Football: Monaco return to winning ways against Ajaccio

AS Monaco secured their first victory of March with an unconvincing but essential 2-0 victory over AC Ajaccio in Corsica on Sunday. 

Les Monégasques have been on a barren run. Since beating Stade Brestois on 19th February, they had failed to win a game, and have since been eliminated from European competition and fallen off the podium. However, with victory over Ajaccio, Monaco are once again looking forward, despite the content of the result.

Without Aleksandr Golovin, arguably Monaco’s player of the season, due to an adductor injury, the Principality side lacked fluidity and struggled to create clear-cut opportunities. However, they opened the scoring midway through the first half thanks to a Caio Henrique set play. The Brazilians’ cross was met by Guillermo Maripán, who forced a brilliant save from Benjamin Leroy, but he could do nothing about Wissam Ben Yedder’s close-range rebound.

The result, but nothing more

Having broken the deadlock, Ajaccio remained compact, and Monaco continued to struggle. Even after Cyrille Bayala was correctly sent off for a reckless challenge on Henrique, the goals didn’t flow, although substitute Krépin Diatta did seal the result late on after being played through by Mohamed Camara.

The result was best summarised by Youssouf Fofana, who said post-match, “We don’t take much from this match apart from the result.” Philippe Clement added, “We were less fluid than in other matches, but we won. It’s also important to keep a clean sheet, it’s been a long time since we’ve had one. We lacked confidence after four matches without a victory. That’s human. There are many things that we can use going forward in the coming weeks.”

A friendly against La Spezia

The result means that Monaco go into the upcoming international break on a positive note. Les Monégasques, or at least those that won’t travel to represent their national sides, will keep the motor running with a friendly against La Spezia on 23rd March, which will also give some of the club’s youngsters a chance to impress.

Monaco then return to competitive action when they welcome Ligue 1 strugglers Strasbourg to the Stade Louis II on 2nd April.


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Photo by AS Monaco