Football: AS Monaco close the gap to the Ligue 1 podium

AS Monaco v FC Lorient

Goals from Krépin Diatta, Aleksandr Golovin and Kevin Volland allowed AS Monaco to collect a comfortable three points against FC Lorient (3-1), and close the gap to the podium.

After RC Lens slipped up against league leaders Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday, Les Monégasques were handed the perfect opportunity to close the gap to two points, and they didn’t pass it up.

Lorient are a dangerous side, and Monaco were reliant on an injury-time Wissam Ben Yedder equaliser in their match earlier this season to salvage a point. However, as the season draws to a close, and with Les Merlus sitting comfortably in midtable, the onus was more on Monaco to get a result and keep in the running for the Champions League places.

Diatta opened the scoring with the opening chance of the match from a Golovin cross, and the provider then turned goalscorer soon after. The Russian latching onto a ball from Ben Yedder to allow Monaco to turn on cruise control.

“At 3-0, it’s almost a perfect match.”

But whilst the Principality club have often choked in such positions this season, notably against FC Nantes last week (2-2), Lorient posed little threat. Instead, it was Monaco who increased the scoring in the second half through Volland, who was enjoying a rare start in a season blighted by injury.

Ibrahima Koné then got a late consolation from the spot after Guillermo Maripán conceded a contentious penalty. However, the goal mattered little, and Monaco successfully closed the gap. With seven games left, the chase for the Champions League is hotting up.

“Monaco were 100% focused today,” began Philippe Clement. The Belgian technician added, “At 3-0, it’s almost a perfect match. It’s a lesson for us, which proves that when we play like that, we’re a very good team, which shouldn’t be caught up, like at Nantes,” he continued.

Next up for Monaco, an enticing fixture against Lens, a direct competitor for the Ligue 1 podium.


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Photo by AS Monaco