AS Monaco returned to winning ways at the Stade Raymond Kopa, beating already-relegated SCO Angers 2-1 to consolidate their fourth place in Ligue 1.
Philippe Clement needed a reaction from his men on Sunday, and he got one. Les Monégasques were dominant in the first half, but thanks to the heroics of Paul Bernardoni, that wasn’t reflected in the scoreline.
An Aleksandr Golovin goal late in the first half was all that separated the sides going into the break, and in the second half, Monaco didn’t have so much joy. Myron Boadu, in for Wissam Ben Yedder, who was dropped by Clement for reportedly missing a pre-training session meeting, doubled Monaco’s advantage on the hour mark.
Monaco in no man’s land
However, there would be no clean sheet for Alexander Nübel, who was beaten by Abdallah Sima shortly after. That set up a nervy finish, but Monaco held on for an important win.
Consequently, Monaco are in fourth, and five points ahead of Lille OSC, who suffered a surprise defeat against Stade de Reims. With Stade Rennais also losing, against OGC Nice, Les Monégasques have created a nice buffer. However, following RC Lens’ victory over Olympique de Marseille on Saturday, the third place looks increasingly out of reach. Only a capitulation from Marseille would give Monaco a sniff of Champions League football for next season.
However, Clement doesn’t want his men “calculating.” The Belgian coach added, “The players were thinking too much about the standing. They should give everything in every match, as much for supporters as for themselves. We need to go on a run.”
Monaco next host Lille, a direct competitor for the Europa League spot, at the Stade Louis II next Sunday.
Photo by AS Monaco