For the 100th Côte d’Azur derby , Niko Kovac opted for the same eleven who had started the match Sunday in Nantes, who had led the Monegasques to a fifth straight victory (2-1). The first five minutes of the match were played to the advantage of Nice, who were aggressive in their pressing. But Niko Kovac’s men gradually regained control of the game, with a lot of work in the recovery phase from the two defensive midfielders, Aurélien Tchouameni and Youssouf Fofana.
A first act without much danger
Our Rouge et Blanc quickly were more successful at winning the ball and taking control of the match. The first chance of the match also fell to AS Monaco, on an action coolly led by Kevin Volland who intelligently played in Wissam Ben Yedder. The Monegasque captain came up against Walter Benitez and tried a clever backheel, which grazed the left post (6th).
Caio Henrique also showed himself to full of energy on his flank, and by dint of his efforts, obtained a penalty after a foul by Dan Ndoye. Mr. Brisard’s decision was indisputable and up stepped the penalty specialist Wissam Yen Yedder, who coolly converted for his 10th goal of the season. The Red and Whites now had time to keep possession and build play and again gave themselves a great chance on a free kick hit by Sofiane Diop, before heading to halftime with a one-goal lead.
An immediate reaction
In the second half the 22 players seemed to have come alive, and the pace of the match became furious. Jeff Reine-Adélaïde, who had just come on, hit Benjamin Lecomte’s left post before Pierre Lees-Melou finished from close range, scoring Nice’s equalizer (1-1, 48′). Les Aiglons then had reason to regain hope, but it would be short-lived. Sofiane Diop, who started a counterattack, was fouled by Jordan Lotomba, and the resulting free kick, from 25 meters, was taken by Wissam Ben Yedder. The Monegasque number 9, who might get used to these sorts of chances, then hit an absolute rocket which swerved into the top corner of the Nice goal (2-1, 51st). It was a beauty of a free kick, which echoed the stunning effort by Stevan Jovetić against OM.
Nice are suffocated
After multiple changes on both sides, Niko Kovac’s men seemed to be bossing the game without much of a challenge from the visitors. Having come on, Aleksandr Golovin had an opportunity by latch on to a cutback by Ruben Aguilar. His whipped shot left Walter Benitez stranded, but the Argentine goalkeeper was saved by his crossbar (79th). The Monegasque bench once again demonstrated its ability to influence play as it had through Stevan Jovetić, who looked to be decisive again, as he had against Marseille.
Playing on the counter Fodé Ballo-Touré picked out the Montenegrin attacker but the opposing goalkeeper made a diving stop and saved his side. Niko Kovac’s men held on to eventually record a sixth straight victory in this 100th Côte d’Azur derby. Now eight points ahead of Rennes, who are fifth in Ligue 1 as of Wednesday night, this win makes it six from six in 2021 for AS Monaco before the next match, Sunday afternoon at the Stade des Costières against Nîmes (3 p.m.).
— AS Monaco 🇲🇨 (@AS_Monaco) February 3, 2021
Ligue 1 Uber Eats – Matchday 23
AS Monaco 2-1 OGC Nice
Goals: Ben Yedder (28′ , 51′) for AS Monaco; Lees-Melou (47′) for Nice
AS Monaco: Lecomte – Sidibé, Maripan, Badiashile (Disasi, 48‘), Caio Henrique – Diatta (Aguilar, 69‘), Fofana, Tchouameni, Diop (Ballo-Touré, 84‘) – Ben Yedder © (Golovin, 65‘), Volland (Jovetić, 83‘)
Manager: Niko Kovac
OGC Nice : Benitez – Lotomba, Saliba, Todibo (Daniliuc, 75′), Kamara,– Lees-Melou (Rony Lopes, 73′), Schneiderlin, Claude-Maurice (Reine-Adelaide, 46′) -Gouiri, Dolberg, Ndoye (Maolida, 46′)
Manager: Adrian Ursea