AS Monaco were made to pay for lapses of concentration as they held onto the win in an unnecessarily nervy tie against Auxerre (3-2) at the Stade Louis II on Wednesday.
Monaco looked to be on their way to a comfortable victory in the first half. Auxerre offered little, and Les Monégasques, one of the most prolific sides in Europe in front of goal, punished any defensive errors.
Wissam Ben Yedder opened the scoring with a neat finish from a sublime one-touch Youssouf Fofana assist. Eliesse Ben Seghir, who broke onto the scene with a brace against the same opponent in the first part of the season, scored another brilliant goal on Wednesday. His rifled finish from outside the box gave the Principality side a comfortable two-goal cushion.
It looked like a question of how many would Monaco score, but after the break, there was a significant drop in intensity, which allowed Auxerre a route back into the match.
Matthis Albine raced in on goal after a lapse in concentration in the Monaco defence to halve the deficit. Just minutes later, Nuno Da Costa almost levelled the score, but luckily for Philippe Clement’s side, his shot hit the post before deflecting to safety.
Monaco’s two-goal cushion was restored by Breel Embolo, but Auxerre were once again gifted a route back into the game, Da Costa this time making no mistake with the finish.
That goal set up a nervy ending, but Monaco held on (3-2) to maintain their fourth spot in Ligue 1, and remain undefeated since the return from the World Cup break.
“I’m not fully satisfied with what I saw. I was happy with the content in the first half: lots of movement, quality, tempo, chances, and goals – all the things that we want to see, with an attractive style of play. Less so in the second half and because of that Auxerre got back in the match. I want to see a 90-minute match as we played the first 45 today. That is our challenge,” said Clement post-match.
Photo by AS Monaco