The boys in red and white, or yellow and black on this occasion, put in quite the performance for their final friendly fixture of the preseason. AS Monaco fought hard for control and possession right from the beginning, and this ultimately paid off as several opportunities lead to a 2-0 victory against Dutch side AZ Alkmaar.
New captain Wissam Ben Yedder and his teammates maintained a strong line of pressure facing the opposition’s goal. This resulted in some ideal opportunities which Les Monegasques managed to successfully capitalise on twice. Aleksandr Golovin was the first to put his name on the scoresheet as he sliced the ball across the outstretched hands of AZ goalkeeper Marco Bizot, subsequently knocking it off the right post and into the back of the net at the 20th minute.
The action only escalated after the opener as both sides made multiple attempts on goal. Monaco goalie Benjamin Lecomte did well to keep the ball at bay as he saved some decent shots from the Dutch side. Further opportunities were created following a few midfield battles, but to no avail as the scoreline remained at 1-0 to the visitors at half time.
The second half saw the principality side push harder and more offensively, resulting in a series of shots and a header on goal. However, The second and final goal of the match came slightly later on at the 74th minute. Still pressing on, Golovin controlled a high ball and volleyed it directly towards the well attended goal. The force behind the strike made it difficult for Bizot to hold on to the ball as the ever-opportunistic Ben Yedder reclaimed it at the 6 metre line, dribbled to his side and put it into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead.
Seeing as his side was sitting so comfortably in the closing moments of the match, newly appointed head coach Niko Kovac took the opportunity to play some younger and less experienced players. AZ Alkmaar made two accurate attempts at equalising in the final minutes, one of which actually saw the ball hit the back of the net, but AZ’s Zakaria Aboukhlal was marked offside and Lecomte was able to save a free kick at the 88th minute.
With a clean 2-0 win in their final fixture of the preseason, Monaco should be returning to regular season football with confidence. Their first match up since coronavirus will be against Stade Reims at Stade Louis II on Sunday, August 23.