th) in an end of the match in which fortune did not really smile on our team. Indeed, on in place of Gelson Martins during the second half, Ruben Aguilar was sent off in injury time for a foul on Bouanga. And as nothing was going in the right direction, Mr. Brisard whistled the end of the game while the Red and Whites thought they had a corner for a last chance. Beaten 1-0 without having been inferior to their opponents, our players will be back in action next Saturday against Dijon at the Stade Louis-II.