The boys in red and white travelled to Brittany for a top-flight fixture against Stade Rennais on their home turf, Roazhon Park. Both sides started the match with 7 points to their names and would be eager to challenge Saint-Etienne at the very top of the Ligue 1 table. For this clash, head coach Niko Kovac once again opted to set his team in a 4-3-3 formation and only made two adjustments to the starting 11 men.
Ahead of the whistle, a minute of silence was observed in the memory of Sébastien Desiage who refereed in Ligue 1 since 2013 and passed away at the age of 46 following a battle with an illness.
Once the starting whistle had been blown, both sides immediately went to battle. However, it was the Principality side who were the first to demonstrate dominance by creating serious chances early on. This consistent push on the opposition’s goal paid off at the 28th minute as a badly cleared ball ended up on the receiving end of a strike from Wissam Ben Yedder who found the back of the net with ease and bagged his first goal of the 2020/21 season.
In the second half of the game the Monegasques’ momentum continued as Ben Yedder led an offensive push. The former Toulouse player was unable to capitalise on any more chances as he hit the woodwork for the third time this season. The home team responded immediately with a counter effort and some tricky attempts, one cut out by Axel Disasi at the 59th minute and the other prevented by a post at the 65th minute.
After a few minutes of struggling, AS Monaco conceded their first goal of the game as a perfect cross found Steven N’zonzi for an unstoppable header at the 81st minute. From that point on the tempo of the match transformed into a frenzy as Rennes sought to double down on their late success. The red and white defensive line held their ground but at the very last chance, the Bretons nailed the visitors’ coffin with a heavy and uncontrollable shot on goal resulting in a close 2-1 defeat for the visitors.
Stade Rennais now sit atop the Ligue 1 table while Monaco now provisionally occupy 5th place. That is set to change on September 27 as the Principality side will face off against Strasbourg at home with the kick off scheduled for 15:00.
Featured Image courtesy of AS Monaco