Niko Kovac predicted that he would score a brace before the match away to Stade Rennais lat week. It eventually happened against Strasbourg at the Stade Louis-II, his favorite hunting ground, as Wissam Ben Yedder scored two goals, in a crazy match that ended with nine against eleven in a win for the Red and Whites (3-2). Happy to now have three goals in Ligue 1 after five matchdays, including two thanks to his partner in attack, Kevin Volland, the AS Monaco captain was obviously happy to have won all three points at the final whistle, a result that came despite the facts and the scenario of the match.
Wissam, you were looking for another win …
We have a close-knit, united team, and we absolutely wanted these three points and we held them until the end. We are really proud of this team victory!
Is it a unifying victory for the squad?
Of course, this victory shows once again that we have a lot of character and personality in this team. We see that in this match, because despite the unfavorable situation, we managed to hold on for twenty minutes.
Did you find the two sendings off too severe?
I didn’t see the first card very well, but I think Aurélien slips and unwittingly touches the player afterwards. It’s a decision made by the referee, things can be like that — we don’t have to comment on it.
Is it a relief to find the net again after Rennes?
Like I said, I’ve always had my confidence and I’ve always shown that I can do the best I can. Today was a good match and the two goals too, plus the three points in our pocket — I’m very happy.
How do you feel things have gone since the start of the season?
I think we played well in the first two to three matches as well. This is a young team, and the start of the season is not easy, because obviously you have to find a baseline. Despite everything we can see that there is quality with this young squad. And here Kevin’s contribution to this game made the difference, we were working very well in tight spaces, we had the right tempo and it was good for us and for the team.
Were you surprised by this Strasbourg team?
The matches are never easy in Ligue 1, because any team is going to come here to try win against us. The scenario was ideal, and in going ahead 2-0 we thought we the game in hand. But then they scored a goal, so the physiognomy of the game totally changed. But after that we had the strength and the desire to put away a third. We were united to come away with the three points despite the two sendings-off which changed the character of the match quite a bit.
How did you feel the last minutes of the match went, with all these young player on the pitch?
At the end of the game I saw the determination and the desire not to want to concede a goal. We have a young team but we have a lot of character and personality. They have shown these values and what they did in the last 20 minutes to not concede a goal is very good and bodes well for the future.