AS Monaco, Ligue 1’s only unbeaten side in 2023, continued their impressive streak with a hard-fought victory over strugglers Stade Brestois (1-2) on Sunday.
The trajectories of Brest’s and Monaco’s seasons may greatly differ, but the three points were far from guaranteed for Philippe Clement’s side as they headed to the Stade Francis-le-Blé. Monaco had lost in their last two visits to the stadium, whilst an injury crisis had enveloped the squad following their impressive midweek Europa League victory over Bayer Leverkusen.
In this context, Clement rung the changes and Malang Sarr, Chrislain Matsima and Eliot Matazo all come into the side. Les Monégasques rarely looked at their fluent best in attack, but they could rely on a stable defensive base, despite fielding an unfamiliar backline against Brest.
Monaco have earned a reputation for attacking efficiency, and they once again showed why on Sunday. Aleksandr Golovin converted Monaco’s only clear-cut chance of the first-half after some intelligent play from Wissam Ben Yedder.
The away side never seemed to get out of first gear, but they didn’t have to. Brest offered very little offensively, and on the rare occasions that Monaco worked their way in behind the Brest defence, they punished them. Myron Boadu had a goal ruled out for a narrow offside but wasn’t to be denied a second time, the Dutch striker tucking home from close-range to double the lead.
Jérémy Le Douaron halved the deficit late on with a sliding finish, but Brest couldn’t force the equaliser. Monaco, therefore, come away with the three points, which further cements their place on the podium and extends their unbeaten run. As well as their 2023 unbeaten streak, Les Monégasques are also unbeaten away from home since 23rd October.
“If I was to take one thing from this match, it would be solidarity. Despite all of the injuries, all the players were ready to perform. At the start of the match, we felt a lack of automatism between players that aren’t used to starting together, but gradually, the team gained confidence and freed itself,” said Clement post-match.
Having consolidated their position on the Ligue 1 podium, attention now immediately shifts to Thursday’s crucial Europa League clash against Bayer Leverkusen. A draw would be enough to allow Les Monégasques to progress.
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Photo by AS Monaco