Football: Monaco’s Europa League spot under threat after latest defeat

Breel Embolo: Lyon v Monaco

AS Monaco suffered their third defeat in their last five matches, the latest coming against Lyon on Friday (3-1). The club’s Europa League spot is now under threat. 

Monaco’s end-of-season form is a far cry from what we saw last season. Nine wins in their last 10 games propelled Les Monégasques to the Champions League spot. This year, the club must stop the rot if they want to hold onto fourth place, although their latest defeat will only stoke belief amongst their rivals that they can be caught.

Rayan Cherki runs the show

Victory would have all-but wrapped up fourth place, and Monaco made a perfect start to the match, Wissam Ben Yedder converting from the spot within 120-seconds of kick-off.

However, that was as good as it got. Monaco lacked control of the match, and were extremely vulnerable in transitional phases. Alexander Nübel was called upon multiple times before Alexandre Lacazette deservedly levelled for Les Gones. 

Monaco had chances of their own, but they couldn’t procure them with the some frequency, and they lacked the efficiency to make them count. Instead, it was Lyon that took the lead in the second-half. The Lacazette-Rayan Cherki combination hurt Monaco throughout. This time it was the latter who produced a brilliant bit of skill to find himself 1-v-1 against Nübel. The German goalkeeper produced a stunning save, but it ultimately counted for nothing as the ball fell to Maxence Caqueret who slotted home the rebound.

Caio Henrique, fielded in an unfamiliar left-centre-back role, was involved in both of Lyon’s goals, and he was then beaten for the third, Cherki cutting inside to put the game to bed.

Philippe Clement not worried about his future

Post-match, Philippe Clement was once again critical of his team’s mindset. “In the second half, we were no longer the same team. We are a very young team with less experience in these difficult moments. We need to learn things,” he said.

However, lessons don’t seem to be learned. “We haven’t learnt anything from our errors this season. We’re always doing the same thing,” said Youssouf Fofana after the final whistle.

Despite the result, which leaves Monaco with just one win in their last five, Clement isn’t worried about his future. “The question of my future isn’t being asked. I still have one year left on my contract. I want to stay at Monaco, but we have to grow as a team, and recently, we haven’t proven what we have previously proven,” said the Monaco manager, who had been linked with a return to Club Brugge in the Belgian press this week.

Monaco still have two games left to secure their Europa League qualification with their chances of Champions League football now mathematically over. They face another direct rival for European football, Rennes, before welcoming Toulouse to the Stade Louis II in the final game of the season.


Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Photo by AS Monaco