The red and whites hosted Girondins de Bordeaux on November 1 on their home pitch of the Stade Louis II in what was a highly eventful ninth match day of the 2020/21 Ligue 1 season. Prior to kick-off, Monaco head coach Niko Kovac decided to play a noticeably different squad and formation compared to the fiasco that was last weekend’s loss to Lyon. Kovac was presumably eager to fight his way back up the Ligue 1 table with his adjustments and ultimately, they paid off, as Monaco remain undefeated at home and celebrate a crushing 4-0 victory over their visitors.
The first 25 minutes of the match saw both sides testing the water while keeping a safe distance from their opposition’s goal as the opportunities just weren’t created. That was until Monaco newcomer Caio Henrique had something to say about it. The Brazilian defender found team captain Wissam Ben Yedder inside Bordeaux’s box with a well placed cross, and the ever-opportunistic Ben Yedder obliged as he found the back of the net. Monaco’s star striker believed he had scored the goal but upon closer inspection, the ball had deflected off a defender first, so Ben Yedder was prompted to take the penalty, which he then unsurprisingly nailed to bring the score to 1-0 at the 27th minute. From there on out, a scoring frenzy ensued.
Seemingly spurred on by their early-ish goal, the red and whites went into an all out offensive. Just two minutes later Ruben Aguilar connected with Gelson Martins on the far post who then finished it off with ease at the 29th minute. To further add to their opponent’s demise, Monaco went back for more, and got it. This time from the left flank again, Henrique found Ben Yedder who then chipped the ball up to the new kid on the block Kevin Holland, who then used his block to record his first ever goal for the Principality side and the third goal in three mad minutes for Monaco.
Upon returning onto the pitch for the second half, the mood of the match had changed, at least for the visitors who were quick to pull themselves together as they held off the continued Monegasque onslaught. However, Bordeaux were unable to keep their defensive efforts up and were eventually caught out by a satisfying bit of ball movement from the boys in red and white. Ben Yedder neatly controlled a long ball from deep before passing it to Martins who then made the critical choice to shift it to Volland and the German wasted no time in making it 4-0 for the hosts at the 57th minute.
A powerful performance throughout the match saw Monaco hold on to that ideal 4-0 lead until the final whistle. Something had clearly gone right for Monaco on their night to remember. Kevin Volland will surely be satisfied with not one but two goals to walk away with, the first of many for his new club. After a heroic performance at home, the hosts have somewhat redeemed themselves on the Ligue 1 table, climbing from 12th to 8th place, four points from the podium. Perhaps we will see a similar selection and formation in Monaco’s next fixture, which will be against neighbours OGC Nice on November 8, from 17:00 and under the floodlights of the Allianz Riviera stadium.
Featured image courtesy of AS Monaco FC, Kevin Volland celebrates his first ever Monaco goal with his enthusiastic teammates