On the evening of Saturday, January 23, AS Monaco hosted Olympique de Marseille. For this top-flight fixture, ASM Head Coach Niko Kovac opted to play the same 11 starting players that featured in the team’s third consecutive Ligue 1 victory.
As the match kicked-off, the visitors organised themselves offensively and sought out the first goal, with some success. A long ball from Marseille’s Duje Caleta-Car found his teammate Nemanja Radonjic, who subsequently made it 0-1 at the 12th minute.
The Monegasques made some attempts to equalise in the first half, but to no avail, as the half-time whistle blew with Marseille still in a slight lead. Perhaps Kovac delivered some inspiring words to his players, as the second half saw red and white fireworks.
Having been tactically introduced to the match at the dawn of the second half, Aleksandr Golovin stepped-up to take a free kick. The Monaco midfielder managed to find Guillermo Maripán at the far right post, and the defender headed it straight past opposing goalie Steve Mandanda to make the score level at the 47th minute.
Marseille attempted to bring it back, but simply could not best a rigid Monaco midfield. After many minutes of play, the Principality side were awarded another corner, and who better to call up than Golovin. The Russian made it look easy, as his corner kick found Aurélien Tchouameni, who completed the set-piece with an unstoppable finish to bring the hosts up to 2-1 at the 75th minute.
The young Monaco midfielder registered his first ever goal with his club, and his teammates celebrated appropriately, but crucially did not take their collective eye off the ball.
As the match drew to a close, the frustrated visitors earned Monaco a free kick, which striker Stevan Jovetić was happy to take. The Montenegrin did so with style, as he booted the ball directly into the top right corner of the goal, all the while beating an outstretched Mandanda to make it 3-1 at the 90th minute.
Jovetić’s strike would be the final nail in Marseille’s coffin, and gave way to a well deserved celebration from his delighted teammates. For their fourth consecutive match, also their fourth in 2021, Monaco stand victorious and hopeful. The team has come together beautifully to become a force to be reckoned with in Ligue 1, and currently occupy fourth place on the League’s table, just one point from the podium.
Monaco’s next fixture will be away from home, against Nantes on Saturday, January 29.
Featured image courtesy of AS Monaco