Adi Hütter’s AS Monaco era got off to a winning start with a six-goal thriller (2-4) against Clermont Foot on Sunday.
After last season’s disappointment, the page had been turned. However, it didn’t feel like that in the opening exchanges. Clermont Foot applied pressure to Monaco’s defence, and the latter cracked. Philipp Köhn, the successor to Alexander Nübel, dropped a clanger, palming a Mateusz Wieteska header into the back of the net.
The Swiss shot-stopper showed great mental strength to bounce back later in the match, pulling off some important saves. Monaco, through Vanderson, almost bounced back immediately, but the Brazilian’s shot rebounded off the post, with Mory Diaw making a vital fingertip save.
Köhn was then called into action once again, but this time he was up to the task. Monaco, who slowly grew into the game, did then level the score, and it was Vanderson again, who this time found the back of the net after a neat exchange with a reborn Takumi Minamino.
100 goals up for Wissam Ben Yedder
Monaco then took the lead before the break. Youssouf Fofana’s well-hit shot clipped off the inside of the post with the rebound falling to captain Wissam Ben Yedder to slot into the empty net. The France international was participating in Monaco’s Ligue 1 opener, despite being charged with rape on Friday.
However, Clermont are looking to build on last season’s historic campaign, and they worked their way back into the match. Muhammed Cham caused Monaco’s defence problems all day, and he restored parity just after the break.
Goalscorer Vanderson then turned provider to restore Les Monégasques’ advantage. His ball across goal was clipped in by Ben Yedder at the front post in what was the captain’s 100th goal for the club. Only Delio Onnis and Lucien Cossou have scored more in the Principality club’s long and illustrious history.
“A great team victory.”
Clermont pushed to salvage a point, but instead, it was Monaco who rounded off the scoring. Two substitutes combined; Eliot Matazo crossed for Maghnes Akliouche, who tapped in his first Ligue 1 goal from close-range. An exciting start to Hütter’s reign at Monaco, who will be more encouraged by his side’s attacking fluidity, than its currently lacking defensive solidity.
“Coming away with the three points is very important to start the season. Globally, it’s a great team victory,” said Hütter post-match. The Austrian recognised the margin for improvement, adding, “It’s true that we conceded opportunities and we have defensive worries, but that is part of the process.”
Monaco will be hoping to make it two-in-two when Strasbourg come to town next Sunday in what will be the first match of the season at the Stade Louis II.
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Photo source: AS Monaco